Dog owners especially in southern US states be on the look out for the “Kissing Bug”! This disgusting little bug gets its name from transmitting a deadly parasite by usually biting exposed parts of the face. A step up from disgusting after this bug bites and feeds on the blood meal, it defecates close to the bite wound.
When a dog or human notices the itching from the bite, they will usually scratch the bite spreading the feces into the bite and transmitting the Trypanosoma cruzi parasite into the body. The parasite can also be transmitted through eating rodents or other animals already infected. Once the parasites enter the cells in a dog’s body (often the heart muscle), they multiply and eventually rupture the infected cells. This is more commonly called Chagas Disease.
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What states has the bug spread to?
What are the Symptoms in Dogs?
- Loss of Appetite
- Swollen Lymph Nodes
- Make sure that exterior doors close tightly
- Replace missing or damaged weather stripping
- Repair any damaged screens on all windows, crawlspace vents and attic vents
- Caulk around openings for utility lines, plumbing pipes and cables
- Repair cracks in the foundation that would allow insects to enter
- Remove any nests of squirrels or other wild animals
- Move firewood piles away from the house
- Change porch lights to “bug light” bulbs
- Check pet bedding often
- Inspect pets to be sure they do not have these bugs in their fur
Treatment for Chagas Disease
As of today there is NO cure.
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