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Monday, 16 December 2013

Dogs licking poisonous toads to get high -

Dogs licking poisonous toads to get high - 

Queensland dogs addicted to hallucinogenic sweat found on the backs of toads are hunting down the creatures to get their fix.

Vets warn that some dogs are risking their lives for the cheap thrill, with an increasing number of repeat offenders – dubbed "serial lickers" – treated for cane toad poisoning several times a year.

And with the wet season approaching, dog owners are being urged to help their pets kick the deadly addiction before it's too late. Nikita Den Engelse, 27, of Hemmant, is one such owner, after she found her best friend frothing at the mouth and trembling on two separate occasions. 

"The vet told me dogs will lick toads because it gives them hallucinations from it," she said. "I pretty much cried the whole time. I was thinking 'oh God'. I was concerned he was going to die." The dog is now in diversion therapy, being kept inside, as he recovers from his latest overdose. 

While it is impossible to say whether a dog or cat is having a hallucination, some tell-tale signs include vacant staring and unprovoked responses, Jonathon Cochrane from the University of Queensland's School of Veterinary Science explained. 

Owners are encouraged to keep serial lickers indoors, especially at night and when it is raining.

Queensland dogs are getting high by licking the poison off cane toads.
Vets are warning some pooches may become addicted to the hallucinogenic and are risking their lives trying to get their next toad fix.
It's being reported the dogs have worked out how to lick the toad just enough to get high.
"This phenomenon of animals deliberately getting intoxicated by cane toads, it's fascinating," says veterinarian Megan Pickering. "It just seems unbelievable that an animal will go back for a second try.

"But nevertheless we do have many documented cases of patients who deliberately - on a regular basis - will seek out a toad and they seem to be able to lick the toad in such a way that they seem to get a very small dose."
Ms Pickering claims the dogs become addicts, putting their lives at serious risk.
One dog was recently found frothing and trembling.
The serial licking was first reported in the Northern Territory in 2005. But no one really listened. Now it has spread to Queensland and is back in the headlines.
Vets insist it's a true story and a real problem – they're warning dog owners to keep their loved ones inside, away from temptation.

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