A Facebook post of a photo of a dog’s mouth filled with embedded ladybugs made its rounds on social media this weekend. After being shared thousands of times, and causing panic among owners, the truth behind the photograph was finally explained.
Asian Ladybugs, also known as the Asian Beetle and Asian Ladybeetle, are the bigger and badder cousin of our harmless ladybugs. They have potential to cause harm to your dog. If a dog were to accidentally get one in its mouth, the Asian Ladybug releases a chemical as defense.
Some people are claiming that the nasty bug embeds itself on purpose in the dog’s mouth. Before prying open your dog’s mouth to calm your fears, it is important to know that there has only ever been one documented case, as reported in the journal Toxicon.
“A six-year old mixed-breed dog presented with severe trauma to the oral mucosa suggestive of chemical burn. Sixteen Harmonia axyridis (Coccinellidae) were removed from the oral cavity, which revealed trauma consistent with chemical burn. The beetles had become embedded in mucosa covering the hard palate and required manual removal.
A diagnosis of beetle induced chemical burn was warranted and consistent with the nature of the chemical constituents of H. axyridis hemolymph,” wrote Toxicon in 2008.
Since the possibility of an Asian Ladybug infestation in your dog’s mouth is extremely low, there’s no need to check their mouth at every possible moment. Unless your dog is experiencing symptoms such as excessive drooling, horrible breath and drowsiness you rest at ease.
Credit: Candace Forsyth