American Toad #18-3152

December 26, 2018
May 14, 2019
Rescue Location
Albemarle County, Virginia
Cause of Admission/Condition
Found in road
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On December 26, American Toad #18-3152 was admitted to the Center from Albemarle County. The toad was observed in the road, bleeding and unable to hop; the rescuer initially thought she had been hit by a car.

The veterinary team examined the toad but found no injuries or signs of trauma that would be consistent with being hit by a car. However, two small puncture wounds on the toad’s face indicate she was possibly attacked by a predator and managed to escape. It’s unusual to find toads active during cold winter days, but a predator attack could explain why she was awake. Frogs and toads in Virginia enter brumation – a type of hibernation specific to amphibians and reptiles. The toad’s brumation was possibly interrupted by an attack.

Because they typically brumate, reptiles and amphibians cannot be released in the winter; state regulations indicate that amphibian patients cannot be released before May 1, meaning American Toad #18-3152 will remain at the Center through the winter.

The Center does not have the facilities to replicate conditions for brumation in reptile and amphibian patients; therefore, this toad will remain active during the winter and the staff will monitor her behavior and keep her well-fed until release in the spring.

The toad’s wounds have healed and she is eating well; she’s gained 12 grams since admission and now weighs 50 grams.

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Patient Updates

American Toad #18-3152 has been doing well during the past month; the staff and toad have just been patiently waiting for more consistent temperatures this spring so the toad could be released! On May 14, the toad’s rescuer picked up the toad and returned her to the same general area where she was rescued last year.

The toad put on quite a bit of weight over the winter – her release weight was 113 grams, more than double her admission weight!

American Toad #18-3152 has been doing well – she still continues to have a voracious appetite! Wildlife rehabilitator Kelsey was recently able to get this video of the toad chowing down:

American Toad #18-3152 has been doing well and has gained weight; at her last weigh-in, she was 98 grams! Some of this weight gain is due to fluid retention. She’s given a daily bath in a hypertonic saline solution to minimize this fluid retention; the hypertonic solution has a higher amount of salt than the toad’s bodily fluids, causing the retained fluids to leave the toad’s body though its porous skin. The veterinary staff examines the toad weekly to assess her body condition and hydration level. Weekly checks will continue into early May, when the toad can be prepared for release.

American Toad #18-3152 has been doing well at the Center; the toad has gained a whopping 31 grams and now weighs 69 grams! The toad is eating a diet of mealworms and crickets and is typically fed every day; the rehabilitation staff have been adjusting the amount of food to ensure the toad doesn’t gain too much while she continues to overwinter at the Wildlife Center. Each Thursday, the veterinary staff perform a quick health check; they are particularly careful to see if the toad is edematous [retaining too much fluid] – which can result from a fluid imbalance.