Posted: Aug 27, 2013 7:00 PM
Updated: Aug 27, 2013 7:27 PM
DONNA - Recent rains are forcing the bufo toad to emerge from the ground. The toxic amphibian may pose a threat to household pets, experts said.
Dotty Ottmer said her 7-year-old terrier, Clyde, tried to eat one of the toads and nearly died.
"He loves to catch toads and geckos," the Donna resident said.
"Normally, he will catch one (and) then let it go. He did that to this one, but when he spit it out he started spitting out blood," Ottmer said. The incident happened Sunday.
The toad's toxic milky secretions sent the dog into a seizure.
"I couldn't handle it ... it was like losing one of my kids," Ottmer said.
Ottmer took Clyde to a veterinarian immediately. She learned her pet wasn't the only dog to have a near-death encounter with a bufo toad.
"I had another one just the other day," Veterinarian Robert Early said.
Early said the bufo toad is common in South Texas.
"It can kill the dog," he said.
The toad's toxic secretions are a defense mechanism. The toad posses a threat to pets and small children, experts said. Poisoning effects take over almost immediately.
"You need to wash the mouth out if you can. If they start vomiting, bring the dog in immediately," Early said.
Ottmer said her dog learned its lesson the hard way.