The Town of Palm Beach would like to make residents aware of the presence of Cane (Bufo) Toads on the Island. This amphibian is considered to be an invasive species to Florida, which can be deadly to pets and harmful to humans.
The skin-gland secretions from a Cane Toad is called Bufotoxin. It is highly toxic and can be lethal to wildlife and pets that try to consume or bite them. Once bitten or swallowed, the symptoms of poisoning include, but are not limited, to excessive drooling and extremely red gums, head-shaking, crying, loss of coordination, sometimes convulsions and can lead to death. The toxin can also affect humans by irritating skin and eyes.
What you do immediately after the incident is crucial to the outcome of your pet’s safety. Veterinarians recommend these three steps in the following order:
- Wipe your pet’s tongue and gums with a cloth
- Wash your pet’s mouth out with water for ten minutes
- Take your pet to the nearest veterinarian
The Florida Wildlife Commission (FWC) does not recognize Cane Toads as a protected species, except by anti-cruelty laws. Residents are encouraged to capture and euthanize Cane Toads whenever possible, but once captured they are cannot be relocated and released.
A new section has been added to the Town’s website to provide information and assistance to residents and pet owners. It includes information about the Cane Toad, what to do if your pet encounters a Cane Toad, how to deter them from your property and how to euthanize a Cane Toad if captured.
Visit our website for more information on how to deal with Cane Toads, by clicking on the link below.