Caterpillar harming more dogs

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flickr by Phil Hyde
DON’T TOUCH: The processionary caterpillar can be harmful to pets.

THE number of dogs affected by the processionary caterpillar is on the rise. 

The processionary caterpillar is not only a concern for humans, but also for pets and especially for dogs who can suffer ill effects from contact with the caterpillar.  Vet Lluis Riera from Hospital Canis affirmed that he has seen an increase in cases related to animal contact with the caterpillar.

Riera explained that dogs are most affected because they are very curious and when they come into contact with the processionary caterpillar by simply rubbing against its fine hairs, they can suffer severe allergic reaction and if not treated immediately can have grave consequences.

Dust from the caterpillars causes hives and if it goes into the eyes, it can cause inflammation of the cornea.  Dr Riera noted that the most common problem, however, are the lips and tongue where dogs suffer great irritation.  If inflammation reaches the throat area, he added, the animal may have difficulty breathing.

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