Lady beetles cause big problems for pets

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Hoisington Veterinary Hospital Hoisington Veterinary Hospital

After a disturbing picture a dog with lady beetles lodged in the roof its mouth has gone viral, the vet that posted the picture has a warning for pet owners.

The caption reads:

"This is the second pup I have seen like this today,” she wrote. “If your pet is drooling or foaming at the mouth look for these lady bugs. They cause ulcers on the tongue and mouth and have a very painful bite.”

Dr. Lindsay Mitchell  posted the picture on the Hoisington Veterinary Hospital page in hopes of educating others. So far it's had 1,900 comments and more than 23,000 shares. She say harvest season in Barton County has been attracting more lady beetles than usual. The infestation is now affecting pets that are eating them. Frances Jiriks precious pooch, Bailey, was the second dog to be treated in one day.

"Night before last when he came in to eat , he didn't eat," said Jiriks. "He was just lethargic and foaming at the mouth."

Dr. Lindsay Mitchell says those were all common signs of the affects for lady beetles. Between 30 to 40 lady beetles were removed from Bailey's mouth. She now worries about other pets. If left untreated the bugs could cause long term health issues for a dog.

According to, most ladybugs are harmless, but the "Asian Lady Beetle is an exception. Unlike its docile relative, this orange ladybug can be aggressive and bite."

"The longer the beetle is attached to the mouth tissue the more ulceration's you see," said Mitchell.

Bailey's issue was caught in time, but it will be up to his owners to make sure his bug chasing habits are behind him.

Dr. Mitchell says pet owners can save themselves the time and money by checking their pet's mouths daily.

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