Thursday, March 26, 2009

Emergency Treatment for Buffo Toads

If you live in the South, you run the risk that sooner or later your small dog will encounter a buffo toad. I am of course not a vet but my years of breeding and showing have taught me that when your dog meets up with a buffo, there are things you must do immediately to save his life.

As spring freshens and the oak flowers drop, so do toads emerge -- cute brown toads and very occasionally buffos. These are monster creatures that can get as big as a dinner plate. And they are highly, highly poisonous. My Jimmy (World Ch. Tessier Jimmy Mack) died in 2000 from a close encounter with such a toad. Even mouthing such a creature allows the poison to enter the dog’s system. Death occurs in less than an hour.

First of all, if you live on the east coast of Florida below about Jupiter, do not leave your dog outside for more than a quick potty break in the evening. Buffos, like all toads, are nocturnal. And they are more prevalent on the east than west coast of Florida.

A few years ago my Shiela came in the house foaming at the mouth.I suspected that she has had a run-in with a buffo. I knew I did not have time to speed to the vet. Shiela would probably have been dead by the time I got there. I put her in the kitchen sink, fed her spoonfuls of baking soda and flooded her mouth with my spray attachment for about 20 minutes. I fed her 5 spoonfuls, correct for body size of about 8 pounds, but I knew I couldn't give her too much. Yes, I was sopping wet from Shiela spraying me when she shook and my kitchen resembled a lake by the end but Shiela was alive.

Then I took her to the vet. And she was fine if not for the shivering from being wet for so long.

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