Local vet group issues bufo toad warning

TAMPA - A local veterinary group says the recent heavy rains could cause a spike in bufo marinus toad toxicity to pets during the next few days. The toads usually come out after a period of heavy rains.

Typically, a dog will lick or pick up one of the oversized toxic toads in its mouth, according to a release from BluePearl Veterinary Partners.  When disturbed, the bufo toad secretes a poison which can cause seizures or even death.

"Seeking veterinary care immediately is imperative," BluePearl Media Relations Manager James Judge wrote in the release, adding that a case of bufo poisoning turned up Thursday morning.

In 2012, poison from a bufo killed a family dog in Temple Terrace. In 2011, a 2-year-old poodle died after picking up a bufo, according to the Lakeland Ledger .

The bufo is not native to the U.S.

According to the Florida Wildlife Extension, it was originally released into South Florida sugar cane fields to help control white grubs.

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