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Florida vets: don't let your dog eat dead iguanas

To some dogs, discovering a dead lizard in the yard is like finding a slice of bacon on the kitchen floor: a Category 5 tasty treat.

It also can be deadly.

A month after frigid temperatures killed reptiles all over South Florida, veterinarians are still treating dogs that may have contracted botulism by gnawing iguana carcasses.

The result: paralysis so severe that a few had to be euthanized.

Like other cold-blooded creatures, thousands of iguanas froze to death during the freeze. Some dogs mistaking them for chew toys have shown classic symptoms of a disease so rare that most vets don't see a case for a decade.

``I think it's botulism, although it's nearly impossible to prove definitively,'' said Dr. James Dugan, a Pinecrest vet.

His clinic has treated several dogs suffering varying degrees of paralysis since the cold snap. All had munched on iguanas.

Read the complete story at miamiherald.com

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