A fresh warning is being issued to pet owners about Asian ladybugs after a disturbing image shows how they can burrow into the roof of dogs’ mouths. Pest control specialists say those with animals should be extra cautious at this time of year.
It follows after a disturbing photo of a dog in Hoisington, Kansas, with dozens of ladybugs stuck the roof of its mouth.
The graphic image shows a dog named Bailey, whose owner says he likes to chase bugs, with between 30 to 40 Asian ladybugs attached to his mouth tissue.
This image was shared in 2016 on Hoisington Veterinary Hospital’s Facebook page, where some viewers believed it was fake. Mikal Shamsi of Pest Police has informed pet owners that they need to be wary.
He said: ‘Humidity is their normal environment. They latch onto the roofs of the dogs mouths and it’s hard to remove them – you have to do them by one by one with tweezers.’
These pests are found all over gardens and can give unsuspecting pups a nasty surprise.
Asian Lady Beetles are relatively new to Houston and said they are likely to be found in any ‘garden or foliage that produces any type of seed or bud’, accroding to Shamsi. He added: ‘So if you have a garden you are more than likely going to have a problem with them.’
Dr Lindsay Mitchell, who posted the original photo, says this wasn’t the first case she had seen, if left untreated if can cause harmful long-term health issues in dogs.
‘This is the second pup I have seen like this today,’ the post read.’If your pet is drooling or foaming at the mouth look for these ladybugs. They cause ulcers on the tongue and mouth and have a very painful bite.’
The reason Asian ladybugs produce a protective secretion which apparently makes them stick, which is why Bailey had a mouthful. The longer they remain attached to the animal’s mouth, the harder they are to remove and can also cause ulcers, according to Dr Mitchell.
Bailey’s owner, Frances Jiriks, said one night when he came in to eat, he was lethargic, foaming at the mouth, and did not eat.
Following the scary sight she brought him to see Dr Mitchell to have the ladybugs removed. Dr Mitchell noted that the cases seen in her office are rare and said she shared the photos in hopes of educating pet owners.
‘I posted the photo not to freak people out, but to provide pet owners with an action to take in case they find one of their pets drooling excessively or with apparent foaming at the mouth,’ Dr Mitchell explains.
‘They could avoid a trip to the veterinarian’s office if they check their pet’s mouth and if they find the beetles, they can simply remove them with their finger or a tongue depressor.
‘They aren’t like a tick, so there is no worry that a head or any part of the animal will be left behind to hurt the animal further.’
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