ARIZONA BACKYARD DANGERS
Small Dangers - BEWARE!
'There are various toads that live in the desert, most of which will do little more than cause stomach upset and mild discomfort to your Cavalier should they come in contact. But there is one extremely dangerous toa that is so toxic, it could potentially kill, and that is the:
Sonoran Desert Toad (sometimes called a Bullfrog, or also known as the Colorado River Toad)
This toad will come out usually after a good rain and during the night. To a Cavalier, toads are attractive mostly due to their tendency, first to hop, and then to stay still. After movement captures attention, the naturally curious Cavalier will no doubt investigate this seemingly docile creature. First a sniff...then a lick. Upon licking and mouthing, a toxic substance which covers the toad's body, will enter a Cavalier's system through the mucus membranes. The poison will make your Cavalier very sick within only minutes.
SYMPTOMS THAT CAN OCCUR:
Frothing at the mouth
Deep red gums (sometimes referred to as "red brick gums"
Pain, often pawing at the mouth or vocalizing
Vomiting and diarrhea
Neuro signs, such as "drunken walking", shaking, and seizures
WHAT TO DO: Immediately rinse your Cavalier's mouth thoroughly with water...
THEN TAKE YOUR CAVALIER TO THE VET!
THIS IS AN EMERGENCY SITUATION AND YOU CANNOT WAIT!
GO TO THE NEAREST ER VET IF IT IS AFTER HOURS!
Your Cavalier will need to be admitted and given supportive care, which will be medications to address seizures and/or shaking, and fluids for shock, possible fever, and for cardiac support.
Most common, of course, is the Rattlesnake, most commonly the "diamondback". But this is not the only variety of rattlesnake to be aware of. There are several others, depending on the area in which you live. For complete identification and additional important information, including rattlesnake aversion training, please visit: https://rattlesnakesolutions.com/snake-information/reptiles-of-arizona.php
Human antivenin is what is used, but it is not readily available at all clinics. Allergic reaction to the antivenin does occur. It is best to discuss options BEFORE a bite occurs and have a plan in place for if and when.
These creepy critters are everywhere. They hide under debris and in cool hidden away places. They can be seen during the day, but prefer the night to come out to hunt for insects. Your best defense against scorpions is with a local exterminator. Spraying your house and yard regularly will kill off scorpions as well as help control other pesky insects.
WHAT TO DO:
If you can locate the stinger and safely remove it, do so using tweezers. Put the stinger in a container — it could be used to identify the type of scorpion that stung your pet.
Wash the affected area with cool water and then apply a cool compress (not ice) for ten minutes. When that time is up, let the sting breathe for ten minutes and then reapply the compress for another ten minutes.
If you can safely catch the scorpion (or if it’s dead) bring it along to the vet for identification. Knowing the type of scorpion will help assess the severity of the situation.
Spiders are yet another creepy crawly most of us would rather not see. The 2 spiders considered the most dangerous in Arizona are the brown recluse (Loxosceles) and the black widow spider (Latrodectus). Both can cause disease in our Cavaliers. The brown recluse bite will cause very severe local tissue destruction (necrosis) and the black widow bite will cause intense pain and neurological signs including muscle weakness and paralysis.
WHAT TO DO:
If you suspect your Cavalier has been bitten by a spider, get to a vet or ER clinic immediately. Again, supportive care will be necessary.
Author: Angela Schuller
Disclaimer: As a breeder who cares deeply for my dogs and puppies I act as responsibly as I can. The information provided is intended to inform and help to lessen the alarm when MVD becomes a topic with your veterinarian. Ultimately, once a puppy leaves my home relinquished to an owner's care, owners must then take on the responsibility for their decisions. As always, if your pet has an urgent medical concern, please consult your veterinarian. Finally, as your trusted breeder, I am always available to offer support and answer questions
"Figure 1" jpg, Rattlesnake Solutions Inc. Website; https://rattlesnakesolutions.com/snakeblog/science-and-education/dangerously-toxic-toads-how-to-identify-them-and-what-to-do/ also rattlesnake information, Accessed 27 July 2023
A-Z Animals Website; https://a-z-animals.com/blog/discover-the-most-dangerous-deadliest-animals-in-arizona/ also "Figure 2"jpg, Accessed 27 July, 2023
GoPetFriendly Website; https://www.gopetfriendly.com/blog/what-to-do-if-your-dog-gets-stung-by-a-scorpion/,