Cicada Information

Many of you have noticed the cicadas. Both the 13 and 17 year broods have overlapped this year —which is the first time this has happened in 221 years. But of course, what does this mean for you and your pets? Dr. Royal states, “For most dogs and even cats, eating a few cicadas will not be harmful.” 

Beware if you have a dog that is overfond of these winged treats and you find they are overeating the large, crunchy insects. The sharp legs may irritate the mouth or palate and if they eat too many, dogs will find the exoskeletons are difficult to digest.”

If you do have a pet who is perhaps overindulging in these seasonal treats please be aware of the risks. In some extreme cases, pets can experience the following;

  • choking on the stiff wings/legs/hard exoskeleton
  • severe GI distress/abdominal pain
  • Allergic reactions (to the cicadas or possibly the pesticides that may be on them)
  • vomiting
  • bloody diarrhea
  • sometimes even GI blockage

Of course, there are ways to treat these issues such as intravenous fluids, pain medications, gastro protectants, anti-nausea drugs, hospitalization, or even surgery.

On the bright side, if your pet does happen to eat a few cicadas, Dr. Meno says that it is just some extra protein this time of year. Everything in moderation, folks. 

But for those that are in the habit of eating way too many, consider getting ahead on the commands “drop it”, “leave it”, or “out”. As these can be a great way to deter your pets before they get into the habit. 

You may also consider getting a Basket muzzle for those that are really too interested in gorging on the insects.

Of course, please reach out to our office if your pet does start to experience any signs of GI upset and it is BUGGING you! Dr. Royal also notes it is unlikely that a cat will eat too many of these, but let us know if you are concerned!

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