Bailey the dog was off her food and lethargic when she was taken to see her family veterinarian. What they found in her mouth was downright shocking! Bailey, a notorious bug chaser (and eater) had over 40 Asian beetles—not to be confused with domestic ladybugs—stuck to the roof of her mouth.
The vet quickly removed the dead bugs with forceps, and Bailey was feeling better in no time. But the story hadn’t ended. When the vet shared the image on Facebook, it caused a tidal wave of concern—not to mention a total gross-out factor, which is understandable. Read on to find out more about this photo, and whether you should be concerned for your own pup.
The shocking ladybugs-in-mouth photo on Facebook
The awful-looking bug infestation is hard to look at, but in reality, quite benign. Once they’re removed, any damage to the roof of the mouth should quickly heal up with good care.
Why do these beetles stick in a dog’s mouth?
Asian lady beetles secrete a gooey liquid as they die, which caused them to stick to the roof of the mouth rather than get swallowed.
Could this happen to my dog?
Luckily, poor Bailey’s problem is quite rare, but any dog who loves to chase flying bugs could run afoul of these sticky beetles. If you notice loss of appetite, lethargy, and frothy drool in your insect-loving dog, checking the mouth is a good idea. If you do find a beetle or two in there, you can remove them at home—or take them to your vet, of course.
The Snopes response to this story shows just how rare the problem really is. Is it possible? Yes. Is it likely? No.
In the news
A year ago, a similar photo went viral, prompting a response form the American Veterinary Medicine Association.