The Colorado River Toad, a toxic Arizona resident - Tucson News Now

The Colorado River Toad, a toxic Arizona resident

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

They are slimy, they aretoxic and they can kill a dog.  TheColorado River Toad is the villain here.

These toxic toads tend tocome out during monsoon storms, and Tucson News Now has a few things residentsand pet owners should know before coming in contact with these potentiallydeadly creatures.

Tucson News Now recentlyvisited the home of Jeff Carver, co-owner of Animal Experts, Inc., a wildliferelocation company.  He is a local expertwith plenty of experience in dealing with the Colorado River Toad.

According to Carver what makesthe toad so dangerous is the toxin they excrete from glands on their head, whenthe toad is under stress.  

The easiest way to avoidthese guys is to avoid the areas where they are found - along washes and incertain areas where puddles of water may have accumulated.  Another way to avoid the toads is to listen,they have a distinctive croak.  If peoplehear the croak

What do owners need tolook for in their pets if they happen to have had contact with a Colorado RiverToad? Abnormal or unusual behavior for their pet.  According to Carver this could bedisorientation, excessive saliva, the animal's throat swelling, or even seizures.

One way to prevent thisfrom happening is to flush the animal's mouth out with water.  Carver stated this could be done with a waterbottle, if out on a walk when it happens, or with a water hose if it happens athome.  The proper procedure is to put theaffected animal's head down and flush with the water from the side, this takesmuch of the toxins out of the body, owners need to continue the water flush for15 to 20 minutes (if the animal will allow it) and then consult theirveterinarian.

A local vet clinic statedto Tucson News Now that at least half a dozen cases have been reported in themonth of July, about the same amount as last year.

If a person comes intocontact with a toxic toad, they should wash their hands thoroughly beforehandling anything or even touching their face. The toad's toxin is absorbed through the mucus membranes.   

Copyright 2013 TucsonNews Now All rights reserved

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