Dog owners in Southwest Florida are on high alert after cane toads were spotted in their neighborhood. The amphibians were spotted on Barcelona Avenue in Fort Myers.
Some pet owners know all too well what the poisonous coats on the cane toads can do.
"My daughter's dog was killed by a cane toad," said Irene Haines as she was walking her yellow Labrador. "It was the most horrible death a dog can die," she added.
Haines said her daughter's lab was out in the yard and accidentally pawed at one of the toads in the past. The symptoms started a few hours after her dog encountered them.
"He was salivating, his eyes rolled to the back of the head and by the time they realized something was severely wrong and took him to the doctor, he was gone," said Haines.
Local veterinarians suggest closely monitoring your surroundings while you are outside with your dog or cat.
"Keep a close on your pet," said Dr. John Kacoyanis, a vet at the Chiquita Animal Hospital in Cape Coral.
But if your dog already encountered the cane toad, you have to act fast.
"If it does happen to lick one of the toads or grab it, you can rinse the mouth out with water," said Kacoyanis.
After you administer first aid, take your pet to a vet right away.
Experts suggest a few simple ways in order to cut down on your risk of running into the toads.Pet owners should be extra cautious during the rainy season and mindful of the time of day it is. A flashlight is recommend because cane toads like to be out and about in the early morning and evening hours. The toad's mating call is very distinct and can be heard over long distances could also serve as a warning to help locate them.