By Sally Deneen for Vetstreet:

Nearly every day, a frantic caller contacts the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center with a poison complaint relating to an outdoor insect or critter, often toads. As warm weather sees more dogs and cats venturing into the great outdoors, do you know what hazards are lurking in your region?

Vetstreet interviewed leading wildlife and veterinary toxicology experts who identified the most common and lethal threats to your pets as well as in what parts of the country they reside.

List, captions and photos courtesy of Vetstreet

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  • Rattlesnake

    Rattlesnakes are probably the most important threat in this slideshow to be aware of, as hiking dogs may not recognize a rattler's scent or sounds - and end up bitten on the muzzle, says <a href="" target="_hplink">Dr. John Tegzes</a>, a veterinary toxicologist at <a href="" target="_hplink">Western University School of Veterinary Medicine</a>. The venom acts on various tissues causing swelling, oozing and clotting of blood, and necrosis of tissues as the venom works to immobilize its prey and to start the digestive process. Bleeding problems often occur in the following days and can be life-threatening. <strong>Location:</strong> Many states harbor <a href="" target="_hplink">some variety of rattlesnakes</a>, but the Mojave rattlesnake is regarded as the most dangerous because its neurotoxins stop prey from breathing, <a href="" target="_hplink">says Dr. Tina Wismer</a>, veterinary toxicologist and medical director for the <a href="" target="_hplink">ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center</a>. Mojaves call the Southwest home. Rattlesnakes dominated the 251 snake-bite claims handled in 2011 by Veterinary Pet Insurance; snake bites, on average, cost $1,123.08. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten:</strong> Limit your pet's movements, keep him calm and seek immediate veterinary care.

  • Giant Toad

    Very dangerous to dogs, <a href="" target="_hplink">a Giant Toad secretes a toxin from its skin</a> that causes heart failure, Dr. Tegzes says. A dog just needs to pick up the toad and hold it in his mouth to be exposed. Also called Cane Toad, Marine Toad or Bufo Toad, the critters can bring agony: excessive drooling, crying, extremely red gums and loss of coordination number among pets' symptoms. Among the 339 outdoor-critter-related calls for help to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center in 2011, poisonings by Bufo toads and the Colorado River toad were most common, Dr. Wismer says, beating out ants, wasps, bees, snakes, spiders and others. Toad poisonings prompted 51 VPI insurance claims in 2011, costing an average $304.03 per pet. <strong>Location</strong>: Hawaii, Florida, extending across the extreme southern parts of the country. <strong>What to do if you pet is poisoned</strong>: At home, Dr. Tegzes says, the victim's mouth should be well irrigated with a garden hose. "Simply run the water into the side of the dog's mouth and out the other side," says Dr. Tegzes. "But do not run the water to the back of the throat. You want to gently rinse its mouth very thoroughly and get veterinary attention."

  • Brown Recluse Spider

    A brown recluse spider's bite it not really painful right away, but the bite grows into a very large, deep-tissue wound that doesn't want to heal, Dr. Wismer warns. Wounds can be very difficult to treat, agrees Dr. Tegzes, and can result in lifelong damage that often requires surgery to correct. <strong>Location:</strong> Midwest and South-Central United States (<a href="http://" target="_hplink">map</a>). <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten: </strong>Seek veterinary treatment.

  • Cottonmouth Snake

    This is a snake that swims. The venomous cottonmouth snake, also known as the water moccasin, likes to hang out at water's edge, making it a threat to dogs and cats near ponds and lakes. It seldom bites -- unless stepped on or harassed. Its venom is very similar to a rattlesnake's, though tends not to be as serious, Dr. Tegzes says. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten</strong>: Keep your pet calm and seek immediate veterinary care. <strong>Range</strong>: Mainly the Southeast, from southern Virginia to Florida and onto eastern Texas (<a href="" target="_hplink">map</a>).

  • Gila Monsters

    Gila monsters are rare, but eventful - they latch onto and chew on their victim for a long time, injecting venom from their teeth in the back of their mouth. "It can be very difficult <a href="" target="_hplink">to remove the Gila monster</a> from its victim," Dr. Tegzes says, "and dogs will often present to the veterinarian with the lizard still attached and biting!" The painful bite can cause neurological signs, but usually is not life-threatening. <strong>Location</strong>: Southwest. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten</strong>: Don't pull off the lizard with force. Often its teeth will detach and remain embedded in the dog. Instead, spray some water or rubbing alcohol onto the Gila monster's nose, Dr. Tegzes says, and it will let go on its own.

  • Black Widow Spider

    <a href="" target="_hplink">Black widow spiders are somewhat reclusive and non-aggressive</a>, but dogs and cats can be bitten when they walk through a spider web outdoors or accidentally lie down on a spider, Dr. Tegzes notes. Cats are very sensitive to the venom, which is 15 times stronger than a rattlesnake's. The venom can send extreme pain throughout cats' bodies and cause muscle rigidity, followed by a loss of muscle tone. Insect bites and stings, including spiders, prompted 2,428 claims to VPI pet insurance in 2011, costing an average of $141.23 per pet. <strong>Location</strong>: More abundant in the South, but black widow spiders are found in most of the Western Hemisphere. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten</strong>: Seek veterinary care.

  • Fire Ants

    A dog keeping his nose close to the ground to explore may suddenly cry out, leap back and start pawing his nose. Chances are that his nose hit a colony of swarming fire ants that deliver burning bites. Fire ant bites aren't as serious as other threats in our list, but they do send dogs to veterinary clinics for sore paws and injured noses. "I've been bitten by fire ants and it's no fun," says Dr. Mark Russak, president of the American Animal Hospital Association. <strong>Location</strong>: South, from North Carolina through Texas; also, southern California, New Mexico. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten</strong>: Check with your veterinarian for treatment; if nothing else, rinse area with cool water to reduce swelling, Dr. Russak says.

  • Eastern Coral Snake

    Easily mistaken for harmless look-alikes, <a href="" target="_hplink">the Coral snake can be remembered by this rhyme that refers to its bright color bands</a>: "Red touch yellow kills a fellow. Red touch black, venom lack." The Coral snake injects toxins that will stop a pet's breathing. On the bright side, unlike Mojave rattlesnakes, Coral snakes actually have to chew a little bit to inject venom because their venom glands are back farther in their mouth. Dr. Wismer says: "Fortunately we don't have too many dogs and cats having problems that way, but certainly if they do get bit, it can be a big problem." <strong>Location</strong>: The South, from North Carolina to eastern Texas. <strong>What to do if your pet is bitten</strong>: Seek immediate veterinarian care.

  • Bees

    You may hear a yelp from your dog and then within 20 minutes, see his face swell in size. The cause behind the swollen face may be a reaction to a bee sting. "Fatal reactions are rare, but they do occur," says Dr. Russak. Most dogs tend to have a mild reaction, and often a first-time bee sting causes no trouble. It's the subsequent stings that can be severe. "<a href="" target="_hplink">Bee stings, if you can avoid them</a>, are critically important to stay away from." <strong>Location</strong>: Bees are in all states. <a href="" target="_hplink">Africanized honey bees are found in the Southwest, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas</a>. <strong>What to do</strong>: Seek prompt veterinary attention. If you absolutely can't get to a veterinary clinic (say, you're in the mountains far from any town), give a small dog a child's dose of antihistamine; give an adult dose to a large dog, he says. Dr. Tegzes views bees as more nuisance than life-threatening, although Africanized bees are very aggressive. "They have been known to swarm and bite animals in their path - there have been cases in horses that have been bitten hundreds of times," he reports.

  • Raccoon

    Raccoons are unlikely to bite, but they're the most frequently reported rabid wild animal. Consider that a reminder to keep pets' rabies vaccinations current. <a href="" target="_hplink">Rabies is slightly on the rise</a> in cats, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to the Centers for Disease Control</a>; in 2010, 1 percent of cats tested for rabies were found positive. Rabies cases reported in cats routinely number three to four times higher than in cattle or dogs, CDC says. <strong><a href="" target="_hplink">Location of rabid raccoons</a></strong>: Mainly the Eastern Seaboard from Maine to Florida. <strong>What to do</strong>: Even pets with current vaccinations must see a veterinarian immediately if bitten by a rabid animal. The wound needs to be treated to prevent likely infection, Dr. Russak says. A pet can get revaccinated and be observed for about 45 days to make sure he has completely recovered from the bite, <a href="" target="_hplink">according to the American Veterinary Medical Association</a>.

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  • <em>From Getty:</em> LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 21: A five-month-old female slender loris waits to be given her first health check by the veterinary team at London Zoo on July 21, 2011 in London, England. Two female baby slender lorises, who are yet to be named, were given health checks, their sex determined and micro-chipped. Slender Loris is the common name for the strepsirrhine primates who are nocturnal and originate from India, Sri Lanka, and southeast Asia. London Zoo supports conservation of lorises in Sri Lanka, where populations are thought to be under threat from deforestation. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

  • This photo taken on September 26, 2011 shows a group of giant panda cubs napping at a nursery in the research base of the Giant Panda Breeding Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A vet holds a Colombian Tigrillo or Margay (Leopardus wiedii) of about nine days old, found in a rural area south of Medellin and taken to the Animal Welfare Foundation, in Medellin, Antionquia department, Colombia on August 13, 2011.(RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Newborn female Asiatic Elephant (Elephas Maximus) calf born to Johti, a 44-year-old, plays at Ostrava's Zoo on May 31, 2011. The calf was born on April 15. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR

  • Veterinarian Doctor Maria Diaz gives milk to a newborn lion at the Zoo and Eco Park 'Joya Grande' in the Santa Cruz de Yojoa municipality, department of Cortes, Honduras, on September 17, 2011. (ORLANDO SIERRA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> In this undated photo provided by Green Renaissance/World Wildlife Fund, a black rhino is transported by helicopter in South Africa. The seventh black rhino population established by the WWF Black Rhino Range Expansion Project was released after an epic trip across the country. Nineteen of the critically endangered animals were moved from the Eastern Cape to a new location in Limpopo province. (AP Photo/Green Renaissance-World Wildlife Fund)

  • Three lion cubs play at the Santa Fe zoo in Medellin, Antioquia department, Colombia, on November 4, 2011. The cubs were born on October 9, 2011 at the zoo. (RAUL ARBOLEDA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Kopatch, a 15-year-old weeper capuchin monkey, carries her one-week-old baby at Ramat Gan Safari, an open-air zoo near Tel Aviv on October 26, 2011. (JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Two white tigers cub are pictured on December 5, 2011 at the zoological park of Cerza in Hermival-les-Vaux, northern France. (KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Orang-Utan baby Boo is pictured in his enclosure at Madrid's Zoo on April 14, 2011. The nine-months-old Orang-Utan was officially named Boo, inspired in the Sanskrit word 'bhoomi' (or 'bumi') which means Earth. AFP PHOTO / Pedro ARMESTRE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A baby Pygmy hippopotamus takes a bath in an enclosure at Tokyo's Ueno Zoo on July 24, 2011. The baby hippo was born on June 22 at the zoo. AFP PHOTO / KAZUHIRO NOGI

  • <em>From Getty:</em> BRISTOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: A one month old baby Siamang Gibbon sits with its mother Salome as they shelter from the wind and the rain in their enclosure at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm on February 1, 2011 in Bristol, England. The little ape, yet to be named, is a Siamang Gibbon which are facing worrying population declines, with zoos playing an important role in maintaining healthy populations in captive environments. His parents, Samson and Salome are part of a European Endangered Species Programme (EEP) for managed breeding and have a 1-year-old sibling called Sultana who was also born in captivity. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

  • Sumatran tiger Jumilah is seen with her cubs on display at Taronga Zoo on October 25, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

  • A male foal Zebra (Equus quagga burchelli) is seen with its mother at the National Zoo of San Salvador on October 4, 2011. (OSCAR RIVERA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A one-month-old baby lion-tailed macaque clings to its mother at Berlin's Zoologischer Garten Zoo August 23, 2011. (JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A zookeeper holds up Kit and Kitty, the twin red pandas born in June on the first day of their introduction into their new enclosure at Tierpark Zoo on September 13, 2011 in Berlin, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> A 3-month-old giant panda cub is brought out by Dr. Hayley Murphy, director of veterinary services at Zoo Atlanta, before a naming ceremony at which actor Jack Black was present on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 in Atlanta. The cub is the only giant panda born at a U.S. zoo last year. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • A chimpanzee cuddles her infant in their newly renovated habitat at Taronga Zoo in Sydney on September 30, 2011. (TORSTEN BLACKWOOD/AFP/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> An Indian rhinoceros cub plays in a mud hole with its mother Betty at the Tierpark Zoo in August 5, 2011 in Berlin. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Polar bear shakes off water in his enclosure at the zoo on July 26, 2011 in Prague . AFP PHOTO/MICHAL CIZEK

  • A day-old newborn giraffe stands beside his mother at Ramat Gan Safari Park on November 14, 2011 in Ramat Gan, Dikla, near Tel Aviv, Israel. (Photo by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A pony grazes in a meadow at sunset on November 21, 2011 in Lausanne, Western Switzerland. AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Two month old North China leopard cub Nekama sits in a basket in her enclosure at the Berlin zoo on March 15, 2011. Nekama was born on January 7, 2011 and weighs now around 4.5 kilogrammes. AFP PHOTO / JOHANNES EISELE

  • <em>From Getty:</em> FETCHAM, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 01: Newborn lambs stand for the first time at Barracks Farm on March 31, 2011 in Fetcham, England. 300 ewes are lambing at the farm owned by the Conisbee family who supply their own butchers shops in nearby Horsley. The business has been run by generations of Conisbees for over 250 years. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • <em>From AP:</em> Nabire, the 27-year-old northern white female rhino accompanied with 38-year-old southern white rhino Natal, right, sits in an enclosure at the zoo in Dvur Kralove, Czech Republic, Friday, July 8, 2011. Another female northern white, Nesari, died in Dvur Kralove in her sleep May 26, 2011, at the age 39, further reducing the world's dwindling population of the critically endangered animal. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A Lion 'Dukat' and lioness 'Rose' walk in the snow in Warsaw's zoo on February 18, 2011. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI

  • <em>From AP:</em> An adult female Francois' langur coddles a baby at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo Friday, Feb. 4, 2011, in Cleveland. The baby was born Jan. 25, 2011. The care of the infant can be shared by several females and not just the mother. Babies are bright orange when born. At about three months of age the color begins to turn black. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Orang-Utan baby Duran (R) plays in his enclosure next to his mother Djudi in the zoo of Dresden, eastern Germany on January 28, 2011. The Orang-Utan baby is the youngest of its kind in the zoo and celebrates his first birthday on January 30, 2011. AFP PHOTO / OLIVER KILLIG

  • <em>From AP:</em> On this photo taken July 8, 2011, a man shows a two-headed albino snake in a private zoo in Yalta, Ukraine. (AP Photo/UNIAN)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A giant panda cub plays with the boots of her feeder at the enclosure at the Giant Panda Research and Conservation Centre in Chengdu, in southwest China's Sichuan province on March 25, 2011. There are only 1,590 remaining in the wild, mostly in Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu provinces, as another 290 are in captive-bred programmes worldwide, mainly in China, according to official reports. AFP PHOTO / LILIAN WU

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Two dogs plays during an animal rights protest in front of Romanian Parliament building in Bucharest on April 11, 2011. Romanian Chamber of Deputies Administration Committee approved past week the law on stray dogs euthanasia. The draft will be sent the Chamber of Deputies for a vote, which has the final vote. AFP PHOTO DANIEL MIHAILESCU

  • <em>From Getty:</em> SAN FRANCISCO, CA - NOVEMBER 23: A Red Ruff Lemur enjoys a Thanksgiving meal at the San Francisco Zoo on November 23, 2011 in San Francisco, California. Fifteen lemurs at the San Francisco Zoo were treated to a Thanksgiving feast of green beans, a fruit salad made up of apples, bananas, grapes sweet potatoes and a turkey made out of monkey chow. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

  • <em>From Getty:</em> Magdalena, a tortoise with two heads and five legs, is displayed on March 11, 2011 in Zilina. Magdalena has become in recent days, the most popular animal in Slovakia. AFP PHOTO/ STRINGER

  • <em>From Getty:</em> A squirrel eats berries in a tree in Cologne, on October 24, 2011. AFP PHOTO / OLIVER BERG

  • A red-crested cardinal hatchling rests on a tree branch at an aviary in Singapore's Jurong Bird Park on September 20, 2011. (ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Malaysian jellyfish swim in a tank at the Sunshine Aquarium in Tokyo on August 1, 2011. (YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images)