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Dog Swallows Toxic Toad

Rugby league star Jackson Crews and his dog Bella.

As Bella, a three-year-old pooch from Australia, munched away on scraps given to her by her owner, rugby league star Jackson Crews, she did not notice that an unwelcomed visitor had climbed onto her food. Crews did notice, but it was too late. Bella had eaten the visitor and had swallowed it whole.

The visitor was a toxic Cane toad that is well known in Australia as being highly poisonous and having the ability to kill an animal within 20 minutes. When under stress or being attacked, the Cane toad releases deadly toxins which can easily kill a large dog. The Cane toad was imported from Hawaii to combat the Cane beetle, but was unsuccessful. The toads also breed like flies and since they have no natural predators because of their toxicity, their numbers have greatly increased. They are considered one of Australia's worst environmental disasters.

Bella's owner rushed her to the emergency vet where she was immediately given an injection to make her vomit. Although her dinner came up, the toad did not. Bella was then given a second injection and after 40 minutes, up and out came the whole toad. Even more amazing was that after a few minutes, the toad began moving. The toad has been named "Spew" and is being kept at the animal hospital.

Bella is one lucky dog. Dead snakes have been found with unswallowed Cane toads still in their mouths. Scientists believe that hundreds of dogs and cats in Australia's Northwest Territory have been killed by the toxins given off by the Cane toad. Crews believes that it was Bella's greed that saved her life. "She swallowed it whole – that's probably why she survived."