Phoenix woman saved her dog from toxic toad weeks before monsoon began

Phoenix woman saved her dog from toxic toad weeks before monsoon began

Monsoon is here so if you have pets, especially dogs, it's time to keep an eye out for toads.

Not just any toad, but the Sonoran Desert toad, also known as the Colorado River toad. These toads are known to kill dogs in the Phoenix area during monsoon.

Shelley Nelson, a teacher from Phoenix, recently had a scary encounter after her dog Buddha came in contact with a toad.

"It was probably about 8:30 at night, and I had let him out in the night to go outside before bed," said Shelley.

Shelley says that this night was way before monsoon started and it hadn't rained recently in the Phoenix area, making it an odd time for toads to be appearing.

"He was probably outside for 10 to 15 minutes and then I had my son Tyler go check on him because he (Buddha) can get into trouble," she said. "My son came running back in and my son said 'Mom! Buddha's got a toad.'"

She says once she got to her beloved dog, 2-year-old Buddha was already foaming at the mouth.

"Immediately I had my son grab the garden hose (and) start flushing his mouth out," said Shelley.

Five minutes later, her dog Buddha could just not walk and all his muscles became tense.

Shelley was a vet technician for many years prior to becoming a teacher, so she was familiar with what to do if a dog had an encounter with a toad.

Immediately, she rushed Buddha to the emergency room.

"They started giving him some fluids, they started to flush his mouth out some more and within five minutes they came out and said, 'You know, we are a little concerned -- his temperature is 106," said Shelley.

That is way too high for a dog.

Doctors treated Buddha and within an hour he could walk again and his fever was down. Two days later, he was himself again.

Shelley says that the vet did congratulate her for flushing her dog's mouth with water right away, saying that it helped Buddha.

Shelly's neighbors told her they had seen toads in the area before Buddha's encounter. Shelley says how she is not sure if it was in fact the Sonoran Desert toad, but she's taking precautions to protect Buddha anyway after his incident.

To keep Buddha and the rest of her four dogs safe, she and her son do "nightly toad checks" now.

"We'll go out and look around the backyard. We have a little kiddie swimming pool that we bought just for the dogs and we make sure we look in there. We look around the whole entire backyard where we think they might be hiding," said Shelley.

Shelley urges pet owners to be familiar with how to spot a toad because you never know how much damage they could do to a beloved pet.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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