The following is informational only, please contact a vetenarian, pet poison helpline or other experts in these areas for the appropriate guidance.  Click on the links included for more information.  Loxahatchee Lost and Found Pets shares this information but is not an expert in these areas. 

Ø  Pet Poisoning
Ø  Bufo Toad Poisoning
Ø  Pet Safety Tips

Ø  Learn What To Do If You Find Kittens Outdoors

Ø  Heat Stroke Symptoms

Ø  Pet Evacuation Tips

Ø  When it’s time to say goodbye, When you lose your loved one

Ø  Pet Friendly Hotels

Ø  I’m not a monster. Any Dog Can Bite. Here’s How You Can Prevent It
Ø  Why spay and neuter

Pet Evacuation Tips

Pet Evacuation and Pet Friendly Emergency Shelters: Tips and Information For Helping You and Your Pet in a Disaster

  • Make a Pet Emergency Plan
  • ID your pet. Make sure your pet’s tags are up-to-date and securely fastened to your pet's collar. If possible, attach the address and/or phone number of your evacuation site. If your pet gets lost, his tag is his ticket home. Also consider microchipping your pets.
  • Make sure you have a current photo of your pet for identification purposes.
  • Make a pet emergency kit.  Download Preparing Makes Sense for Pet Owners for a full list of items to include in your pets kit.

Check out this quick list:

  • Pet food
  • Bottled water
  • Medications
  • Veterinary records
  • Cat litter/pan
  • Manual can opener
  • Food dishes
  • First aid kit and other supplies

Identify shelters. For public health reasons, many emergency shelters cannot accept pets. Find out which motels and hotels in the area you plan to evacuate to allow pets well in advance of needing them. There are also a number of guides that list hotels/motels that permit pets and could serve as a starting point. Include your local animal shelter's number in your list of emergency numbers.

  • Make sure you have a secure pet carrier, leash or harness for your pet so that if he panics, he can't escape.
  • Prepare Shelter for Your Pet
  • Call your local emergency management office, animal shelter or animal control office to get advice and information.
  • If you are unable to return to your home right away, you may need to board your pet. Find out where pet boarding facilities are located. Be sure to research some outside your local area in case local facilities close.
  • Most boarding kennels, veterinarians and animal shelters will need your pet's medical records to make sure all vaccinations are current. Include copies in your "pet survival" kit along with a photo of your pet.
  • Some animal shelters will provide temporary foster care for owned pets in times of disaster but this should be considered only as a last resort.

If you have no alternative but to leave your pet at home, there are some precautions you must take, but remember that leaving your pet at home alone can place your animal in great danger!

  • Confine your pet to a safe area inside - NEVER leave your pet chained outside!
  • Leave them loose inside your home with food and plenty of water.
  • Remove the toilet tank lid, raise the seat and brace the bathroom door open so they can drink. P
  • lace a notice outside in a visible area, advising what pets are in the house and where they are located.
  • Provide a phone number where you or a contact can be reached as well as the name and number of your vet.

Protect Your Pet During a Disaster

Bring your pets inside immediately.

  • Have newspapers on hand for sanitary purposes. Feed animals moist or canned food so they will need less water to drink.
  • Animals have instincts about severe weather changes and will often isolate themselves if they are afraid. Bringing them inside early can stop them from running away. Never leave a pet outside or tied up during a storm.
  • Separate dogs and cats. Even if your dogs and cats normally get along, the anxiety of an emergency situation can cause pets to act irrationally. Keep small pets away from cats and dogs.

In an emergency, you may have to take your birds with you. Talk with your veterinarian or local pet store about special food dispensers that regulate the amount of food a bird is given. Make sure that the bird is caged and the cage is covered by a thin cloth or sheet to provide security and filtered light.

If you evacuate your home, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND! Pets most likely cannot survive on their own and if by some remote chance they do, you may not be able to find them when you return.

If you are going to a public shelter, it is important to understand that animals may not be allowed inside. Plan in advance for shelter alternatives that will work for both you and your pets; consider loved ones or friends outside of your immediate area who would be willing to host you and your pets in an emergency.

Make a back-up emergency plan in case you can't care for your animals yourself. Develop a buddy system with neighbors, friends and relatives to make sure that someone is available to care for or evacuate your pets if you are unable to do so. Be prepared to improvise and use what you have on hand to make it on your own for at least three days, maybe longer.

Caring for Your Pet After a Disaster

  • If you leave town after a disaster, take your pets with you. Pets are unlikely to survive on their own.
  • In the first few days after the disaster, leash your pets when they go outside. Always maintain close contact. Familiar scents and landmarks may be altered and your pet may become confused and lost. Also, snakes and other dangerous animals may be brought into the area with flood areas. Downed power lines are a hazard.

The behavior of your pets may change after an emergency. Normally quiet and friendly pets may become aggressive or defensive. Watch animals closely. Leash dogs and place them in a fenced yard with access to shelter and water.

Tips for Large Animals

  • If you have large animals such as horses, cattle, sheep, goats or pigs on your property, be sure to prepare before a disaster.
  • Ensure all animals have some form of identification.
  • Evacuate animals whenever possible. Map out primary and secondary routes in advance.
  • Make available vehicles and trailers needed for transporting and supporting each type of animal. Also make available experienced handlers and drivers. Note: It is best to allow animals a chance to become accustomed to vehicular travel so they are less frightened and easier to move.
  • Ensure destinations have food, water, veterinary care and handling equipment.
  • If evacuation is not possible, animal owners must decide whether to move large animals to shelter or turn them outside.

Cold Weather Guidelines for Large Animals
When temperatures plunge below zero, owners of large animals and livestock producers need to give extra attention to their animals. Prevention is the key to dealing with hypothermia, frostbite and other cold weather injuries in livestock.  Make sure your livestock has the following to help prevent cold-weather problems:

  • Shelter
  • Plenty of dry bedding to insulate vulnerable udders, genitals and legs from the frozen ground and frigid winds
  • Windbreaks to keep animals safe from frigid conditions
  • Plenty of food and water

Take extra time to observe livestock, looking for early signs of disease and injury. Severe cold-weather injuries or death primarily occur in the very young or in animals that are already debilitated. Cases of weather-related sudden death in calves often result when cattle are suffering from undetected infection, particularly pneumonia. Sudden, unexplained livestock deaths and illnesses should be investigated quickly so that a cause can be identified and steps can be taken to protect the remaining animals.

Animals suffering from frostbite don’t exhibit pain. It may be up to two weeks before the injury becomes evident as the damaged tissue starts to slough away. At that point, the injury should be treated as an open wound and a veterinarian should be consulted.

Watch a Video to Prepare Your Pets

Pet Friendly Hotels
Traveling with your pet, search for pet friendly hotels and get pet travel tips at the

I’m not a monster ----  Any Dog Can Bite. Here’s How You Can Prevent It

As part of National Dog Bite Prevention week, here are some facts, tools & resources that can help prevent dog bites and improve our community by educating people about responsible dog ownership.

We’ve come across many videos showing alarming interaction between kids & dogs. Clueless parents in the background videotaping and laughing at the seemingly harmless interactions. When dogs are showing teeth and nipping at your kid, it’s NOT funny nor cute nor harmless. And as guardians of the breeds most sensationalized by the media in regards to dog bites, please pay heed.

There are 70 million nice dogs, but ANY DOG CAN BITE. Information and education are the best solutions for this public health crisis.

“Even the cuddliest, fuzziest,sweetest pup can bite if provoked. Most people are bitten by their own dog or one they know. Some owners actually promote aggression in their dogs or allow aggression to go unchecked. Although media reports and rumors often give the impression that certain breeds of dog are more likely to bite, there is little scientific evidence to support those claims,” American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) added.

Dog Bite Facts
·         Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs
·         Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention
·         Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children
·         Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured
·         Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs
·         Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims

Why Do Dogs Bite?
There are several possible reasons why a dog may bite a child (or anyone):
·         The dog is protecting a possession, food or water dish or puppies
·         The dog is protecting a resting place
·         The dog is protecting its owner or the owner’s property
·         The child has done something to provoke or frighten the dog (e.g., hugging the dog, moving into the dog’s space, leaning or stepping over the dog, trying to take something from the dog)
·         The dog is old and grumpy and having a bad day and has no patience for the actions of a child
·         The dog is injured or sick
·         The child has hurt or startled it by stepping on it, poking it or pulling its fur, tail or ears
·         The dog has not learned bite inhibition and bites hard by accident when the child offers food or a toy to the dog
·         The child and dog are engaging in rough play and the dog gets overly excited
·         The dog views the child as a prey item because the child is running and/or screaming near the dog or riding a bicycle or otherwise moving past the dog
·         The dog is of a herding breed and nips while trying to “herd” the children

In addition, a recent study (by Tufts University, et al) examining the circumstances surrounding 256 dog bite-related fatalities (DBRFs) in the United States found 7 major co-occurring factors:
1.       Absence of an able bodied person to intervene (occurred in 87.1% of cases)
2.       Incidental or no relationship between victim and dog (85.2%)
3.       Owner failure to neuter dogs (84.4%)
4.       Compromised ability of victims to interact appropriately with dogs (victims were either
5.       Dogs kept isolated from regular positive human interactions vs family dogs (76.2%)
6.       Owner’s prior mismanagement of dogs (37.5%)
7.       Owner’s history of abuse or neglect of dogs (21.1%)

Four or more of these factors co-occurred in 80.5% of deaths. The study concluded that most DBRFs were characterized by coincident, preventable factors, and breed was not one of these (20 breeds, including 2 known mixes, were identified).* This study supports multifactorial approaches for dog bite prevention, not single-factor solutions such as breed specific legislation. Key takeaway: all of the co-occurring factors are human-controlled.

Fortunately, there are steps we can take to address and avoid dog bites, from properly training and socializing your pets, learning to read your dog’s body language and recognizing the triggers to educating your children (and adults) on how – or if – they should approach a dog and to safely interact with the dog.

Do Dogs Bite “Out of the Blue”?
No, dogs do not bite “out of the blue.” There are always warning signs before a bite occurs, but these can be very subtle and may be missed by many people. A dog may appear to tolerate being repeatedly mauled by a child and one day bites, surprising everyone. Sometimes the warning have gone on for months or even years before the dog finally loses its tolerance and bites.

Read this great article by Madeline Gabriel that explains that dogs do not bite “out of the blue”.

People who own good dogs sometimes are lulled into a sense of safety and lax because “good dogs don’t bite children…or do they?” Often times, once you determine that you have a “Good Dog” you tend to leave it at that and just go about your life with dog and baby. What we forget to consider is that just like us, dogs have good days and bad days. On any given day, at any given time, your dog is somewhere along that continuum.  Have you ever had one of those days?  You know…bad day at work, skipped lunch, lots of traffic, big headache?  You come home and even something minor goes wrong and isn’t it possible that you may “snap” at someone you love?

It’s the same with dogs. Even over the course of a single day, your dog may go from feeling relaxed and easy-going to tense and cranky — just like you.  Living with babies and small children can make for a grueling day. That 4:30-6:30 time that used to be known as Happy Hour? It’s often the LEAST happy time with tired parents, babies crying, kids squabbling and a parent trying to make dinner. Everyone is a bit on edge and that includes the family dog.

The trick to preventing bites is to really look at your dog. What does he or she look like when relaxed and happy? What changes when your dog is getting a little worried or overwhelmed? Where is your dog right now on that body language continuum? Take mental snapshots throughout the day and place your dog along that line.  Learn the body language changes that signal moves in one direction or another. (See Look, Ma!  My Body Is Talking to You!)

 Learn the difference in expressions of dogs that are happy and dogs that want to be left alone:
·         Signs of Anxiety
·         Signs of Arousal
·         Signs of Aggression
·         Signs of Imminent Bite
·         Signs of a Happy Dog

Stress to children that they should only pet happy dogs. You may think that your dog loves to have the children climbing all over him and hugging him, but if you see any of these signs, then you are being warned that a bite could occur if the dog feels he has no other way of defending himself. Do your dog and your child a favor and intervene if you notice any of these signs.

Signs that you should take very seriously that indicate that the dog is saying “I have been very patient with this child, but I am nearing the end of my patience”, include:
·         The dog gets up and moves away from the child
·         The dog turns his head away from the child
·         The dog looks at you with a pleading expression
·         You can see the “whites” of the dogs eyes, in a half moon shape
·         The dog yawns while the child approaches or is interacting with him
·         The dog licks his chops while the child approaches or is interacting with him
·         The dog suddenly starts scratching, biting or licking himself
·         The dog does a big “wet dog shake” after the child stops touching him

From For the Love of a Dog, by Patricia McConnell, PhD:
“I don’t know how many times broken-hearted clients have told me that Barney had been doing so well; he’d handled the noise and chaos of the family picnic all day long, but just when everyone was about to leave, he fell apart and snapped, or nipped, or bit…If people could just see the signs of exhaustion or worry on their dogs’ faces, there’d be a lot fewer bites in the world, a lot fewer tears, and a lot more dogs living to old age.”

Avoid Trigger Stacking
Again: dogs don’t bite “out of blue.” Sometimes nice dogs have just been subjected to one too many stressors and the result is a bite. Read this article by Casey Lomonaco that gives an example of how this stress load can accumulate and how a dog bite is like a games of Tetris:

“Bites are usually caused by an accumulation of stressors. Each time a dog is exposed to a stressor, stress hormones are dumped into the brain. These stress hormones are like the puzzle pieces in Tetris. They build up over time. You have to actively reduce the stress (like a Tetris player clearing lines) through management, desensitization, counter conditioning, and general stress reduction techniques. If you are not taking steps to reduce the stress, it begins to accumulate. The dumping of stress hormones into the brain leaves the dog increasingly sensitized to stressors, which replicates the puzzle pieces dropping faster and faster until you eventually reach the threshold. Soon, the dog bites. The game is over.”

Stressors vary in individual dogs. One dog may be stressed by loud noises, nail trimming, men with beards, foul weather and a bad diet. Another dog may not seemingly respond to these factors but is sensitive to visits to the vet’s office, small children, cats, people that smell like beer, dogs walking past the fenced in yard, and people approaching or entering the home. Every dog has stressors (commonly called “triggers”) and a big part of effective behavioral modification strategies is identifying these as accurately and thoroughly as possible, which allows behavior consultants and handlers to focus their efforts most efficiently. Stressors, like Tetris pieces, accumulate over time.

When the dog encounters one of his triggers, he might display low levels of stress such as sniffing the ground or a tongue flick or he may show aggression such as a freeze or a growl. When multiple stressors happen at the same time or very close together, they will have a cumulative effect on the dog’s bite threshold. This is called trigger stacking and it explains why a dog who has never bitten in the past bites, because he was pushed over his bite threshold.

Supervise, Supervise, Supervise
Never leave a child unattended with your pets. You want to be PROACTIVE and ACTIVE. Even if you are familiar with dog body language and communication, and know what to look for that indicates stress or conflict, always be proactive and active. And remember, dogs do NOT bite out of the blue.

“Supervision is not well understood,” said Dr. Ilana Reisner, a board-certified veterinary behaviorist and consultant on dog bite safety who recently presented tips for parents during a National Press Club event hosted by State Farm and the United States Postal Service. “Dog owners in general are lacking knowledge about what kinds of things dogs and children do that can be a risk. For example, they might go out of the room and prepare lunch while the child is alone with the dog maybe 10-20 feet away, and that’s not active supervision. If that’s one message we can get across I think it would prevent a lot of bites.”

Breed bias can also play a factor in dog bites to children. While breed bias often reflects unfounded fears toward breeds that may be a danger to our kids, it can also work the other way, when dogs considered to be “safe” are allowed to interact unsupervised with children.

“Just because you happen to have a dog that’s considered to be a great family pet doesn’t mean that it would be safe for a toddler to crawl up to that dog and give him a hug when he’s sleeping,” Dr. Reisner said.

Of course, proper interaction applies to adults as well. Check out this illustration by Doggie Drawings on how NOT to greet a dog.

And ALWAYS ask the person handling the dog if it’s OK to greet it before you walk up to it. Not every dog is OK with strangers coming up to them and that’s OK.

So, please remember:
·         Prevention is the way to go
·         Dogs don’t bite “out of the blue”: Learn to read a dog’s body language and teach children to only pet happy dogs
·         Supervise: Never leave a child unattended with your pets, ever!
·         Breed does not matter: Any dog can bite, regardless of breed. Just because a dog is a pug or a poodle doesn’t mean it won’t bite if pushed too

·         Know the triggers: Know your dog’s triggers and do your best to avoid putting him into those situations that just might push him too far. And

          watch out for overload of triggers. Set your dog up for success and avoid accumulation of stressors by taking your dog out of the situation
·         Respect the dog: Every dog has the right to say no. If your dog is saying “no,” you have to respect that. And teach your kids to respect that

At every moment of the day, your dog is giving you a status update. Understanding what a dog’s behavior is telling us and how our behavior may be interpreted by a dog is essential to reducing dog bites. Know when they look stressed, and be ready to remove them for the situation when necessary. You just need to look and your dog will tell you.

Because at the end, it’s the kid AND the dog that pay the price. All because of the clueless and careless parents.

Always remember to be your dog’s advocate. Let’s make your family and community safer through education and responsible pet ownership.

When it’s time to say goodbye, When you lose your loved one

The pet loss support page.
Anyone who considers a pet a beloved friend, companion, or family member knows the intense pain that accompanies the loss of that friend. Visit the Pet Loss Support page for some tips on coping with that grief, and with the difficult decisions one faces upon the loss of a pet.

  • Am I crazy to hurt so much?
  • What Can I Expect to Feel?
  • What can I do about my feelings?
  • Who can I talk to?
  • When is the right time to euthanize a pet?
  • Should I stay during euthanasia?
  • What do I do next?
  • What should I tell my children?
  • Will my other pets grieve?
  • Should I get a new pet right away?

Learn What To Do If You Find Kittens Outdoors
Learn what to do if you find kittens outdoors.  You could save a life! Learn what to do if you find kittens outdoors.


​​Why Spay and Neuter

Feral cats are victims of overpopulation

The decision to spay or neuter your pet is an important one for pet owners. It can be the single best decision you make for his long-term welfare. Getting your pet spayed or neutered can reduce the number of homeless pets killed, improve your pet’s heath, reduce unruly behavior and save on the cost of pet care.

In every community, in every state, there are homeless animals. In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted.
Your pet's health
A USA Today (May 7, 2013) article cites that pets who live in the states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest. According to the report, neutered male dogs live 18% longer than un-neutered male dogs and spayed female dogs live 23% longer than unspayed female dogs.

Part of the reduced lifespan of unaltered pets can be attributed to their increased urge to roam, exposing them to fights with other animals, getting struck by cars, and other mishaps.

Another contributor to the increased longevity of altered pets involves the reduced risk of certain types of cancers. Unspayed female cats and dogs have a far greater chance of developing pyrometra (a fatal uterine infection), uterine cancer, and other cancers of the reproductive system.  Male pets who are neutered eliminate their chances of getting testicular cancer, and it is thought they they have lowered rates of prostate cancer, as well.

Getting your pets spayed or neutered will NOT change their fundamental personality, like their protective instinct.
Curbing bad behavior
Unneutered dogs are much more assertive and prone to urine-marking (lifting his leg) than neutered dogs. Although it is most often associated with male dogs, females may do it, too. Spaying or neutering your dog should reduce urine-marking and may stop it altogether.

For cats, the urge to spray is extremely strong in an intact cat, and the simplest solution is to get yours neutered or spayed by 4 months of age before there's even a problem. Neutering solves 90 percent of all marking issues, even in cats that have been doing it for a while. It can also minimize howling, the urge to roam, and fighting with other males.

In both cats and dogs, the longer you wait, the greater the risk you run of the surgery not doing the trick because the behavior is so ingrained.

Other behavioral problems that can be ameliorated by spay/neuter include Roaming especially when females are "in heat.".  Aggression - Studies also show that most dogs bites involve dogs who are unaltered.  Excessive barking, mounting, and other dominance-related behaviors.

Cost cutting
When you factor in the long-term costs potentially incurred by a non-altered pet, the savings afforded by spay/neuter are clear (especially given the plethora of low-cost spay/neuter clinics)

Renewing your pet's license can be more expensive, too. Many counties have spay/neuter laws that require pets to be sterilized, or require people with unaltered pets to pay higher license renewal fees.
Spaying and neutering are good for rabbits, too
Part of being conscientious about the pet overpopulation problem is to spay or neuter your pet rabbits, too. Rabbits reproduce faster than dogs or cats and often end up in shelters, where they must be euthanized. Neutering male rabbits can reduce hormone-driven behavior such as lunging, mounting, spraying, and boxing.

And just as with dogs and cats, spayed female rabbits are less likely to get ovarian, mammary, and uterine cancers, which can be prevalent in mature females.

Millions of pet deaths each year are a needless tragedy. By spaying and neutering your pet, you can be an important part of the solution. Contact your veterinarian today and be sure to let your family and friends know that they should do the same.

Heat Stroke Symptoms

Pet Poisoning

Immediate Care
Call the Pet Poison Helpline (1-855-213-6680) or your veterinarian immediately upon ingestion or exposure to a known or possible toxin.  Moreover, do not induce vomiting or offer any antidotes without the advice of a veterinarian, toxicologist, or poison control specialist.
1.       Keep your dog away from work areas where contaminants are used.
2.       If you can’t keep your dog away, ensure all chemicals are safely contained and stored out of reach of inquisitive paws and noses.
3.       Do not keep poisonous plants in or around your home and watch for them while taking your dog outside.
4.       If you use insecticides and/or rodenticides, follow the instructions carefully and make sure the dog cannot reach the treated area(s). The same

          goes for dog-specific insecticides (flea and tick collars, shampoos, etc.)
5.       Keep human medications stored in a safe and secure location. Label them carefully and keep count of how many are in each container. This

          information will be extremely useful in case of ingestion or an overdose.

Bufo Toad Poisoning

What is Toad Poisoning?
There are at least nine species of toads which can poison your dog or cat.  The only one of real significance in our area is the one which will be discussed below.  In the summer months local animal emergency clinics receive two or three calls per night with regard to toad poisoning.

A typical animal case report involves a dog or cat that finds a slow hopping toad and mouths the animal playfully.  The pet usually experiences immediate salivation and irritation of the mucus membranes of the mouth and throat.  If the pet eats the toad or otherwise receives a large quantity to toxin, vomiting, seizures and death may follow in as little as 15 minutes.  Even a toad that sits in a dog's watering dish for some time may leave enough toxin to make the pet ill.  Although the toxicity varies considerably by the toad species and its geographic location, the death rate for untreated animals exposed to Bufo Marinus is extremely high in Florida.

Bufo Marinus (Cane Toad, Giant Toad or Bufo Toad)
This large toad (4" to 9.5") is found in Southern Florida and is seen most frequently during warmer and wetter months of the year particularly at night and often around the perimeter of buildings.  Originally released in Florida's sugar cane fields in 1935 to help control rats and mice, it is now   commonly found in South Florida yards.  It breeds year round in standing water, streams, canals and ditches.  A female can lay 35, 000 eggs in one season and the toads can live 10-15 years in the wild.  They lives primarily on roaches, beetles and other large insects but will eat anything they can put into their mouths.  The bufo toad has no natural predators and has multiplied to staggering numbers in recent years.  It is rather sluggish, hopping only when bothered or when seeking new feeding grounds.  The bufo also appears to be territorial and if relocated only a short distance away will soon find its way back to its original location.  The bufo is considered an exotic rather than a native Florida species of toad, so there is no legal penalty for relocating or humanely killing them.  When the toad is threatened, it secretes a highly toxic milky substance from the parotid glands on the sides of its head.  This secretion will burn eyes, may inflame the skin and can kill dogs and cats if ingested.  When a dog or cat bites or mouths the toad, the poison enters the animal's system rapidly through the membranes of the mouth and the effects will be seen almost immediately.

Degree of development of symptoms and their severity is dependent upon the amount of toxin absorbed.  The basic symptoms are as follows:
1.  Profuse salivation (drooling) is seen immediately.
2.  Constant head shaking occurs with the salivation.
3.  Crying as if in pain may sometimes be noted.
4.  Lack of coordination and staggering will occur in moderate intoxication.
5.  Inability to stand or walk develops with more serious poisoning.
6.  Convulsions and death can occur in very serious cases.
Other toxins or medical conditions may affect dogs in a similar manner.  Therefore, it is very important to know if at all possible, whether it is likely that exposure to toads of this species have occurred just prior to the onset of symptoms.

First Aid
If you know or strongly suspect that your dog or cat has been poisoned by this toad, IMMEDIATELY flush out his mouth with water.  Rinse the animal's mouth for approximately five minutes.  The safest way to do this is with a dripping wet washcloth while angling the animal so that the water will drain out of the mouth instead of down its throat.  Extreme care should be taken that the animal does not swallow the rinse water.

At present, no medicines commonly found in the home are considered of any value in first aid treatment of this condition.  It is important to obtain the services of your veterinarian to give specific antidotes by injection as soon as possible, especially when there is any doubt about how severely poisoned your pet may be.  Remember, too, that the smaller the dog or cat, the greater the possibility of serious toxicity.   Since most toad poisonings occur in the evening or night time hours, call your nearest animal emergency clinic for assistance. 

Particularly during the summer months it is prudent to be vigilant when allowing dogs outdoors or when going on walks in the evenings. Although young , curious puppies or dogs with high prey drive such as terriers are frequently the victims of toad poisoning, any dog or cat can be at risk.  I have also heard of dogs that have survived one toad poisoning only be poisoned again at a later date.  Perhaps the best way to prevent poisoning by this deadly exotic is to not allow your dog or cat out unattended during the warm evenings of late spring and summer.  Consider leash walking your dog for nighttime potty breaks or walk out in the yard with him with a flashlight so that you can see toads that may be in the yard.  Consider teaching your dog a "Leave It" signal in the event he is seen investigating something at night that is out of your range of sight.  Also, pick up any outdoor water bowls at night as the toads like to climb in and soak themselves.  As with many dangers to your pet, an ounce of prevention is better than a frantic trip to the animal emergency clinic...or worse. 

​​​Loxahatchee Lost and Found Pets

Loxahatchee Lost and Found Pets

​​Pet Safety Tips

General Safety Rules
There are several tips you can follow to help keep your pet safe. Here are a few:
·         Don't let your dog ride in an open truck bed
·         Keep your pet's head and paws inside the car
·         Check your pet's collar regularly
·         Don't let your cat play with string
·         Keep your cat indoors

Don't Let Your Dog Ride In An Open Truck Bed
·         Any sudden start, stop, or turn may toss your pet onto the highway where it can get hit by oncoming traffic. It is estimated that at least 100,000

          dogs die this way each year.
·         Open truck beds do not provide any protection from the weather. Hot sun can heat the metal floor of a truck bed enough to burn a pet's paw

          pads. A dog left sitting in the broiling sun without water or shade may suffer from heat stroke before long.
·         Do not leash your pet inside the truck bed -- many dogs have been strangled when tossed or bumped over the side of the truck and been left

          helplessly dangling.
·         If your dog must ride in the back of the truck, put the pet inside a crate that will give it some protection from the wind and weather. Tie the

          crate securely to the walls of the truck bed, so it cannot slide about or be tossed out of the truck.

Keep Head and Paws Inside the Car
·         Although most dogs love to stick their heads out open windows, wind can seriously irritate mucous membranes and blow pieces of grit into

          their eyes.
·         Insects or flying debris can also lodge in the nasal passages or get sucked into the windpipe.
·         It may require veterinary attention to remove the foreign material, which could cause permanent damage.

Check Your Pet's Collar Regularly
Collars do not expand, but puppies and kittens grow quickly! If not loosened, collars can literally grow right into your pet's neck, creating an excruciating, constant pain. Check your pet's collars at least every week until it is full-grown (that can be more than a year for really large breeds of dog). You should be able to easily slip two or three fingers between the pet's collar and their neck.
It’s vital that you put a collar and an ID on your young pet, just in case he slips by you and gets lost. Get tips on choosing a cat collar and choosing dog collar.

Don't Let Your Cat Play With a String
Although a cat playing with yarn can be cute to watch, it can cause serious problems for the health of your cat! Why are cats attracted to string?
Cats have an instinctual desire to stalk anything that moves. They like string, thread, yam, Christmas tree tinsel, ribbon, even shoelaces. This can be great fun to encourage if you supervise their play.

How to avoid death through play
·         Supervise the cat's play with items it can choke on.
·         Put all tinsel and string out of the reach of your pet.
·         Both dogs and cats can choke on small toys, toys that have items that can fall off such as eyes, or string that has been used to tie meat for


What to do if the string has been swallowed
·         If you see the string hanging from the animal's mouth, do not pull it out. The pulling could cause the taut string to saw through an intestinal

          wall, possibly subjecting the animal to peritonitis.
·         Immediately take your pet to a veterinarian!

Keep Your Cat Indoors
It's a fact that an inside cat lives a longer, healthier life than the kitty that puts paws to the pavement. Outdoor cats face dozens of dangers, including cars, other cats ready to fight for love or territory, and exposure to fleas, ticks, worms, as well as sickness or death from eating spoiled food or household poisons.
·         More visits to the veterinarian

Outdoor cats need to see the veterinarian more often than indoor cats, and that means higher vet bills. Fleas, ticks, worms, abscesses, cuts, diarrhea, a dull coat, and weight loss are all signs of trouble and are most often seen in outdoor cats.
·         Outdoor cats are more prone to get lost

Not all outdoor cats can find their way home. It just takes one time to get lost.