A woman from Eagle Lake is warning other dog owner about the dangers of the bufo toad to pets. Her dog Cowboy died after eating one of the poisonous toads.
Cowboy helps protect the goats on Linda Hughes’ farm, along with several other dogs. The dogs normally rush from the field toward the farmhouse when she puts their food out, but one night last week Cowboy didn’t.
"I thought well, he's either gotten out or he's down," Hughes said. That's pretty much the options around here."
Hughes started to worry and went out into the field. That’s where she found him, suffering from the toad’s poison.
She tried to give him medicine she had on the farm, but it didn't help. When she took him to the veterinarian, the vet said they had to put him down.
She posted a video of the dog writhing in pain and seizing on Facebook. It’s difficult to watch, but she hopes it serves as a reminder to other pet owners to keep an eye out for the dangerous toads.
"Nobody should have to go through this, listen to your animal suffer and watch them have these awful seizures," she said. "Nobody should have to experience that."
Animal trapper Lisa Ricigliano said she gets a lot more calls about bufo toads during the summertime, because that’s their breeding season. She said if your dog comes into contact with one, you should call the veterinarian right away and use a wet cloth to try to get some of the poison out of its mouth.
"Look for the signs that they're there, and hopefully eliminate the risk before there is a problem," Ricigliano explained.
The best thing you can do, Ricigliano said, is to make sure there aren’t any bufo toads on your property in the first place. They prefer cool, dark, damp areas, such as under wood piles or bird baths. If you spot one, an animal trapper can help remove it.