Today’s rescue: Ted the Toad

Early this morning as me and our beloved pack of 4 rescued pups heading out back for their first of many potty breaks to begin our day I observed Bear slowly creeping up on a flower bed.

Before he got the chance to investigate further I gave him the Cesar Millan ‘ssssshT!’ And sent him packing so that I could investigate his discovery all to myself.

Within two steps I would learn of Bears finding; 2 doves catching some rays from the morning sun behind the only climbing honeysuckle vine not burnt by the frost and still lushly green and sporting her early spring bright yellow buds which when bloomed will attract bees, butterflies & hummingbirds from miles around…

Frog Den; A picture

“The Frog-Toad Den… Established 2014 when I found where they had already been living. Immediately behind it is where I found Ted this morning…”

As they flew away at my encroachment upon their private space I looked down and saw a large dark spot in the dirt near where the dovey couple were laying.

Upon further investigation it appeared to be a dead frog.  As usual and customary I gently poked at it with my finger just to make sure.

It barely moved and weakly opened its eyes. Immediately I gathered the pack of 4 and safely deposited them back into the house heading back out side to properly assess & diagnose this apparently injured frog but not before redressing Bear in his hot pink ‘man-shorts’…

Fully prepared donning my clean disposable gloves he was just where I found and left him & hadn’t moved an inch.

He was a pitiful sight and never once tried to move away from me like healthy toads and frogs do.

Wounds. He has them and it appears he hasn’t moved from his spot nestled in the earth for at least a few days if not more as I’m still amazed I was able to see him and not step on him as he blended so well with the dirt.

Once I picked him up the earth under him was as flat as a pancake similar to what earth looks like when a rock is picked up after it’s been living there a while.

Actually this freakish radar for discovering injured and abandoned creatures has been with me since I’ve been old enough to walk leading to a lifetime of rescues and rehabilitations.

Caked in dried dirt, blood and other matter yet to be identified by me, I switched into my all to familiar mode of ‘search & rescue’ taking me back into the house.

Once I had done a prompt yet thorough Google search to see the how and what I could safely use on his skin in order to clean him up enough to properly assess his injuries I headed out back with my arsenal of rescue ingredients and tools:

Clean Papertowels
Distiller Water, deciding the .90% Normal Saline might not be such a good idea nor the hydrogen peroxide
Triple antibiotic ointment
       The old Betta plexi-glass fish tank hanging out in my newly organized and gutted garden shed                         

Piece of fine mesh screen to prevent Ted from jumping out and further injuring himself as Ted has enough shit to deal with at the moment.

I adore frogs.

I adore toads as well.

I thought Ted was a frog until I Googled him and it appears he’s a toad. Makes no matter to me; Ted is in need & I answered the call.  It’s at this time I feel compelled to give a shout-out to Bear for without his detection of the pair of doves sunning in front of the honeysuckle this morning Ted would still be suffering miserably. Thanks Bear 😉

We have been graced with more toads & frogs then I’ve ever seen in one residence at our new-to-us home.

I made them a Frog Den actually outback where frog statues surround an underground frog cave I accidently discovered while excavating an old dead tree stump last summer.

Promptly abandoning the tree stump removal mission once I learned of the frog family inhabitants choosing instead to convert the stump and entire area into a protected Frog Den which is exactly where I found Ted this morning.

But now that I know Ted’s a toad and not a frog I’m questioning the name of the den.

Oh well, I’ll deal with that conundrum later…

He has been named and so I am hopeful I will be able to rehabilitate him as quickly as possible and return him back to his Frog Sanctuary.

Once I got Ted all cleaned up using saturated & slightly wrung out gauze with distilled water Teds injuries have been identified.

Injured Toad, How I cared for him

“Ted. After he has been named & more than half-way thru the clean-Ted process… He seemed to like my Ugg boots as I sat on the ground with him during the process… For all intents and purposes of this non-Toad Mom, I’m calling this huge dark blotch on his head a toad-scab based on my findings thus far because as some of it came away during his bathing process it revealed underneath it healthy pink raw toad-flesh so I left it in place…

Head & posterior neck trauma. I have no idea how Ted became injured but for all intents and purposes his injuries have no clearly apparent signs of infection, internal damages nor broken bones present.

They appear to be superficial even if his skin is as thin as paper so the biggest wound appears to be on his neck-back which exposes his muscle & ligament tissue. Despite this discovery I am still quite hopeful as it looks worse than I believe it actually is.

The dark patch on the majority of his head appears to be a toad-scab as I carefully cleaned him up and in my no-toad repair experience I’m calling it a toad-scab; a good sign. If its not a toad-scab and some horrifically deadly disease well then I guess that will all work itself out too.

If I’m correct & the dark patch is a toad-scab then that means Ted’s initial injuries were substantially more than how I found him today which is definitely in Ted’s favor for a full recovery.

Aka: Ted may be one bad ass of a resilient toad survivor.  Time will tell.  I hope he lives.

I am not a veterinarian nor do I play one on TV but what I am certain of is that Ted will get the only shot he’s got at a recovery with me as the other option is to leave him where I found him and that wasn’t working so well for him.

The ants I removed from him which were crawling on him seemed to benefit more from Teds injured & immobile self than Ted was.

Ted’s also dehydrated. I learned today that dehydration is the #1 area that will kill a Frog-Toad; the dry out. So we’ve got that under control as his skin is absorbing the water like mad and he’s moving around more.

Much more actually as the boy can seriously hop and jump which he really shouldn’t be doing as he needs to conserve his energy.

Now that I can clearly see his injuries which are nice and pink and meaty which is actually a very good sign as it tells me the tissue is alive and not necrotic I’ve cleaned all the dirt, sloughing dead skin away and dried up blood from his two head and upper back wounds and he looks damn good.

What do toad woundsl ook like

“Ted. Back-side view. By this time he was actually quite active and trying to hop away from me. A very good sign. Means Ted still has some life in him…”

Applied some triple antibiotic ointment to the affected areas using some Q-tips and now Ted’s resting quietly in his new rehabilitation center an old plexi-glass Beta fish tank with high sides and I’ve covered the top with some light weight screen as Teds a jumper and I simply cannot have him interfering with his destined rehabilitation and return to his pack of Frogs… Or toads or whatever.  Ted just needs to be healthy enough to be returned home.

Ted allowed me to thoroughly examine him, multiple times as well as clean him. Every single square inch of him to be exact & particularly liked his head cleaned as he would relax, cease squirming and not even try to jump or hop away from me.  Even while exfoliating the debris from his open fleshy wound on his neck-back he tolerated it like a champ.

"Ted the Toad... Nearly cleaned up and pre-antibiotic ointment application..."

“Ted the Toad… Nearly cleaned up and pre-antibiotic ointment application…”

I swear creatures know the difference between the good and the evil. Even if they are knocking on deaths door.

Tomorrow morning I will reassess Ted and see about getting him some food.

I have decided after my thorough Google research that there’s a damn good chance Teds in a semi-hibernative state but he will need nutrition if his wounds are going to heal up nicely as I imagine toads need protein & calories to build muscle and tissue just like humans do.

Right now the most important things I can provide for Ted are a safe, threat-free environment, antibiotic ointment to his wounds, perfect temperature, clean water for hydration  and to leave him the hell alone to rest while we see what Ted’s made of.

Of course my incessant routine once an hour nurse to patient checks don’t count for interrupting him.

Those are a necessity.

Caring for an injured toad in California

“Ted the Toad
Status-post clean up and check-in to his new safe & clean Toad-Rehabilitation Center….
It’s a private room too. Please do not worry, he’s fogging up his window despite the fact that he has beautifully clean air circulation.
He looks even better now; several hours later…”

Now, where’s that bird I passed on my way back to the house that didn’t look so right?




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