Toad Suckers in Nicaragua


Petunia gave birth to nine piglets yesterday. Today, she suffers from mastitis. My neighbors ran around my yard looking for a fat Cane Toad to alleviate Petunia’s pain, so she could feed her litter.  A Cane Toad?
“What will you do with the Cane Toad?” I asked.

I know they can be deadly to dogs and cats because if animals eat a Cane Toad, they can die from the milky white poison released from the glands of the toad. The Most-Traveled Cane Toad  What is really frightening in this article is that “people can die within 15 minutes of getting poisoned by a Cane Toad.”

I’ve heard of toad-sucking, but always thought it was an urban legend. I even used to live near Toad Suck, Arkansas. So, my curiosity led me to google toad-sucking, which, by the way, I also read today that googling daily may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

What I discovered is that toad-sucking has a surprising payoff. You pick up a toad, put part of it in your mouth, and suck. The toxic cocktail that the Cane Toad produces is a potent hallucinogen. Some avid toad-suckers report that the hallucinogen, 5-MeO-DMT in toad venom, produces a full-blown psychedelic trip lasting about an hour. What a strange, strange trip it must be. Which leads me to believe that humans will do pretty much anything.

Now, I wonder if my dog, Cappy, is addicted to toad-sucking. We have a nightly invasion of Cane Toads that infiltrate our porch. Every nook and cranny is occupied by sleeping Cane Toads the next morning. Online chat rooms are filled with reports of pet owner’s toad-licking dogs acting bizarrely. I can tell Cappy is whacked-out after a trip to the porch because he runs around the house like a dog-gone-wild and sometimes he wants a cigarette after his trip. Is there such a place as doggie rehab?

IMG_8512I digress. Back to Petunia. I watched our neighbors gently rub the Cane Toad’s body over Petunia’s swollen and painful mammary glands. I’m not sure if it was effective as a painkiller, but the milky toxin is a hallucinogenic, and I watched as Petunia tripped tranquilly to Piggies, by the Beatles.

I hope for Petunia’s sake and the sake of her piggies that life doesn’t get worse. Time will tell. The vet arrived and gave Petunia five injections. We can only hope that Petunia doesn’t develop a toad-sucking addiction. Is there a place for piggy rehab?

The only thing I know is that life is a trip in Nicaragua and with all the googling I’ve done today on toad-sucking, surely I’ll prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

21 thoughts on “Toad Suckers in Nicaragua

  1. I’m a little late reading this, but what a CRAZY story! I’ve never heard of these toads, or the idea that googlng will keep you from getting Alzheimers. I hope you’re right there. I google so much daily that I’ll be protected. And I agree, humans will do anything to get stoned.

    Sunni
    http://sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com/

  2. Pingback: A Few Days in Nicaragua | The Panama Adventure

    • Haha…that’s a good way to describe my post…a stream-of-consciousness. Someone reblogged my post on a Facebook forum for expats in Nicaragua, and a woman sent a picture of a Cane toad placed on her very swollen leg after she was bitten by a brown recluse spider. The doctor in Nicaragua thought that she would lose her leg because the antibiotics were not effective in reducing the swelling. As a last resort, they rubbed a fat Cane toad on her infected leg. Apparently, the Cane toad absorbed the fever in her leg. It’s belly swelled up and it became very red and hot to the touch. Then, it died. Oh the strange, strange things I’ve learned about Cane toads in Nicaragua. And the woman’s infected and swollen leg could be saved. After the Cane toad rubbing, the antibiotics took effect. and the swelling was greatly reduced.

  3. Thank you for the post. The friends I am staying with almost lost their Doberman as she had licked two toads in one week. Semi ok after the first as they were able to give her milk. Second time almost killed her and she spent a week at the vets. Hope she has learned her lesson.

    • I had NO idea when I googled toad-licking that I would find so many articles about it. It worries me with the number of Cane Toads we have around our house. So far, our cats and our dog don’t seem to be too interested in them…thank goodness. The other night, we scooped up 6 toads on our porch, put them in a bucket, and threw them into the lake. I think they have a homing device, because they returned the next night. Short of killing them, I’m not sure what to do. Thanks, Nance for sharing your friend’s experience and I’m glad their Doberman is fully recovered.

  4. Toad sucking! Now I have heard everything. Maybe it will be the new cure for Chicungunya. Poor Petunia. I do hope the shots help so she can get on with being a mom. What we have around here are huge Cuban tree frogs.They get in the house occasionally and scare the you know what out of me when I get up to use the bathroom at night and one jumps out of the toilet. We don’t exactly live in the tropics but sometimes it feels that way. Maybe I better Google Cuban tree frogs.🙂

  5. If you ever get the chance look up the documentary “Cane Toad” on Netflix. It’s National Geographic meets The Daily Show story of how stupid humans imported Cane Toads to Australia to wipe out some now forgotten insect. They now apparently rule Queensland where people love them or (mostly) hate them. Least that’s how the film tells it, though they didn’t talk about licking them!

    • We just finished watching “Cane Toad” on Netflix. It was hysterical…and to think that it’s true. I especially liked the hallucinating little dog. Did you see the link posted below this by Shoreacres? You have to check out the guy from Indiana that was recently arrested for trespassing and toad-licking!
      Tomorrow, I’m googling how the Cane Toads were introduced on Ometepe Island or if they are native. I don’t think I’ll have much luck finding any information, but I’m determined to google at least once a day…brain exercise. lol

  6. Denis the menace was a toad sucker, and I have been tempted, but we have so many frogs around, like the little green and white and the Sandinista red and black that we find in the rain forest, and are used by hunters in dart to poison monkeys and other small game. I guess it calm and make the animal in some kind of trance and become easy prey for hunter.
    I did enjoy your writing, is easy to read, is like reading for pleasure, and with so many blogs around you stand up with appealing stories. Thanks for sharing.

    • Denis the Menace was a toad sucker? For real? I am laughing because I can picture Dennis the Menace sucking-toads to the ire of Mr. Wilson.
      Thanks so much for sharing this, Agustin. We hope to make another trip down the Rio San Juan, soon. It’s one of our favorite areas in Nicaragua. And thanks for your sweet comments.

    • Jee jee, Kathy. I imagine that toad-sucking sucks big time, but hmmm…maybe being in a hallucinogenic state for an hour would make me forget my joint pains. I am happy to report that Petunia and her piglets are much better. The vet came and gave Petunia 5 injections, so at least she isn’t in as much pain and can feed her little piggies.

  7. Oh Deb, I don’t think I’ve ever read a post of yours that wasn’t something that made me think and/or feel something profound, intrigued me, or just plain made me laugh out loud! When I started thinking about retiring to Central/South America I started a blog, which flourished briefly with the newness of everything, but fell into disuse during the (ongoing) period of mundane life between first inspiration, and realization of that still-elusive retirement. I think the time may have come to abandon it entirely, because I have to concede that I will never have the wit, the creativity, the observational powers and the life experiences that make your blog somewhere I want to visit on a regular basis. I guess I will have to pass my retirement years doing something different than blogging because you just about take the cake in that arena! Thank you for another wonderful real-life story. I’m pretty darn sure you won’t get Alzheimer’s and even more sure that you will never be bored!

    • Claire…NO! Never give up blogging. You are an excellent writer with a gift of expressing your thoughts eloquently. Wait until you make your permanent move here. Living in Nicaragua, you will never lack writing material. The best thing about writing is the slant, and Nicaragua gives me many unusual slants from which to choose. Just wait…you’ll see!🙂
      I can’t begin to tell you how much I appreciate your heartfelt sentiments. Thank you for your kind and loving response. Big hugs and I hope to see you soon. We can share our stories. Ya!

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