Corpus Christi (KIII news) — Last week's much-needed rainfall brought some unwelcome visitors -- mosquitoes -- but there may be another intruder hopping into town that pet owners should be warned about.

They are toxic toads, and they can be deadly for dogs that get a little too curious.

"Dogs are curious creatures by nature," Veterinarian Dr. Alan Garett said. "They see something bouncing along. Their natural inclination is to go stalk it, hunt it down and pick it up."

If your furry friend runs across a toxic toad, it can be bad news.

"They'll start foaming at the mouth, salivating, sometimes they'll shake their head because it's so irritating," Garett said.

If a dog eats or even licks the toxic toad, it can go into cardiac arrest and, worst-case scenario, could even die.

"The fact that it is so nasty tasting, most dogs spit it out right away," Garett said.

Garett said there are a dozen species of toads that secrete a deadly toxin from their skin.

"Obviously washing the mouth out is important," Garett said. "It prevents further contamination or absorbtion."

If your dog's symptoms get worse, head to your local vet.

Garett said the toads are very common along the Gulf Coast but it has been years since he's seen a case at his clinic. Still, since there are so many different species, just try to avoid any toads your four-legged friend may come across.

"Assume that when in doubt, it's not good," Garett said.

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