A weird turn of events due to the winter weather pounding the East Coast is taking place in Florida. Apparently, iguanas stunned by the cold snap are falling out of trees and laying in hibernation, dying or dead on the ground where dogs find and play with or eat them. The results have proven fatal for many of the canines.
According to the Miami Herald, bacteria on the iguanas crusty skin leads to botulism poisoning. The poisoning causes paralyzation of hind limbs that progresses forward and overtakes the front limbs and may render the diaphragm useless.
At that point, dogs must be intubated so that they can breathe. As you can imagine, that’s an expensive procedure. The paper says that at least two dogs have had to be euthanized or died.
It’s not just small dogs that are falling victim to the problem, either. A 68-pound pitbull and a 110-pound Cane Corso were infected by the lizard, which means any hunting dogs could be too.
While the botulism toxins interrupt communication between nerves and muscles, keeping dogs from standing or walking, they’re not in any pain and can continue to eat and drink said a veterinarian. Effects begin to show within a day or two of contact with the invasive reptiles and last about a week.
Vets and scientists haven’t solidified a concrete link between the paralyzation and the lizards, but it seems to be the best guess at the moment.
Have any Gun Doggers out there seen or heard about this phenomenon?