You may have been hearing about something called “Brood X” lately. In the coming weeks, billions of cicadas are expected to emerge, after 17 years underground, in the eastern United States from New York to Tennessee. This is going to be the largest emergence of cicadas in the US since 2004.
Will all these insects be harmful to our dogs, cats, and other pets? Veterinarians warn that eating one or two won’t harm your pet but chomping on a lot of them can cause some gastrointestinal upset.
In a recent news story, Washington, DC area veterinarian Dr. Devon Smith says that dogs are more at risk for eating them in bulk than cats. Keep an eye on your dog while you are outside this spring.
Cicadas and their hard shells can cause upset stomachs and be choking hazards because they are large. “They’ve got that kind of brittle exoskeleton that when it’s chewed up can be shard-like,” says Dr. Smith.
As for GI upset, Dr. Smith says anti-nausea and anti-diarrhea medicine may be helpful if your dog eats too many. When in doubt, be sure to talk to your vet about proper treatment.
His best advice? Teach your dog the “leave it” command to be prepared for any potential cicada munching this spring!