Oak processionary moth and dogs: you need to know that
The oak processionary moth is particularly active in May and June. In some areas the caterpillars of the butterfly cause considerable impairments up to traffic obstructions due to the implementation of control measures.
Why oak processionary mothes pose a danger not only to humans but also to dogs is explained below. We will also explain how you can tell whether your dog has come into contact with the oak processionary moth caterpillars and what you need to do in this case.
Oak procession moth - what is it anyway?
Thaumetopoea processionea, the scientific name of the oak processionary moth, is a butterfly species. As its name suggests, it prefers oak-rich forests as a habitat. Its caterpillars are able to eat whole trees without any problems.
In 2005 the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth were accidentally brought to Great Britain with imported oaks from continental Europe. Since then, they have spread mainly to the south of England.
Why oak procession mothes are dangerous for dogs
The adult butterflies are basically harmless. Rather, they are the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth, which pose a problem. Their bodies are covered with fine stinging hairs containing the soluble protein thaumetopoein.
When the body comes into contact with an oak processionary moth, the stinging hairs break off and, among other things, cause severe itching and can also trigger an allergy in the form of so-called caterpillar dermatitis.
Since dogs like to romp around and explore their surroundings when walking, there is an increased risk that they will come into contact with the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth or their abandoned nests, in which there may still be unusual stinging hairs.
Symptoms caused by the oak processionary moth in dogs
The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth may look harmless. However, if your dog comes into contact with them, it will in most cases cause a number of extremely unpleasant symptoms.
Among other things, the oak processionary moth can cause the following skin reactions in your dog:
- Wheals formation
- Severe itching
The whole thing becomes even more unpleasant when the stinging hair of the oak processionary moth gets into your dog's mouth or nose. In this case, for example, irritation of the respiratory tract and swelling of the tongue can result in shortness of breath.
In addition, the following complaints may occur:
- Irritated eyes
- Swollen eyelids
Immediate measures on contact with the oak processionary moth
If your dog has come into contact with an oak processionary moth, you should remove the stinging hair of the caterpillars immediately and as thoroughly as possible.
Rinse the eyes, the mouth into the nose of the quadruped with clear water if necessary and bathe your dog thoroughly with a suitable dog shampoo.
Since the stinging hair is no less unpleasant for you, we recommend that you wear gloves to avoid direct skin contact.
When to take your dog to the vet
If your dog has had contact with the caterpillars of the oak processionary moth, it is usually a good idea to consult a vet. If you should notice the symptoms mentioned with your quadruped and suspect an allergic reaction, the veterinary visit is absolute obligation.
The veterinarian can examine your dog and check whether it is actually a caterpillar dermatitis or whether the allergy perhaps has another trigger. If necessary, he can also administer an anti-allergic to the animal.
Preventing contact with oak processionary spinners in dogs
As you can see, oak procession mothes are anything but harmless for dogs. For this reason you should avoid contact with the caterpillars if possible.
It is best to inform yourself about the distribution areas of the oak processionary moth in your region. As a rule, the authorities will identify risk areas so that you know where to be particularly careful.
Don't leash your dog there and don't let him rummage around in the undergrowth or bushes. If you find a nest while walking, make a wide circle around it. If you notice that the caterpillars are spreading in your garden, contact a pest controller in good time who can remove the pests.
Even if a hundred percent protection of your dog from the oak processionary moth is of course not possible, the risk can be reduced in this way at least clearly.
Strengthen your dog's immune system
A strong immune system can help your dog to relieve or better cope with the discomfort caused by the stinging hair of the oak processionary moth.
We therefore recommend a dietary supplement with Bellfor Immun. The natural preparation contains selected ingredients, such as insect protein from the larvae of the black soldier fly and propolis, and can thus make a valuable contribution to strengthening the immune system of your quadruped.
Oak processionary moth and dogs - our conclusion
The caterpillars of the oak processionary moth are equally dangerous for dogs and humans. As the owner, you should therefore be aware of the potential risk from May to June.
After all, contact with the stinging hairs of the caterpillars can be extremely unpleasant for affected animals and lead to severe allergic reactions.
Ideally, you should therefore ensure that your dog does not come into contact with the oak processionary moth. If you do not succeed, you must act immediately and take the described measures.