There’s nothing new about ticks pestering our pets. These tiny creatures may be small but they have a knack for unnerving us and hurting our beloved animals. It’s one thing to have a tick which you can help get rid of with a pill or a cream. It’s quite another when that bug is powerful enough to kill an animal 1000 times its size.
And yet, this is exactly what’s happening to many dogs at the moment. There is a new bug in town. You can barely see it - but this one is a killer. The worst part is, dogs are not the only ones in danger. Children are too.
This new bug has been referred to as the “assassin bug.” Aptly named, as it has already killed many dogs, leaving pet owners distraught. It’s also been referred to as the “kissing bug” which sounds less dangerous.
The creature is known to be found mainly in Texas but it’s not sticking to just this one state. The bug has already killed 400 dogs. It’s doing so by “transmitting a rare parasitic disease known as Chagas.”
It’s transmitted when “the fecal material gets mashed into the wound that they leave behind from biting the pet.” The fecal material could also be transmitted into the pet's mucous membrane. But why are dogs the most vulnerable to this bug?
It’s because dogs tend to eat more bugs. Accordingly, they could eat the bug and have the parasite transmitted to them without even knowing it. The sad thing is, it’s not like dogs can tell you when they’re feeling unwell.
When the transmission does happen, the first symptoms are similar to those of the flu. There are other symptoms which will indicate that this is the work of the “assassin bug.” These include “major swelling of the eyelids and anaphylactic shock which can cause oxygen deprivation that will eventually lead to death.”
The only thing you can do to save your pet is to take him to the hospital if you suspect that he’s been bitten by the bug. Obviously, this goes for your kid too. This is because kids are also vulnerable to the “assassin bug.”
Much like dogs, kids can also be fascinated by bugs. Or they may find themselves in the same nooks where bugs tend to hide in. These are places like the cracks in the walls, under rocks, under porches, and in forested areas.
Although Texas reported the most cases of death caused by this bug, there are other states. Cases have been reported in “most Midwestern states and in every southern state in America.” You should note then, that if a child is playing in a wooded area, then they are more at risk of being bitten by the bug.
This bug may be tiny but it’s powerful enough to take down beings that are so much larger than it. Keep your kids and pets safe by keeping them away from these areas. If you ever have your suspicions, it’s best to consult your doctor immediately.