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Warm days have begun and nature is waking up. Both plants and animals. A great health risk for dogs is caused by the caterpillars of the oak moth , or the so-called pine weevil . What do owners need to know about them and why should puppies avoid them? Read...

The most dangerous part of these caterpillars are their hairs. The thousands of tiny hairs contain thaumetopoein, an irritant that can become a serious problem for other animals. The period of greatest risk is from May to July , when the caterpillars descend from the trees and become adult moths on the ground.

The oak night owl (Thaumetopoea processionea) is a relatively small owl. Caterpillars live mainly on oak trees, but they also like to settle on other tree species in parks and forests and often appear in large groups. In stressful situations or threats, the oak tree sheds hairs. Each hair has a hook that digs into the dog's skin. As a result, the hairs break and release their irritating substance. Caterpillar hairs live for many years and are therefore dangerous in the areas where they settle.

How do you recognize dangerous caterpillars?

Identifying caterpillars and nests is important so that you can react in time and protect your dog.

The caterpillars have black heads and bodies covered with long white hairs that contain a poisonous substance. Nests are usually dome or teardrop shaped with a diameter similar to that of a tennis ball. At first, the nests are white, but over time they change color and get a brown color.

The nest of the traveling woodpecker or the oak moth

What happens if your dog comes into contact with a caterpillar?

If a dog comes into contact with a caterpillar or its nests and the hairs get into the nose/mouth, reactions such as drooling, tongue swelling, conjunctivitis, vomiting, difficulty breathing and a swollen mouth may occur.

If hair gets into the lungs, various lung problems can occur. If the hairs enter the digestive tract through ingestion, it can also lead to damage in the intestinal area.

Swelling of the tongue and mucous membranes in the throat can cause a choking hazard. In any case, the affected dog must be treated by a veterinarian, as the consequences are sometimes severe and fatal.

The consequences of hair are extremely extremely unpleasant and dangerous

GO TO THE VETERINARY IMMEDIATELY: If the tongue and mucous membrane in the throat swell, there is a risk of suffocation. In any case, the affected dog needs veterinary help, as the consequences can be serious.

How to protect a dog?

  • Avoid areas with an increased incidence of oak moth
  • Dog owners should heed the warnings. These are issued by the competent authorities in case of severe infection.
  • When traveling in the affected area, your dog should be on a leash to avoid running into the caterpillar.
  • Familiarize yourself with the appearance of caterpillars and nests to identify them.
  • Call the dog in time if it walks near caterpillars or nests

    By LovingPaw


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