The cane toad is an invasive species also known as the Bufo Toad. It secretes a highly toxic mucous as a defense mechanism; however, it has a 100% death rate for your smaller dogs who mistake it for a chew toy. It was brought to Florida years ago and is now a dangerous nuisance not to mention gross.
Cane Toad Population is Rising
Literally, they are making their way further and further north along the state of Florida. They were originally brought up from Central and South America as part of a research project to control the sugar-cane beetle population in 1936. However, the agricultural experiment did not go according to plan. These toads are much hardier, aggressive, and prolific than expected. But what invasive species insertion ever goes according to plan?
Cane Toad 101
To identify these beasts of the amphibian world all you really need to do is look at them from afar. They are supersized. They can grow to 9 or more inches. They are the largest species of toad or frog in the state and commonly referred to as giant toad. When they are threatened, they will puff up even larger. That is because they are an aggressive species. They do not spit, their ‘venom’ like some mistakenly believe, but they do have glands behind their head that secrete a thick milky mucous containing the toxin.
They are not afraid of much and have been seen around dog water bowls and even eating the dog’s food. There is nothing they won’t eat, including other cane toads. Unfortunately, some people have been known to lick the frogs for a cheap and quick ‘trip’ only to find themselves lying in a hospital bed later on.
Symptoms of a Cane Toad Poisoning
The toxin is a bufotoxin that in humans will cause mild discomfort and possibly a rash. But if your pet (40 pounds or less) ingests the toxin you can expect:
If your pet has encountered a cane toad, rinse it’s mouth out the best you can and take it to your local vet.
Brevard County Cane Toad Removal
The last thing you want to do is try to catch these toxic toads on your own. But they do need to be reported and removed from your property, even if you do not have pets. They are not native to the state and are upsetting the endemic environment.