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Can spotted lanternflies impact your pets health?

The invasive spotted lanternfly is a threat to agriculture in Pennsylvania. But can they impact our pets?

LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The invasive Spotted Lanternfly is a threat to agriculture in Pennsylvania, we see them everywhere, and we can't seem to escape them.

With so many around, you might be asking yourself are they harmful to our beloved pets?  

In short term, veterinarians say no. However, that doesn't men you should completely let your guard down. 

"And nothing out there has been said they can point to that spotted lanternflies can cause a particular problem," said Dr. Jeff Steed, the Owner and Veterinarian of Manheim Pike Veterinarian Hospital.

After reaching out to a handful of veterinarians and emergency vet hospitals in Lancaster County -- the overall consensus was that vets couldn't recall treating any dogs or cats for being harmed by the invasive bug. 

"I don't think there's any evidence that they are toxic per say, just irritating to the stomach," added Dr. Steed. 

He said dogs can get into a number of things that can give them an upset belly. Spotted lanternflies could just be added to that list. 

However, he believes they would have to eat quite a large amount for there to be a concern.  

"The lanternfly sometimes the toxins and the resin they pull from the trees.. could that cause a problem? But to my knowledge I think you'd just have to eat a ton of them to have any issues like that," Dr. Steed said. 

In most cases a dog will react to any irritation and simply take matters into their own paws. 

"They throw them back up dogs are geared to.. if they eat something they aren't supposed to, they are going to throw them back up," said Dr. Steed. 

Like anything your dog could get into that they shouldn't -- Dr. Steed said just keep an extra eye out the next time you go on a walk and you see a lot of spotted lanternflies.  

Dr. Steed said, "Tell the dog to leave it and try to pull him way from it you know discourage him from eating them but beyond that if they eat it I wouldn't worry about anything special."

Many vets and scientists would agree, hopefully spotted lanternflies will soon disappear and be one less thing to worry about. 

"There are still a lot of unknowns about them, but there has been a ton in this area, and hopefully we can get rid of them," said Dr. Steed. 

Dr. Steed says if your dog or cat continues to vomit repeatedly within a short time frame and their hunger or energy starts to disappear -- that's when you need to pay closer attention and reach out to your vet. 

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