MASON, OH (FOX19) - After a social media post about a dog dying from eating cicadas went viral, a local veterinarian is explaining the potential problems that could arise if dogs ingest the insects.
The woman who made the post wrote that her dog, Harley, died in 2004 after eating more than 300 cicadas.
Dog lovers near and far have shared the post stating that they are worried about their own animals.
"I thought that was crazy, especially that it actually killed him and that he was able to ingest that many," Ashlee Richardson, a Middletown dog owner, said.
The bugs are making appearances all across the Tri-State.
"I've found them on my dog cage outside. I found them on the side of my shed. I found them on the side of my house," Richardson said. "I found them in the grass. I found them on bushes, literally everywhere."
Dr. Fidan Kaptan, a vet at County Animal Hospital in Mason, said that they are already getting calls from concerned pet owners. He said that the cicadas may not be as dangerous as people think, but they are something to look out for.
"Snacking on one or two, I think that's the point we shouldn't be concerned, but if you're seeing them getting into more, I would say you should stop the dog," Dr. Kaptan said.
According to Dr. Kaptan, the case involving the dog dying is rare.
While cicadas are not toxic, he said that having too many of them can wreak havoc on a dog's stomach.
[They're back! Cicadas make an early return to the Tri-State]
"They have a shell that is crunchy, and if they do eat a lot of them, it can irritate the stomach lining and cause vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy," Dr. Kaptan said.
He said that the best thing you can do is keep an eye on your pets and take them to a vet right away anytime they start showing signs of an illness.
"It honestly does make me feel better knowing that it's not as severe as it was portrayed on Facebook, but you should always still watch your animals and what they're getting into," Richardson said.
If your dog does get sick from eating cicadas, Dr. Kaptan said that treatment usually includes giving the dog an IV and an injection to stop vomiting.