Processionary caterpillars: risk for your pet in spring
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When spring comes, allergies also come, something that can affect our pets. But other dangers also come as the processionary caterpillars. During the spring they come down from the tree where they are born to be a butterfly and they are buried in the ground to complete their transformation. This is when the risk of contact with people and animals increases.
The danger of processional caterpillars
The processionary caterpillars have urticating hairs that release when they feel threatened or in a stressful situation. They have small hooks that cling to the skin, break and release a dangerous toxin being able to produce great pain to the animal.
Although cats can also be affected, dogs are the most common victims thanks to their playful nature and they love to explore everything. Contact with these caterpillars can affect the muzzle and mouth although there are other areas that can be affected such as eyes or eyelids.
If it affects them in the snout, there is a great inflammation that can cause necrosis in the tongue. This can cause it to fall to pieces, becoming a serious danger to the animal.
In the case of eyes, dogs can suffer a lot of pain. Both the conjunctiva and the cornea can be inflamed and if not treated quickly, both cat and dog can lose vision. In the case of the skin, the hairs of these caterpillars cause a great urticaria, swelling, itching and the appearance of red spots.
In case the pet has come into contact with these caterpillars, it is necessary to rinse the area with water and go to the veterinarian. The professional will determine the action plan to follow. If done in time, the chances of healing and not having sequelae are greater and we can save their lives.