It is said that cats have nine lives. If this is indeed true, Genny is rapidly using them up. She certainly is chipping away at the only one I have.
This morning she had an encounter with a cane toad, known here as sapo grande. The scientific name is Bufo marinus. They look like this ....
.... and this was a small one that I photographed a year ago. They are poisonous - as eggs, as tadpoles, as adults. The venom is secreted or possibly squirted.
At around 6:30 am today, Lance saw Genny backing away from a toad and she ran up onto the patio. Sure enough, she started drooling profuse salivation which told us she had contacted the venom. We had educated ourselves on what to do for a cat if this happens so we immediately washed her mouth out with two large glasses of water, then wiped the gums, teeth and mouth with a wet cloth. If I had been thinking more clearly, I would have used the garden hose - on a trickle of course - to more thoroughly rinse the poison out.
You have to be very careful not to force any liquids down the animal's throat - it could go into their airway. After this treatment, we watched to see if she would vomit, have difficulty breathing, stagger, convulse - thank goodness, none of this happened.
Given the current state of her overall health, we decided to get her to her vet in Santa Ana as a precaution. They said we did all the right things, including bringing her in for observation. She was due to go back this Thursday morning anyway for more renal blood work, so we opted to leave her in their good hands until then. It's stressful for her to be travelling back and forth.
People who live in Costa Rica and have pets already know about the cane toad but it can't be repeated often enough that we must keep our animals away from them. There is a lot of very good information on the internet also.