Toad Licking Dogs

by Azreel | May 14th, 2006

Originally from World News.

Dogs in Australia’s Northern Territory are becoming addicted to hallucinogenic cane toad poison, according to local vets. Desperate for a canine high, dogs have been seen licking the backs of cane toads for the poison secreted from their glands.

Megan Pickering, a veterinarian in the town of Katherine, claims to have seen many cases of dogs affected by the deadly toad poison. “There seems to be dogs that are licking the toxin to get high,” she told the local newspaper. “They lick the toads and only take in a small amount of the poison. They get a smile on their face and look like they are going to wander off into the sunset.” She said she has recently treated dozens of dogs suffering from the effects of bufotoxin.

Ms. Pickering said she believes some of the dogs are becoming addicted, as she has seen them “going back to have a second go.” It seems some of them have tasted it in small doses, but there are others that have had more toxin. Despite this, they go back and do it again. Evidence of “tripping” dogs include fitting, running in circles, having bright red gums, and frothing at the mouth.

Wildlife officers have advised owners to wash their pet’s mouth out with water as quickly as possible if they exhibit these symptoms. They say they get more inquiries about safeguarding pets from toads than on any other wildlife topic. Owners are advised to keep dogs and cats inside at night, warn and train them against tackling toads, and keep toads out of the yard.

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