You couldn't be more wrong! Bufo frogs in South Florida are incredibly dangerous to our dogs and other pets!
This is the first time that I have ever used red, bold lettering in one of my blogs, but I am really serious on this one. If your dog gets into a tussle with a Bufo frog, he could be dead in a matter of hours!
Like many of the other "out of control" animals and plants in South Florida, Bufo frogs were introduced with poor foresight and zero planning. They were originally introduced in Palm Beach County in 1936 to try and control sugar cane pests and were reintroduced near the Miami Airport through 1955. They generally range up to nine inches in width, but can grow larger and can live up to ten years. They have very few natural enemies and are quickly replacing the native (calm, timid, perfectly safe) toads in South Florida.
Here comes the problem. Bufo frogs secrete a toxic fluid that can kill your dog in a matter of hours. The fluid is located in glands that are behind its head and that also coats its skin. It can also shoot this toxin from its glands in the form of a white, thick venom. They can attract dogs to them by making short, fast hops when they move and do not jump away when the dog comes to investigate.
If your dog has come in contact with a Bufo frog, you will first notice listlessness, foaming a brown substance from the mouth, heavy drooling, falling down, and even seizures.
So, what do you do about these horrible, little green monsters? Walk your yard on a regular basis, looking for them. If you find a Bufo, remove them from the area. Always perform a "Bufo Patrol" at night before you let Wolfie out to do his business. Watch him when he is outside. Immediately investigate if he gets excited over something.
If you see that Wolfie has encountered a Bufo or you think that he might have encountered a Bufo:
- Wash his mouth out immediately with a hose. Don't by shy, really give it a good wash.
- Keep him as calm and quiet as possible.
- Watch him like a hawk for the next several hours and make sure you have the address and phone number of your 24 hour vet.
- Call the vet for any advice.
- If you see any signs of vomiting, stiffness of the body, or listlessness, get him to the vet NOW!
- If, for any reason, you aren't sure about his condition, get him to the 24 hour vet!