Our Prytania Pets love chasing bugs! It doesn’t matter if we’re in the middle of playing fetch in the yard or cuddling on the couch – if they see a bug, they’re going after it. While entertaining, some insects are toxic if ingested or their stings can cause severe allergic reactions, so it’s important to know the difference between some friendly fun and a hazardous foe.
Buckmoth caterpillars have already started dropping from the trees and lining the sidewalks of St. Charles. It’s easy for your dog to accidentally step on one during a walk or for one of these fuzzy monsters to fall from the trees into your yard. They can be found anywhere, but they mostly love our oak trees so be hyper aware when walking under them.
These stings can cause a wide range of reactions - from mild irritation to a severe allergic reaction. If your pet eats a caterpillar, gets stung in or near the mouth or nose, has a known insect allergy, or if you see any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as trouble breathing, hives/welts, swollen face, vomiting, collapse, or lethargy/general weakness call us immediately at (504) 899-2828.
If your dog lets out a “yip!” and starts furiously licking the bottom of their paw, they probably stepped on a caterpillar. If they’re not showing signs of an allergic reaction, there are a few things you can do at home. First, use a piece of tape to try to remove the stinging barbs. Then, ice the site for a few minutes and apply a hydrocortisone cream. You can also call us at (504)899-2828 to discuss administering an antihistamine. It can take a few minutes for the pain to subside, but if it continues or worsens please call us.
Bees and Wasps
Did you know your Prytania Pet could be allergic to bees and wasps just like you? Typical symptoms for a bee/wasp sting are minor pain, redness, and slight swelling at the site. Symptoms of an allergic reaction would be trouble breathing, hives/welts, swollen face, vomiting, collapse, or lethargy/general weakness. Bring your pet in immediately if you witness any of these symptoms or if they were stung near or in the mouth or nose, as these sting sites can hinder your pet’s ability to breathe.
If your Prytania Pet comes in contact with an ant hill, your poor pet can get a large number of bites in a short period of time. These bites resemble hives and symptoms are typically itching, minor pain, and redness. If your pet gets bitten by a few ants, please give us a call and we can provide a treatment plan to help ease those uncomfortable symptoms. While an allergic reaction is rare, if you think your pet is having a reaction or has a history of insect allergies, please call us immediately at (504)-899-2828. And if your pet gets bitten near or in the mouth or nose, please bring them in immediately as this can impact your pet’s ability to breathe.
Monarch Butterflies and Caterpillars (and the Milkweed plant!)
By far the most identifiable butterfly and caterpillar, please keep these beautiful bugs away from your Prytania Pet! Milkweed, the primary food source for Monarch caterpillars, is highly toxic and in turn, the butterfly and caterpillar are toxic as well. Thankfully, all three are incredibly bitter so it’s rare for your pet to even attempt to eat them; but if your pet does, please bring your pet in immediately!
Fireflies and Stink Bugs
While not necessarily deadly, if your Prytania Pet chases and eats these bugs you can look forward to some GI upset such as vomiting, diarrhea, and lack of appetite. Give us a call and we can help ease those nasty symptoms.
If you notice a tick on your Prytania Pet, we recommend you bring them in so we can properly remove it. If not properly removed or removed in enough time, these nasty bugs can cause infections and transmit pathogens that cause serious and life-threatening diseases. If you choose to remove the tick yourself, please pay close attention! Always remember to first clean the area and tweezers with a sterilizing agent such as rubbing alcohol. Be sure to remove the entire bug, including the biting head! Make sure that neither you nor your pet comes in contact with the tick’s blood. To prevent ticks, we recommend that all of our canine patients take Nexgard or Simparica monthly for flea and tick protection.
If your Prytania Pet has a run in with any of these nasty critters and needs veterinary attention while we are closed, please call MedVet New Orleans at (504) 835-8508. The intention of this Prytania Prevents blog post is to educate pet owners on the hazards of insects in our environment. In the case of any insect bite, sting, or ingestion it is always recommended to call your veterinarian first to assure the correct course of action for your individual pet. Please do not use any insect repellant or over the counter medications on your pet before consulting with your veterinarian as chemicals/ingredients (also including “all natural” remedies) approved for humans are not necessarily safe for your pets.