Toads pose deadly risk

AS Queenslanders start the big clean up, vets are warning local pet owners to be aware of a new danger from hatchling cane toads.

“Cane toads are a threat to our pets all year round but they are particularly dangerous following heavy rains as thousands of these bite-sized baby toads start to emerge,” Dr Jodie Wilson from the Australian Veterinary Association said.

“One of the first signs of poisoning is hyper-salivation.”

“If you suspect that your pet has eaten a toad you should hose its mouth out for around 20 minutes to wash the toxins away and then go straight to your nearest vet.

“It’s also important to remember that it is common for dogs not to touch toads for a long period of time and then suddenly take an interest in them, often with deadly results,” Dr Wilson said.

Toads are more active in the evening and at night, so owners need to be especially vigilant at those times, and restricting your pet’s access to the garden at night can be a really good idea.

A recent case of poisoning involved Anne Marston from the Brisbane suburb of Murarrie and her beloved two and a half year old Maltese/Shihtzu cross, Pipa.

“We had seen a small number of adult and baby toads in the garden and neighbouring gardens but we didn’t think anything of it as Pipa hadn’t really shown any interest in them in the past,” Anne said.

“I let Pipa out into the garden for a pee and she didn’t come back. We found her at the back of the garden pawing at her face and gagging.”

Anne rushed Pipa to her local vet but despite the best efforts unfortunately the small dog had succumbed to the poison.

“Pipa was originally a rescue dog and she had become an important member of the family,” Anne said.

“Her death was traumatic for the whole family.

“I think it is really important to get the message out about the signs of cane toad poisoning and what to do if it happens.”


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