The pine processionary caterpillar can kill your dog
Several dog owners have lose their pets after coming into contact with the pine processionary caterpillars every year. Your dog may pick up the hairs on his paws and lick them because of the itching they cause. This will bring the bristles into contact with the mouth and nose. The tongue may become so large and swollen that the air passages can also become blocked leading to suffocation and death.
If you walk your dog in pine forest areas, it is advisable to keep it on a leash at all times to prevent it from coming into contact with caterpillars. However, we recommend that you avoid walking your dogs in wooded areas as much as possible, especially during the late winter and early spring.
What to do if your dog comes into contact with the hairs of the pine processionary caterpillar?
If a dog (or other pet) comes into contact with the pine processionary caterpillar, it may develop small white spots around the mouth or on the tongue. The subsequent allergic reaction may cause drooling and cause your pet to become distressed. The tongue may also swell and cause vomiting and possible choking.
If you think your dog has come into contact with the caterpillar (or its hairs), you should wash out its mouth with hot water as a matter of urgency. Do this with gloves, to avoid an allergy on your own hands and arms. Don’t forget that the pine caterpillar also affects humans. It is then essential that you take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Don’t delay, his life may depend on it.
The vet will most likely administer a fast-acting cortisone injection to reduce swelling and irritation and may keep your pet overnight for observation.
If you have had a bad experience with the processionary pine processionary you can share it with us and our community through our Facebook page.