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We’re seeing a lot of rain these days which means the invasive and toxic cane toad population is exploding here in Southwest Florida.

A cane toad’s toxins can be potentially deadly to your pet in as little as 15 minutes without proper treatment. Ingesting or licking a cane toad can cause these symptoms: an animal may start acting strangely with frantic or disoriented behavior, may have brick-red gums, seizures, and foaming of the mouth.

It’s recommended to immediately wash out your pets mouth with water spraying out and wipe gums and tongue to remove the milky, white toxin and contact your veterinarian.

Recognizing the difference between an invasive cane toad and a native southern toad isn’t as easy as it looks. The City of Naples offers a few tips on its website to help determine the difference.

“Cane toads are in the family Bufonidae along with Southern toads and Oak toads. The Eastern Spadefoot toad is in a different scientific family, but shares general features. Cane toads live on the ground and do not climb well, have stout bodies with short legs, and have triangular poison glands tapering back to a point on their shoulders. Cane toads may be larger than three inches, have no knobs or crests on top of their heads, and have ridges around their eyes and above their nose,” according to the website.

Photo via http://bugwoodcloud.org

Katherine Viloria is Beasley Media Group's Fort Myers Digital Content Manager. She loves to write, snap photos, and watch Grey's Anatomy. Connect with her on Instagram @alittlethisalittlekat