Description: 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.