Big bufo toads invading after heavy rains - WRBL

Big bufo toads invading after heavy rains

Posted: Updated:
TAMPA, FL (WFLA) -

Bay Area veterinarians are warning pet owners that the recent wet weather is causing problems from bufo toads, a big species that in some cases can grow as big as a pie plate.

Dr. Daniel Diaco knows just how toxic they can be.

It was just a few weeks back, on Labor Day, when his sister-in-law came up to him in a panic. Her five pound Yorkie named Alex had thrown up and had no heartbeat.

"I immediately put the dog on the ground and start doing doggie CPR," Dr. Diaco said.

After 30 seconds of chest compressions, Alex's heart started beating again. But the Diacos, who grew up in Florida, knew they immediately had to get to a vet.

"Along the way - the dog dies, literally five more times," Diaco remembers.

They stopped at a BP station and washed out the dog's mouth, which likely saved it. Alex lived, but Dr. Diaco is now warning other pet owners just how toxic the toads can be.

"I had no idea they were that poisonous," Dr. Diaco said. "I had no idea a dog could suffer that severe of an injury from just a little {toad}."

Last year, a Jack Russell in north Tampa died because it bit directly into one of the toads. John Gicking, a veterinarian at Bluepearl Veterinarian Partners, said deaths by toad are pretty rare.

"I have seen it, but it's exceptionally uncommon," he said.

But he warns the toxin can be a potent thing and owners need to get care for their pets immediately.

"When you start to see the signs is when the animals need to be treated," Gicking said. "There's not as though you have a waiting period of time ... to see if they're going to be okay or not."

He says washing their mouth out is important but owners should do it cautiously.

"Don't force water down into their throat," he said. "You don't want them to aspirate the water."

Cats are less prone to being affected by the toad because they tend to swat at things instead of bite.

"We probably see more of the terrier-type breeds," Gicking said. "But frankly any dog is going to chase after a frog...are the ones that are going to be exposed."

Courtney Phillips-Cintron, an instructor at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa says the bufo is an invasive to Florida as well as Hawaii and the Philippines. The big problem started when people carried them over as pest control for the cane sugar crop.

"Problem is not only do they eat cane beetles, they will eat anything, including each other, other toads, small mammals, and small birds," Cintron said. "Most amphibians need to be near water so when it's dryer on land, they're going to stay near to those water sources. But when it rains - it gives them a little opportunity to expand their range so they can go a little bit farther without having to worry about their skin drying out."

But it's also how they reproduce that makes them so prevalent.

"These guys - they have very very short reproductive cycles so they will lay about 30,000 eggs versus most of our native toads - only lay about 3,000 eggs. Within 14 days they hatch and within three months they're ready to reproduce again so it's just a mass amount of toads."

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Frightened neighbors voice concerns about Pasco mental health ALF

    Friday, August 22 2014 6:01 PM EDT2014-08-22 22:01:54 GMT
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
    In the middle of a New Port Richey subdivision on Langston Ave. white iron gates lead to a large compound surrounded by barbed wire fences. Inside there is a swimming pool, parking lotand several buildings that formerly served as the neighborhood HOA community center.
  • Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Bradenton apartment complex to be repaired after 8 On Your Side report

    Friday, August 22 2014 4:47 PM EDT2014-08-22 20:47:05 GMT
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
    Last week, 8 on your side showed you some of the dilapidated conditions inside some units at the Townhouse Park Apartments in Bradenton.Tenants were having problems with mold and rodents.There was also water damage.
  • 2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    2.2 million bean bag chairs recalled after deaths

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-22 15:01:24 GMT
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photoAbout 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death. CPSC photo
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
    About 2.2 million bean bag chairs are being recalled after two children opened them, crawled inside and suffocated to death.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Tampa Police arrest man for murder outside nightclub

    Tampa Police arrest man for murder outside nightclub

    Friday, August 22 2014 11:04 PM EDT2014-08-23 03:04:54 GMT
    Tampa Police have arrested 27-year-old Edgardo Molina of Tampa for a murder outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning.
    Tampa Police have arrested 27-year-old Edgardo Molina of Tampa for a murder outside Club Underground in downtown Tampa early Thursday morning.
  • I-75 NB reopens in Manatee County after deadly accident

    I-75 NB reopens in Manatee County after deadly accident

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:52 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:52:10 GMT
    Deadly crash in Manatee County.Deadly crash in Manatee County.
    Florida Highway Patrol troopers reopened I-75 in Manatee County after a deadly accident shutdown the northbound lanes early Friday evening.
    Florida Highway Patrol troopers reopened I-75 in Manatee County after a deadly accident shutdown the northbound lanes early Friday evening.

  • A Sarasota high school remembers slain varsity cheerleader

    A Sarasota high school remembers slain varsity cheerleader

    Friday, August 22 2014 10:49 PM EDT2014-08-23 02:49:47 GMT
    It was hard to tell that the team colors of Riverview High School in Sarasota County were maroon and gray Friday night.Most of the crowd was wearing blue.“Her favorite color was blue,” said varsity cheerleader Devyn Kelly. Kelly is talking about fellow cheerleader Teria'le Rawls who was gunned down almost four weeks ago.
    It was hard to tell that the team colors of Riverview High School in Sarasota County were maroon and gray Friday night.Most of the crowd was wearing blue.“Her favorite color was blue,” said varsity cheerleader Devyn Kelly. Kelly is talking about fellow cheerleader Teria'le Rawls who was gunned down almost four weeks ago.
  • Sign up for WFLA News Channel 8 Email Alerts

    * denotes required fields






    Thank you for signing up! You will receive a confirmation email shortly.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Alive and well but Pasco veteran declared dead by government

    Alive and well but Pasco veteran declared dead by government

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:51 PM EDT2014-08-21 02:51:54 GMT
    92-year-old Frances Evans finds humor in the fact that the government considers her dead.92-year-old Frances Evans finds humor in the fact that the government considers her dead.
    When 92-year-old Frances Evans got a letter in the mail about her death, she laughed. “What's funny is they're sending the letter to me, telling me they're sorry I'm deceased.
    When 92-year-old Frances Evans got a letter in the mail about her death, she laughed. “What's funny is they're sending the letter to me, telling me they're sorry I'm deceased.
  • Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Restaurant Ratings Most Violations: August 11 - 16

    Friday, August 22 2014 12:57 PM EDT2014-08-22 16:57:41 GMT
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
    Ever wonder what goes on in the kitchen of your favorite restaurants? We've gathered details about the Tampa Bay restaurants that received the most violations during inspections conducted from August 11 to 16, 2014.
  • Haircuts for the Homeless

    Haircuts for the Homeless

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 11:38 AM EDT2014-08-20 15:38:55 GMT
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
    On his days off, stylist Mark Bustos gives free haircuts to the homeless of New York City. Here are some of the transformations.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.