Question About Skinks (Mike or Wayne? Anyone?)

manatureJanuary 29, 2009

I have heard several times from various folks that skinks are poisonous to dogs or cats (if eaten). I can find nothing "out there" to corroborate this. Is there something in their skin that is toxic? I read that they are commonly preyed upon by foxes, raccoons, possums, dogs and cats, so I'm having trouble believing they are toxic. Can anyone clarify this?

Thanks!! (Trying to save skinks in Florida yards, here.)

Marcia

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wayne_mo

Marcia,

There is a popular urban legend that skinks are toxic for cats to eat. This is usually associated with the bright blue tail in juvenile skinks.

Here is a link that addresses the issue:

http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20osearch=Eumeces+inexpectatus&guide=Lizards

"Five-lined skinks have blue tails as juveniles and many people believe they are poisonous, some even calling them scorpions. Of course they are not poisonous and there is no evidence that cats are poisoned by eating them."

FWIW, we had a five-lined skink get into our house once and my indoor cat pounced on it and ate it before I could save the lizard. I was dismayed for the lizard. My cat was, of course, fine.

    Bookmark   January 30, 2009 at 10:04PM
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manature

Just as I suspected, Wayne! Thanks. I have since found that SOME vets even think they are toxic but others don't agree, so I guess there is a reason folks are confused. But frankly, I don't see how eating a skink can cause nerve damage in a cat or dog if it doesn't in foxes, raccoons, etc. I have a lot of them in my yard (and LOVE them...they are my favorite lizards!) so I'm glad you agree that they aren't a problem. And I will check out the link.

Thanks for the info! Sorry it took me so long to get back over here to check for your response. A lot going on down here.

Marcia

    Bookmark   February 13, 2009 at 9:08AM
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