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Are Cicadas Toxic to Pets? What You Need to Know About the Historic Cicada Emergence!

Updated: Jun 11

By Dr. Stacy

As cicadas emerge in historic numbers this year, it’s a perfect time to discuss how they could affect your pets.

A common question we are receiving from clients this spring is whether or not cicadas are toxic if ingested. Dr. Stacy has the answer! The good news is that they are not toxic; in fact, some people eat cicadas as a form of protein!

Even though they are non-toxic, if your pet ingests them, it could lead to gastroenteritis (inflammation of the GI tract) due to the digestion of the insect’s hard exoskeleton. Signs of gastroenteritis include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. If you notice these signs last longer than 48 hours, please contact your veterinarian. For our canine owners, gastroenteritis can be prevented by leash-walking your dog so that you can control where they roam and not find cicadas to eat. If you think your dog is extra sneaky, place a basket muzzle on them when letting them outside.

Cats can also eat cicadas, so please monitor them as well. Cicadas also make a lot of noise, which can bother some pets and cause mild anxiety. To combat this, play music or turn the volume up on a TV to reduce the noise of the cicadas for your pets. In general, cicadas are more of an annoyance than anything, but with a few precautions, your pets should be just fine.



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