TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It was a normal evening turned tragic, while Samatha Cox was dog sitting during the monsoon. Mac, a four-year-old Scottish Terrier licked a Colorado River Toad. Cox says she started freaking out, because he was panting heavily and not moving. She started rinsing out the dog's mouth, but it was too late. Cox says, the dog basically died in her arms. The dog's owner, Jessica Sweet says this isn't the first time that her dog has licked a toad, but this time it was fatal.
The Colorado River toad is common to the southwestern United States. These toads have glands within their skin, which produce a toxin when they feel endangered.
Dr. Vanya Moreno is the owner of Animal Magnetism in Tucson. With a Ph.D in Animal Behavior, she trains dogs to stay away from these poisonous amphibians. Moreno says, "We're teaching dogs to recognize the danger. Ingesting the Neurotoxin can result in death. If the dog actually ingests the toad, they will die."
If you dog licks a toad, some symptoms you'll want to look out for include bright red gums, unsteady movement, drooling or foaming from the mouth, and dilated pupils. The first thing you will want to do is rinse out your dog's mouth immediately, with a hose or in the bathtub. Moreno suggests running the hose over the dog's mouth for about 20 minutes. Don't let your pet swallow the water. Next, take your pet to the vet.
These toads come out at night and hunt. Since these toads do look like toys, dogs may be very interested in them. Sweet tells owners to keep an eye on your pet at night, so what happened to her pet, doesn't happen to yours.
Learn about Moreno's toad and rattlesnake avoidance training here.