Vets in and around London should be aware of the dangers posed by the hairs of the oak processionary moth caterpillar.

Ingestion may cause signs such as hypersalivation, oedema and blistering. There is also a risk of systemic toxicity, such as hyperthermia, respiratory distress and cyanosis. There may be necrosis of the tongue which can prevent eating and drinking. In severe cases, dogs have been euthanased.

Airborne contact may also cause dermal lesions and, although rare, anaphylactic reactions.

A letter in the Veterinary Record highlights a recent case of a dog requiring treatment after contact with the hairs of the caterpillars.The letter may be viewed here:


The VPIS can provide emergency advice on treatment of such cases, and advise on potential clinical signs and prognosis. Please call us on 02073 055 055. Please be advised our service is for veterinary professionals only.