North Fort Myers woman’s dogs survive cane toad scare

A neighbor’s dogs recently came into contact with a poisonous amphibian.

Lindsey Lagasse of North Fort Myers was in for a scary shock when her pet dogs started showing signs that something wasn’t all right. Her pups had come in contact with a 4-pound cane toad.

“One had a seizure,” Lagasse said. “The other one had a seizure unlike you’d ever seen. Their bodies completely tighten up; they fall to the ground; their mouths close, and they’re almost dead.”

She nearly lost all three of her pets because of the episode.

“It was completely traumatic,” Lagasse said. “I just assumed that they had a lizard in their mouth, and my little girl yelled and said, ‘Mommy it’s a big frog.’”

Lagasse said she doesn’t remember rushing her Yorkshire terriers to the Animal ER of Southwest Florida in Cape Coral.

“I just screamed,” Lagasse said. “I said, ‘My dogs are dying; my dogs are dying.”

Vets like Kimberley Vanorsdell said depending on the amount of venom, cane toads can be deadly to pets.

“We’re able to intervene and save most of them,” Vanosdell said. “It’s very treatable, but you need to act on it very quickly.”

Vets at Animal ER said pets can come in contact with can toads all year, and they commonly treat cases in Lee County.

Lagasse said her Yorkies won’t be going outside without her.

“We were so lucky to have saved them the way we did,” Lagasse said.

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Reporter:Gina Tomlinson
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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