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An invasive toad species are in high population in South Florida now that the rainy season is here, which means pets could come into contact with them.
The Cane toad, also called giant or Bufo toads, secrete a milky-white toxin on their skin that can get dogs and cats sick if they bite or eat them.
These toads are mostly found in yards near canals and ponds and have a reddish-brown to grayish-brown color with a yellow belly, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The toads can grow from 6 to 9 inches long and breed year-long in standing water, streams, canals and ditches.
The Cane toad first made its mark in South Florida in the 1930s to help get rid of agricultural pests, but their population became fully established when pet traders let them loose in the 1950s, according to the FWC. Its native range is the Amazon basin in South America, north to the lower Rio Grande Valley in southern Texas.
Veterinarians said if a dog licks a Cane toad, it can get seizures, have heart problems or even die, WTVJ reported. If a pet owner believes their dog or cat has come into contact with a toad, they should wash their pet’s mouth out immediately and call a veterinarian.
Read more at NBCMiami.com.