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Kissing Bugs: Small Critters That Pose A Big Threat To Pets

May 15, 2022

Did you know that one of the critters that poses the biggest threats to our canine companions is an insect? We’re not talking about fleas or ticks here. The culprit is actually the Kissing Bug, which transmits the dangerous Chagas disease. A Rockwall, TX vet offers some information on this below.

Basics

As mentioned above, the Kissing Bug is behind the recent spread of Chagas disease. Unfortunately for us, Texas is a hotspot for these dangerous bugs. Keep an eye out for potential infestations. If you see any on your property, contact a professional pest control service right away.

A Pest By Any Other Name

The term Kissing Bug is probably the most common local moniker for these dangerous insects. However, they are also called Mexican Kissing Beetles, Cone Nosed Bugs, or Chinches. Where does the kissing come in? They bite people and pets around the eyes and mouth. Usually, their victims are asleep at the time, which is even more disturbing. Yuck!

Chagas Disease

Chagas disease is fairly new to the States, but it is widespread in Latin America. To be fair, Kissing Bugs themselves aren’t solely responsible for the spread of this dangerous disease; they carry bloodborne parasites that transmit it. Chagas can affect both people and pets. It causes some very serious health issues, such as heart failure, as it affects the heart’s ability to pump blood. Kissing Bugs aren’t the only source of transmission: Fido can also get it by eating infected bugs or rodents or, in rare cases, via blood transfusion.

Signs

Chagas disease can manifest very differently from one dog to another. Some dogs have no symptoms at all. Lethargy is often a red flag. Your canine pal may lose his appetite, which will then result in weight loss. Other symptoms include fainting, vomiting, and diarrhea. Coughing and shortness of breath can also be signs of more serious cases. Unfortunately, Chagas can sometimes lead to sudden death. Ask your vet for more information.

Treatment

As of this time, there is no approved treatment or protocol for treating dogs that have been infected with Chagas. Your vet may recommend medications or treatment regimens based on your furry friend’s symptoms.

Do you have questions or concerns about Chagas disease? Do you think your pooch may have it? Contact us, your Rockwall, TX animal hospital, today!

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