Bufo Frogs are a Major Threat to Dogs and all Pets in South Florida
We were at a Dog Guard Out of Sight Fence customer in Okeechobee last week and finished up our work just as the skies opened up and it began to rain and rain. We are now entering the “rainy season” in South Florida. This is the time that we will start to see small, cute frogs jumping around under bushes and along the fences. These little, cute frogs aren’t really so cute. There is a 90% chance that any frog you find in South Florida or most of the South East are Bufo Frogs. Most people think of frogs as innocuous creatures that eat flies, sit on lily pads, and jump away as soon as you approach. Let me tell you a different story…
Bufo frogs in South Florida are incredibly dangerous to our dogs and other pets!
If your dog comes into contact with a Bufo frog, he could be dead in a matter of hours! This is no joke!
Like many of the other “out of control” plants and animals in Florida, Bufo frogs were introduced without any consideration to their impact on the environment or lasting consequences. They were first brought into Palm Beach County in 1936 to try and control sugar cane insects and were then spread around the Miami Airport until about 1955. These frogs can grow up to about 10 inches in width and have a life span of up to ten years. They have very few natural enemies and are quickly replacing the native (safe, calm, and timid) toads in South Florida.
The problem lies in the fact that Bufo frogs secrete a toxic fluid that can kill a dog in a matter of hours. The fluid is located in glands behind the frog’s head and also coats the skin. To make matters worse, it can also shoot this toxin from its glands in the form of white, thick venom. They become “targets” to dogs by making short, quick jumps in front of the dog.
As the dog approaches, they make no attempt to jump away.
If your dog has come in contact with a Bufo frog, you will first notice your dog becoming lethargic, notice a brown foam filling and dripping from his mouth, and may even see him experiencing seizures.
What can be done about these horrible, little green monsters? The first thing you can do is to patrol your yard on a regular basis. When you find one of them, remove them from any area your dog may enter. Always perform a “Bufo Patrol” at night before you let your dog out for play or potty. Constantly watch him. If you see him becoming “too interested” with something on the ground, investigate immediately.
If you see or believe that your dog has encountered a Bufo:
- Wash his mouth out immediately with a hose. Really get a lot of water in his mouth and the upper part of his throat. You are trying to remove any poison that is about to have a negative reaction.
- Keep him as calm and quiet as possible so that you don’t increase his metabolism and speed up the poison.
- Have the address and phone number of your 24 hour vet. Watch your dog very closely for the next 24 hours for any unusual signs as stated above.
- If you are unsure of any observation or have any question, call the vet immediately.
- If you see any signs of vomiting, stiffness of the body, or listlessness, get him to the vet NOW!
- Don’t wait if you “just don’t feel right” about your dog. Get him to the vet. A car ride and examination could be the only thing between life and death.
Our dogs have come into contact with Bufo frogs several times and it is a very serious situation. Please talk to your vet about Bufo frogs the next time you have your dog in for a regular checkup. I am sure that he can provide you with more detailed information about these nasty Bufos. For more information, please contact The Best Out of Sight Dog Fence Installers and Dog Trainers in Okeechobee and South Florida.