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Veterinarian Finds 40 Ladybug Infestation Inside Dog’s Mouth

The disturbing photo shows the inside of a dog’s mouth, where it appears that ladybugs – the cute, shiny little beetles known for eating aphids – embedded into the roof of its mouth.

It was like something out of a horror movie, especially when you consider how adorable you thought ladybugs were!

The image claimed to be from a veterinarian’s office, where a dog came in needing the insects removed.

What’s more, the insects seemed to have secreted some kind of chemical, leaving burns on the roof of the poor dog’s mouth.

A Kansas pet owner was horrified to find a ladybug infestation in her dog’s mouth.

Frances Jirik noticed something strange about her dog, Bailey, when he refused to eat. The dog also became lethargic and started foaming at the mouth.

“He was just lethargic, real lethargic and the foam was just coming. It was kind of scary,” Jirik told KWCH.

Jiriks brought her dog to a local vet where doctors discovered 30 to 40 insects stuck on the roof of the dog’s mouth.

The bites can leave an open wound in a dog’s mouth, leading to serious consequences, according to veterinarian Dr. Lindsay Mitchell.

“Definitely it’s painful,” said Mitchell. “They’ll have some pain, they won’t want to eat as well, and they run the chance of infection if they have those ulcers there.”

Mitchell posted a photo of the infestation on social media, reports Red Book.

“This is the second pup I have seen like this today,” Mitchell wrote on Facebook. “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.”

Mitchell’s photo and warning quickly became viral and caught the attention of many pet owners.

One Facebook user wrote, “Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this. I noticed my son’s little dog had not eaten his food from yesterday. I went on to finish chores, and then turned around to check his mouth. He had just a little foam around the mouth. When I opened his mouth it was covered worse than this photo.”

The Asian ladybugs are also referred to as harlequin lady beetles and can be credited to a surge in the local aphid population.

“With a lot of aphids, they produced a lot of ladybugs to be able to attack and eat and control the aphids,” Barton County Extension Agent Alicia Boor told KWCH.

According to Snopes, there’s no concrete evidence that Asian lady bugs are harmful to pets and many users identified the bugs in Bailey’s mouth as common ladybugs.

Many species of ladybug, particularly the Harmonia axyridis, or Asian ladybeetle, secrete a liquid called hemolymph from their legs. The liquid smells bad and can stain, and it can also cause irritation.

However, it’s the open wound in the dog’s mouth that actually causes more of a health concern than the bites or the burns. Vets also say the ladybugs are only a real concern if there are many of them.

You might feel a slight itch if a ladybug releases its chemical onto your skin, and it’s likely more painful on a sensitive area like the inside of a mouth. But while they’re irritating, it’s not life-threatening.

The good news is that the ladybugs can be removed with fingers, a spoon, or a popsicle stick. Gross, but your dog will be fine. Smaller dogs might need to be watched to make sure they don’t swallow the bugs.

If you see any burns or bleeding, take your dog to the vet and get them patched up. But the bigger question is, how do these bugs even get in a dog’s mouth in the first place?

No one is sure, although it seems like it just might be the result of overly curious dogs trying to make friends with some ladybugs.

“This is a very rare occurrence,” a vet at the Hoisington Veterinary Hospital posted on Facebook. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself until I saw it.”

So what can you do to make sure your dog doesn’t end up with a mysterious mouthful of ladybugs?

For one thing, keep an eye on what your dog does when it’s outside. Look out for signs of excess drooling or changes in eating or drinking behavior.

But don’t go on a ladybug killing spree, especially if you’re a gardener. Those little guys are your friends. They just need to be kept away from your dog’s mouth!


Sources: Red Book, KWCH, Snopes, LittleThings
Veterinarian Finds 40 Ladybug Infestation Inside Dog’s Mouth Veterinarian Finds 40 Ladybug Infestation Inside Dog’s Mouth Reviewed by YenAnonymous on November 08, 2016 Rating: 5

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