By: Jen Russon
What was supposed to be a quiet, moonlit walk with his dogs turned into a frantic night fighting for his Goldendoodle’s life.
At approximately 11 p.m. Monday, Brian Rosaler’s dog, Baylee, encountered a poisonous cane toad in the bushes behind their Heron Bay home.
“She started foaming at the mouth immediately. At least I was able to stop the 9-week-old puppy from going in there, too. I got a good look at the toad but didn’t manage to get a picture,” said Rosaler.
The attorney has lived in South Florida all his life and said he’s used to alligators and other reptiles posing a threat to his pets.
What saved Baylee, at least according to the vet, was her size. Weighing in at 50 pounds, the six-year-old Goldendoodle didn’t manage to ingest enough poison doctors said would have killed a smaller dog.
“Just as soon she licked the toad, I wiped Baylee’s mouth with a rag to try to get the poison out, but she had started seizing when I rushed her to the ER,” he said.
He almost drove to the Coral Springs Animal Hospital barefoot but remembered to put on flip-flops before speeding off.
Doctors on call at the 24-hour emergency clinic admitted Baylee on a gurney; the first thing they did was administer anti-seizure medicine to bring down her temperature, as poison from the cane toad usually spikes a fever.
The cane toad, also known as the bufo, giant or marine toad, is a large, nonnative amphibian, considered an invasive species in Florida. Known to breed in rainy weather, Florida wildlife officials advise residents to humanely kill the toads; ingesting poison from a cane toad can kill a dog or cat within 15 minutes.
Baylee incurred a bill of almost $2,500 after being discharged within 24 hours of her ordeal.
“She’s resting comfortably, no sign of any neurological damage. I want to thank everyone at Coral Springs Animal Hospital for saving her life,” he said.
He added he and his wife intend to protect their family, four-legged members and all, by having a professional company come to their house and remove cane toads this week.
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