Are Asian Lady Bugs A Threat To Your Dog?

Nov 14, 2021 | Pet Health, Pets

Happy Monday everyone!  Are Asian Lady Bugs A Threat To Your Dog?  Did you get to experience the swarms of Asian Lady Bugs covering your house last week?  We did and I couldn’t believe it.  One minute it was calm and quiet and the next the back of our house and yard were covered with swarms of orange lady bugs!  You might think why talk about lady bugs?  They are harmless!  This new variety of lady bug is toxic to dogs and I had to do my research to find out why.
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com
WHERE DID THEY COME FROM?

The Asian Lady Beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas), is relatively new to this country. The beetle is native to Asia (e.g., China, Russia, Korea, Japan), where it dwells in trees and fields, preying on aphids and scale insects.  Some scientists believe that current infestations in the U.S. originated not from these intentional releases, but from beetles accidentally transported into New Orleans on a freighter from Japan. 

DESCRIPTION AND HABITS

Adult Asian lady beetles are oval, convex, and about 1/4-inch long. Their color can vary widely from tan to orange to red. They often have several black spots on the wing covers, although on some beetles the spots may be indistinct or entirely absent. Multi-spotted individuals tend to be females while those with few or no spots tend to be males. Most beetles have a small, dark “M” or “W”-shaped marking on the whitish area behind the head.
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com
ARE ASIAN LADY BUGS A THREAT TO YOUR DOG?

When attacked, Asian lady beetles release body fluids (called hemolymph) containing stinky and poisonous chemicals. “Hemolymph is corrosive, and can cause chemical burns to the mouth and/or gastrointestinal tract. It also has a strong repellent odor and foul taste,” says Dr. Elizabeth Doll, a veterinarian with WVRC Emergency and Specialty Pet Care in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

That awful taste and odor is why few dogs will attempt to eat more than a few of them, she says. Dog and beetle conflicts are so rare, that aside from anecdotal reports (like Bailey’s), a lone formal published paperexists on the subject. In this case, the patient had 16 Asian lady beetles embedded in the mucous membrane covering the hard palate, Doll says.

If a dog quickly swallows the beetles, erosion to the mouth appears to be minimal, says Dr. Nancy C. Hinkle, professor of veterinary entomology in the Department of Entomology at the University of Georgia, Athens. “Likely the dog will quickly seek water to wash away the taste—which is a good thing, because it minimizes the chance that beetles will get stuck in the esophagus.”

If the chemical burns are not treated properly, an infection could develop and potentially become serious. “Luckily for any dog with damage to their mouth, the gums and tissues of the mouth heal very quickly—usually within seven days,” says Dr. Jonathan Babyak, clinical assistant professor in the Emergency and Critical Care Department at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University.

The cases that Mitchell saw, “were limited to anorexia due to painful ulcerations in the mouth,” she says. “The ulcers calmed down with manual removal of the beetles and treatment of the ulcers.” 

But Dr. Jennifer Coates, veterinary advisor with petMD, adds, “While I’ve not seen any cases myself, veterinarians have reported a few cases of dogs ingesting these beetles and subsequently developing vomiting, diarrhea, and other signs of gastroenteritis. One dog even died as a result.”
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG ENCOUNTERS BEETLES?

Some signs of a dangerous encounter with beetles include excessive drooling or foaming at the mouth, reluctance to eat, and a foul odor coming from the mouth, Doll says. “The beetles may be visible within the mouth, or open sores may be seen. Possible side effects after ingesting large quantities of beetles include reduced appetite, vomiting, diarrhea that may be bloody, and lethargy.” If any of these signs are present, call your vet for an immediate evaluation.

Treatment starts with physically removing the beetles, which your vet may need to perform under sedation or, if severely impacted, under general anesthesia, Babyak says. “Secondly, damage from the hemolymph should be treated with appropriate medications and nursing care. Usually, we would think about treating pain, inflammation, and accelerating healing by removing dead or severely injured tissue. An antibiotic may be necessary to treat or prevent infection. This treatment would be considered routine by most primary care veterinarians.”
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com
Are Asian Lady Bugs Toxic To Dogs | www.twoadorablelabs.com

I love hearing from all of you and do my best to respond to each and every one of you.  I always enjoy your comments, feedback, and suggestions so keep them coming!  If I’ve posted a recipe (for our human and our furry friends) and you try it, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram @twoadorablelabs and use #twoadorablelabs​.

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

You Might Also Like

What Is Refeeding Syndrome?

What Is Refeeding Syndrome?

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I’m a big fan of Instagram but sometimes the images are quite graphic as they were this week.  Seeing the many starved animals due to abuse is heartbreaking but it’s also made me aware of what Refeeding Syndrome means.  I have never heard...

Frozen Watermelon Treats

Frozen Watermelon Treats

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Does your pup love watermelon?  Then he will love this easy, whip in a blender, Frozen Watermelon Treat to enjoy on a hot summer day!  Mr. TAL and I had a cookout this past weekend and I bought watermelon, cantaloupe, and mixed berries to...

Tips On Flying With Your Pet

Tips On Flying With Your Pet

Happy Monday everyone!  Today on the blog we talk about Tips On Flying With Your Pet.  Mr. TAL and I cancelled our trip to Asheville and had a staycation instead but are keeping our trip to Tennessee in September.  We’ve talked about taking other trips which got me...

Doggie Star Biscuits

Doggie Star Biscuits

Happy July 4th everyone!  We hope you are celebrating and enjoying your day with lots of good food, family, and friends.  Today on the blog is a delicious and healthy Doggie Star Biscuit to make for your pups!  Made with all natural, pet safe ingredients made with...

What Is Hyperkeratosis In Dogs?

What Is Hyperkeratosis In Dogs?

Happy Monday everyone!  Is your pet showing signs of Hyperkeratosis?  I think I’ve dealt with pretty much everything when it comes to pets and animals but then I heard about dogs excessively producing to much keratin and I had to research more.  Jake And Maggie now...

July 4th Tablescape 2022

July 4th Tablescape 2022

Happy Wednesday everyone!  Today on the blog is my July 4th Tablescape with these Stars and Stripes dishes from Walmart.com as my jumping off point.  These are so fun because the red, white, and blue is so rich in color and the best part is that they are melamine...

What Do You Think? Let Us Know!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.