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POISONOUS TOAD CALLED "BUFO TOADS"
as far north as the Tampa Bay area.
Help avoid Bufo toads from being attracted to your yard
by picking up dog food bowls off the ground. They are
attracted to the food and food residue. Bufo’s also like to
lounge in water bowls and may leave enough toxins on the
rim so keep those on the inside as well.
Symptoms of poisoning from a bufo marinus include
salivation, vocalizing and pawing at the mouth, dark red
gums, stiff walk, and difficulty breathing. This can progress to
seizures or death. The severity of the poisoning depends on
the size of the dog. The smaller the dog, the more poison per
pound they take in. If your dog is poisoned, STAY CALM.
Rinse your dog’s mouth out with a hose IMMEDIATELY for at
least five minutes. Run the water through the side of the
mouth and towards the front of their nose while keeping
the head down to avoid drowning your dog. Some
veterinarians recommend massaging the gums as well to
make sure all the toxin is removed. The smaller the pet or
the larger the toad, the greater there is a risk of toxicity.
Transport your dog to the veterinarian quickly. Remember
most poisoning happens at night so make sure you know
where the closest emergency vet clinic is in relation to your
If you find live Bufo Marinus in your yard they can be
humanely destroyed by freezing. Just make sure you know
the difference between this non-native toad and native toads
such as the Southern Toad. Southern toads are prevalent and
beneficial in the area. An adult Southern Toad is never larger
than 4 inches and has ridges or knobs on its head. For more
information on identifying toads and frogs in Florida, please
check out the University of Florida website at
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The marine toad (Bufo Marinus) is a brown to grayishbrown
toad which is not native to Florida. Adult toads can
reach 6-9 inches in length and have a creamy yellow belly and
deeply-pitted parotid glands extending down the sides. These
glands contain a milky-white substance commonly called
"bufotoxin," which the toad uses as a defense against
predators. This poison can cause irritation in humans and
animals, particularly when the toxin comes in contact with
the eyes or mucus membranes. For small pets and wild
animals, this toxin can be lethal.
While the Bufo is more common on the east coast of
Florida it is sometimes found in Lee and Collier Counties and