The Photo Is Disturbing, Yes. But Don’t Freak Out.

Regular ladybugs don’t embed in a dog’s mouth, despite what you may have seen on Facebook.

Those are Japanese beetles (Asian beetles). By: Hands and Paws
Those are Japanese beetles (Asian beetles).

A photo that was making the rounds on Facebook a while back sent many pet parents into panic mode.

The disturbing image, published by Hands & Paws, a rescue in Pasco, Florida, showed Japanese beetles embedded in the roof of a dog’s mouth.

The caption read, in part: “Asian Beetles (some people call them Japanese Beetles as well) can embed themselves like this in the roof of your dog’s mouth if ingested by dogs. Be aware of what your dog is randomly eating while outside. These beetles (which look a lot like ladybugs) can be on sticks, leaves, etc. Symptoms are constant drooling for no apparent reason, and sudden horrid breath. 


The American Veterinary Medical Association quickly responded, eager to clear up any misconceptions about “ladybugs” being a danger to dogs.

“Here’s the real scoop,” the AVMA wrote. “There are invasive Asian ladybugs that can cause problems, but our ‘regular’ ladybugs DO NOT. So, there’s no need to panic and pry open your dog’s mouth to look for zombie ladybugs.”

Hands & Paws reiterated with this statement: “Don’t panic. This post is for informational purposes. This does not indicate this will happen to your pet. But it is good information to have.”

They also added, “This is not fake. It’s been verified by several outlets. They are not ladybugs, either. They are Asian beetles. They resemble ladybugs — but these emit a smell when smashed. They also bite.”

By the way, the 16 critters in the dog’s mouth have since been removed, and the dog is doing fine.

Gayle Hickman

View posts by Gayle Hickman
Gayle Hickman has been researching and writing about pet behaviors since 2011. In addition to Petful, her articles have appeared on Reader's Digest, Yahoo Shine and WebVet, to name a few.

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  1. dawndoneza
    October 15, 2016

    Well, what if I live in Asia? Should I panic over our “regular” ladybugs here?

    1. Melissa Smith
      October 15, 2016

      Now that one I can’t answer, Lol. My first move would be to ask a local veterinarian in Asia what they think!

  2. Bhushan Roka
    December 2, 2017

    My little de sexed maltiese dog died 8 days ago. We all family are still at grieve. I was alone at lounge room and watching TV….I feel her presence there and the smell….she has high anemia and organs failure.


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