By Chris Brant, President, RAGofAZ
After the first heavy rain that we encountered when we moved to Fountain Hills in 1983 I observed a large toad in our backyard. He was many miles from the major water sources down in the Fountain Lake. I deposited the toad in a bucket and made a trip to the Fountain Hills Lake Park. Our new, found “friend” did not seem too interested in taking a swim.
It was quite a while later that I found out that the toad would have been quite happy to live beneath our backyard and would have only come out after heavy rains. I also found out that once we had Goldens roaming our property the likes of Bufo Toads were not the friendly pets in our midst that I had imagined back in 1983.
Dogs are at especial risk from Sonoran Desert (Bufo) Toads and can quickly exhibit potentially fatal symptoms of toad poisoning (excessive salivation or foaming at the mouth, head shaking, red or irritated gums, drunken gait, confusion, weakness or complete collapse, heart arrhythmia, vomiting, diarrhea, and pawing at the mouth). Seizures and death can occur in dogs within 30 minutes from a Sonoran Desert Toad poisoning. Once toad poisoning symptoms appear, emergency veterinary care is needed, but if you observe your dog with a Sonoran Desert Toad, immediate first aid can help prevent toad poisoning from occurring in the first place: Sonoran Desert Toad (Bufo alvarius) http://fireflyforest.net/firefly/2007/08/12/sonoran-desert-toad/.
One of our trainers, Jay Smith, is offering Toad Avoidance training classes through October. Please click here for details.
Reprinted from The Fountain Hills Times: