As most people know, Puerto Vallarta is a very pet-friendly city. If you are moving to Puerto Vallarta, with summer coming, there is something that dog owners will want to keep a watch for – Cane Toads.
These are also known as Colorado River Toads or Sonoran Desert Toads – and yes, we realize that toads aren’t frogs, but “toad” doesn’t rhyme well with “dog”, and we’ll soon explain why these toads and dogs don’t mix well either.
Cane Toads are identified as having large, plump bodies that are brown or grey on top, and are light tan underneath. They often have dark spots on their body and usually have warts. That may not be the most appealing description for humans, but for dogs, these fellas look like great fun to chase and sniff.
The problem is this toad’s skin is covered by toxins that can not only harm your dog’s health but can even be easily fatal if your pet gets a good lick of one of these hoppers or grabs one in its mouth. The poison from this toxin is quickly absorbed by your dog’s mouth and here are symptoms you shouldn’t ignore:
- slobbering foam
- head shaking
- tearing of the eyes
- loss of coordination
- apparent blindness
- bright red gums
- elevated heartbeat
- dilated pupils
- high fever
What to do if you think your dog may have come in contact? First flush your dog’s mouth out carefully and thoroughly with water and then head straight to the vet. With quick care, like intravenous fluids, anti-arrhythmic drugs, sedation, and atropine, your pet will likely survive to tell the tale of the toad.
And, while warnings are important, there shouldn’t be an idea that Puerto Vallarta is overrun by toads of any sort. In fact, these guys hang out by rivers, streams and standing bodies of water like what we see after our impressive summer rains. So, while it’s good to know about these toads to make sure you avoid them and/or know what to do, but a watchful eye and a little education is all you need.
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