Monday, August 28, 2006

It has been a couple of overdue days since my last update so I thought I would just start typing and hopefully something of interest would just surface. Looks like Ernesto will not be much of a hurricane, (putting that in print is asking for trouble), good thing as I noticed the shelves were bare in the water department. I (as many Floridians do I suppose), had a yearly ritual of buying ungodly amounts of inedible spaghetti o's and other creative pasta creations in a can and holding on to them for the four to five month span they dub as Hurricane Season then dumping them on the postman during the mail carriers food drive which is conveniently a month or so after. This year I have strayed out of boredom or maybe just the realization that when and if the electric goes down it is the items in the freezer that are used first if not only,(gas grills).So here I sit completely unprepared if Ernesto has a change of heart or a second wind, pun intended. Won't the kids be happy to know that the box of goldfish and the bag of twizzlers will be considered a meal in that case.

So if it were up to me I would kill Karr anyway he's a freak and a perv and quite frankly needs to be out of the gene pool before he weds anymore ten year olds.

From Public Health Dispatch, August 2006:

An illustrated step-by-step guide for do-it-yourselfers and contractors entitled, Creating a Healthy Home: A Field Guide for Clean-Up of Flooded Homes
is available online from:

I received my book for my upcoming class, "Fundamentals of Industrial hygiene". I could only gasp and swear and wonder how the hell the University of North Carolina plans on covering this beast of a book in one month online and when was the last time I even looked at a logarithm?!
Maybe they are justifying the 1000 dollar price tag with a large impressive looking book?!! ( state footing the bill). Hopefully it's bark is worse than its bite,Lest I become less present.

I walked out my front door one day and saw this enormous toad eating my cat food I was freaked and repulsed. So its The flying roaches, the yellow grasshoppers as big as a shoe, and the friggin cane toad, the three animals that send a shiver down my spine. In Australia they had a national cane toad day in which they preyed upon the critters with cricket bats. PETA would have a field day. It is human error that brings this pesky oversized hopper to plague us just like the gypsy moth and the friggin love bugs.

The good, bad and ugly about cane toads
By Janis Fontaine
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Scientific name: Bufo marinus. Also called the cane toad, giant toad or marine toad.
Native to: An area extending from Mexico and Central America to the Amazon Basin.
Original purpose: The toad was originally released in sugar cane fields to help control rats and mice. It's now commonly found in South Florida yards. It breeds year-round in standing water, streams, canals and ditches.
Florida's first giant toad population was established in 1955 by an accidental release at Miami International Airport. Specimens imported by a pet dealer escaped and spread through canals to other areas.
Danger to pets: Because the giant toads are too large and slow to flee predators, they defend themselves by secreting a milky toxin from their parotid glands located behind the head. The poison is highly toxic to most animals and produces pain and local inflammation. The alkaloid toxin is both a neurotoxin which causes seizures and a cardiac toxin which causes heart failure. Most predators are quickly killed after ingesting this substance. Dogs and cats, depending on their size, may die in just a few hours. "There is enough toxin in the skin of a large toad to kill a 150-pound dog if it is ingested. Just licking the skin of a toad can result in the absorption of enough toxin to kill a small dog or cat. A toad that sits in a dog's watering dish for some time may leave enough toxin to make a dog ill," said Dr. Michael Stephan.
Food: Bufos are omnivorous and will eat whatever they can find including small amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals. And they love cat and dog food. Leaving dog food outside will attract the toads to your home, putting them right in your dog's way.
Control: Giant toads, which eat millions of insects, are beneficial for the gardener and homeowner in general. They are poisonous, but won't attack your pet. Giant toads can be disposed of humanely by placing them in a plastic container (or bag) in the freezer for three days and then burying the carcasses. If you do not wish to handle the toads, contact a local nuisance animal trapper. "Prevention is the best medicine," Stephan says. "Keep your pets on a leash at night and walk them rather than letting them run unattended. This will enable you to steer them away from toads along your route. Be sure that you bring in your pet's food and water dishes at night. Toads thrive on dog and cat food, and if food is consistently left out, a toad will make a regular stop at your house."
Symptoms of giant toad poisoning: Profuse salivation or drooling, head-shaking, crying, loss of coordination, and, in more serious cases, convulsions. The dog's (or cat's) gums often turn red, an indicator used by veterinarians to distinguish toad poisoning from epilepsy. Pet owners should be familiar with their pet's normal gum color.
Treating your pet for Bufo poisoning: "Rinse their mouth as soon as possible with large amounts of water," Stephan says. "This is best accomplished with a garden hose." Run water in the dog's or cat's mouth, pointing the animal's head downward so water isn't swallowed, as they will be swallowing the toxins as well.
Be careful not to drown your pet with too much water. If your pet has eaten the toad, after rinsing its mouth, you may need to induce vomiting with syrup of ipecac or hydrogen peroxide. As soon as you have administered first aid, seek medical attention. It takes less than 20 minutes from the time the toxin is ingested to full-blown, life-threatening symptoms.


Pam said...

For you frogs, for me snakes. I have a nest of ringneck snakes living by my front door. Although technically harmless they don't need to be living by my door. One even made it's way in! Any hints on removal of these creatures would be greatly appreciated! ...I'd rather have the frog.

maggie said...

Pam our own Robert, ESI soon to be ESII breeds reptiles and would be happy to relocate the snakes for you. I love frogs though and all other reptiles it is this giant toad that I just can't love. I guess cause they are so deadly to dogs and small children. I almost went to graduate school to study frogs. Hurray for the Indicator Species, Pooh to Invasive huge breeds.

Megan said...

Blech! I love frogs...tree frogs! A friend of mine lost her 85 lb. dog to one of these cane frogs. He was only 4 years old. Very sad.

maggie said...

I love frogs too but I am so paradoid that those steroid invaders will poison my zoo here that i hold them in disgust. I should note the humane way to dispose of them is get em in a bag and put them in the freezer and they will take the big sleep. Just take them out before hubby decides to grill them up.

beth said...

Hey maggie,
If ya need help with logarithms, ya can borrow my calculus notebook or well technically I spose I can email you the pages ya need. But only if ya want.