There’s been a photo knocking around on social media sites appearing to show a dog’s mouth with a nasty infestation of ladybugs.
Though shared by caring dog lovers with good intentions, it’s likely the photo is probably causing more concern than it needs to.
First of all, the bugs are actually Asian lady beetles, not the ladybugs you’re likely to find in your garden. Although bulkier than your friendly neighborhood ladybugs, they’re not parasites – the dog doesn't want them in there and they don't want to be in there either.
As The Dodo reported, there’s only been one recorded case of a dog ingesting Asian lady beetles and getting ill. In that case, the dog ate 16 of the insects, which then reportedly began secreting mucus as part of their natural defense mechanism, which caused "acute corrosion" to the dog's mouth.
If your dog did accidentally eat one of these Asian lady beetles, it could cause the dog to exhibit symptoms like excessive drooling and drowsiness. However, the chance that a bunch of Asian lady beetles find themselves in a dog's mouth is pretty slim.
In this dog's case, it's likely that he simply had a munch on some beetles and they got caught in his mouth. No need to be alarmed.
This is going around on Facebook and causing a bit of panic, so here's the real scoop: there are invasive Asian ladybugs...
Posted by American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) on Friday, 20 November 2015