Edgewood Animal Clinic

1708 East Edgewood Drive
Lakeland, FL 33803




Cane Toad Warning


Picture is not of a cane toad.


Dangerously Poisonous Toads Are Here!

Bufo Marinus is the name of this creature better know as the Cane Toad. It can range in color from brownish green to reddish yellow and in size from four to nine inches with the female being larger with weights up to 4.5 pounds. The areas around the nose and eyes appear "bony" with swollen areas behind the ear drum that stores the poison in glands. The front toes are not webbed as the back are.

They originated in Central and South America and were used in Hawaiian sugar cane fields to help control beetles. Australia imported them in 1935 and they have been spreading out at a rapid rate of 20 to 30 miles per year. They are very adaptable to areas ranging from fresh water ponds and lakes to brackish rivers. They are now found in dryer regions including around deserts. They reach maturity at 12 to 18 months of age and live from 5 to 15 years.  The female lays 8 to 35 THOUSAND eggs TWICE yearly of which .5% live and are poisonous from egg until death. Their diet consists of bugs, insects, other toads,and pet food left out on porches!! Unfortunately, there are very few known predators that can sustain it's poison and help reduce its numbers.

The mix of deadly toxins is throughout its body and secreted through the parotoid gland located over its shoulders.  When threatened, the toad will turn sideways to present that gland towards it's victim and can squirt a fine, milky mist when roughly handled, licked or bitten.  Once ingested through nose, mouth or even eyes the indication of poisoning is salivation, twitching, vomiting, shortness of breath, and collapsed hind legs. Animals can die within 15 minutes of serious exposure. Humans rarely die from exposure but can experience blindness, inflammation and serious pain. Fatality has occurred from ingesting the toad and its eggs. If pet exposure is suspected flush area profusely with  water and rush animal to your veterinarian. There is no known cure but side affects such as lower body temperature and heart irregularities can be medically treated in hopes of recovery.

DO NOT HANDLE without the use of gloves, goggles, tools and a secure container to remove from your environment. Call Florida Fish and Game wildlife emergency number at 888-404-3922 for further instructions.

Please read the article published by the Lakeland Ledger. http://www.theledger.com/article/20110709/news/110709421?p=2&tc=pg