American Toad #19-0654

April 30, 2019
May 26, 2019
Rescue Location
Albemarle County, Virginia
Former Patient
Patient photo

Last Updated Jump to patient updates

On April 30, a private citizen found an American Toad being pecked at by their chickens; it appeared that the toad was already wounded before the chickens found it. The rescuer brought the toad to the Wildlife Center, where it was admitted as patient #19-0654.

The veterinary staff examined the toad, who was quiet but alert and responsive. The toad was unable to use its left hind limb, which also had abrasions. No fractures were identified on physical exam or radiographs. It’s unclear what might have caused the toad’s injuries, but it’s possible it was attacked by another animal.

Each day, the veterinary team performs laser therapy on the hind leg to promote healing. Following the laser therapy sessions, the toad is put into water to swim for exercise and to give the staff a chance to assess the toad’s ability to use the hind limb; so far, the toad appears to be using the leg well while in water.

In addition to laser therapy, the toad is getting pain medication, and the veterinary staff are treating the skin abrasions and draining any fluid or air that accumulates under the toad’s skin. The staff will continue to assess the toad for appropriate use of the left hind limb.

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Patient Updates

American Toad #19-0654 healed well following surgery and continued to maneuver and swim well, despite its missing toes. On May 22, the veterinary team cleared the toad to be released back to the wild. The a local rehabilitator returned the toad to near where it was found (but away from the chickens) on May 26.

On May 11, the veterinary team noticed wounds on the toad’s hind left toes; there was exposed bone and necrotic tissue on several digits. It’s possible that this late-presenting injury caused the toad’s reluctance to use his left hind leg.

On May 13, Dr. Ernesto and vet technician Jess performed surgery to debride the wounds and amputate two of the toad’s digits. The lack of toes should not affect the toad’s ability to be released, as long the patient heals well from the surgery and is able to swim and maneuver appropriately.