15 May, 2013

Bit of a Follow-up to F, & T, & Cats, Oh My

Yesterday, the day after Nelson's foaming episode, I stopped in to see Dr. Sheila about an unrelated matter.

Of course, I asked her about young Nelson and if we had done the right thing. We had. Sheila said the toxins for both cane toads and other poisonous frogs here in Belize easily enters the body through the mucous membranes (the mouth). That's partly why it's so important to rinse out the victim's mouth - to dilute and get rid of the toxins in the mouth. The other thing that water does is helps cool the body, as both cats and dogs have inefficient cooling mechanisms (they pant instead of sweat). In fact, this advice pertains equally to dogs and cats. The toxins cause the victim's heart rate to elevate, among other things, and help raise the body temperature.

This can become critical if the victim encounters the frog or toad, and because of resultant convulsions, etc., they become overly exposed to the sun and heat before you become involved in the situation.

One of the items I read online said to use a hose to rinse out the victim's mouth. That should be OK for a larger animal, but for a cat, it might be overkill. What Sheila recommends is having a bottle about the size of a used dish soap bottle on hand (well cleaned out) and filled with water that you can then rinse out the mouth with a little more gentle flow of water.

In most cases, this is about all the treatment you can do. Again, make sure to keep the victim cool.

Also, Sheila said if they continue to convulse or jump around the way Nelson did initially, you can bring the victim in to her clinic and she can sedate them to try and get them calmed down.

Pretty much, at this stage, they're either going to survive or not. There's not really anything else that can be done. She also said, cats seem to learn after the first episode, that it's a good idea to leave frogs and toads alone - at least not to try and eat them. Some dogs, on the other hand, learn a much harder lesson and repeat time after time.

So, we did the right thing and Nelson helped by calming down and sleeping it off. What a relief.

I guess by way of disclaimer, that this information, I gratuitously termed 'advice' above, should be considered little more than well-intentioned gossip. If you follow it , you do so at your or your dog or cat's peril. Check with your family Vet. Your situation may be completely different. If nothing else, you've got a rough guide to follow till you can reach competent veterinary medical care.


Vivien said...

Glad he is okay now.

JRinSC said...

Had a cat named Sam (for Samantha) and she just loved to stalk frogs around our pond.

Then she caught one -- and that's the only time I've ever seen a cat spit. I mean, really spit -- several times. The frog hopped into the pond and Sam never stalked another frog. Poor thing.

Glad Nelson is ok!


Mr. Pancho said...

I'll be in Corozal the 27th-30th and would love to meet you. I don't have any snow to bring along with me because Kansas is 75 degrees now! How can I hook up with you?

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Dave Rider said...

Hi Mr. Pancho,

Good question. Probably the easiest is if you're familiar with the Belize Forums (, is to send me a private message.
If you're not a member of the forums, and you're thinking of living in Belize, you should be. There's a ton of good info there. Also a lot of flame wars but that's easy to avoid.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Jaxon,

Thanks for the nice comment. I'm glad you like the blog.


Dave Rider said...

Hi Julian,

I think if Nelson had thought of it, he would have been spitting too. Knock on wood, we haven't had any repeats.