Cicadas pose no major threat to pets

cicadaCicadas do not pose a major health risk for pets, according to experts including veterinarian Padma Yadlapalli, who says pets will likely spit out any cicada they try to eat. If ingested, gastrointestinal upset or possibly blockage could occur, so veterinarians advise discouraging ingestion. However, there is no danger of disease: “While they might be a nuisance, they don’t sting, they don’t bite, and they don’t carry disease,” says veterinarian Shelly Rubin. The Baltimore Sun (5/15), DogChannel.com (5/15)

As these red-eyed screechy little bugs begin emerging from the ground, concern among pet parents rises as well. This brood is different from the one we saw in 2004 and its appearance in this state will be limited to parts of Southern Maryland, which is good news. There are several thing pet owners should keep in mind during cicada season:

1.They are not toxic to pets. Most of the time, they are more of a nuisance than a health hazard.

2.Your pet might be interested in trying to eat one, but most likely would spit it back out right away. Cicadas might cause upset like vomiting or diarrhea if eaten, but this would be temporary and respond to conservative treatment.

3.Rarely, if your pet decides to overindulge and eat them like chocolate, they could technically cause an obstruction because your pet would not be able to digest them. But most likely they will just pass on and be seen in the stool.

4.Cicadas cannot transmit any diseases.

5.They do not bite or cause any skin irritation or other dermatological issues

The bright side of all of this is that cicadas are beneficial to the environment because they aerate the soil as they emerge. Our guests are only here for a short stay!

This week’s expert is Dr. Padma Yadlapalli with Freetown Animal Hospital in Columbia. Send your questions to sun.unleashed@gmail.com.

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