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Misidentifying Toxic Toads: Why It Can Be A Problem

It’s rainy season. And somewhere in the wood chips or under uprooted trees or in the green grass; the cane toad lurks.

“A cane toad is an invasive amphibian from South America that was brought into Florida to eliminate sugarcane beetles,” said Ian Easterling of Wild Heart Ecojourneys .

One of the most significant problems is that some people misidentify southern toads for cane toads.

Southern toads are about the size of a male adult’s hand. Its glands, which are poisonous, are ovular and much smaller than a cane toad.

Courtesy of UF Wildlife – University of Florida

Cane toads breed in standing water year round. “They can breed at any time of the year, but most of the time, they’re breeding during the rainy season,” Easterling said.

“For the most part, cane toads, are just hopping around your lawn, and your dog eats them,” explained Easterling.

If you think your dog ate a cane toad, Easterling said you have about 15 minutes to get it to the veterinarian.

You’ll know that your dog probably ingested a cane toad if it is frothing at the mouth or if its gums are incredibly red. Your dog might even appear to be dizzy and could experience a seizure.

“Most amphibians are good, but Cane Toads aren’t,” Easterling said. “They’re not from this ecosystem, and they’re very, very toxic.”

For more information, you can follow Wild Heart Ecojourneys on Facebook or Instagram, @wildheartecojourneys