Armadillos are strange critters that live in parts of the US. You may see them most often alongside the highway after they’ve been hit by a car. That’s unfortunate, as these animals are great for the environment. These animals are sometimes found in your yard, too. It’s not uncommon for a dog to occasionally kill an armadillo. But what happens if your dog finds and eats an armadillo?
Has your dog eaten an armadillo? Are you worried that the armadillo will make your dog sick? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your dog eats something like this.
We’ve gathered information about armadillos and whether they can make a dog sick. Let’s get started!
What is an Armadillo?
Armadillos are mammals that are ancient and related to anteaters and sloths. There are about 21 different species of armadillos, with each one sporting a suit of “armor.” The armor is a hard, leathery shell that has different segments. Each segment is marked by a band that goes from the right to the left side of the animal. The shell offers the armadillo protection from predators. When an armadillo is threatened, it rolls up into a ball to protect itself.
These animals are native to the Americas and live in a wide variety of environments. Armadillos dig for their food, which includes grubs. They also dig dens.
In some places, humans eat armadillos, but what happens if a dog eats an armadillo? Can the armadillo make a dog sick?
Armadillos & Dogs
Armadillos are not toxic to dogs; however, they do carry some pathogens, including leprosy and rabies. While armadillos do carry leprosy, it’s not the type that dogs can catch (though humans can be infected).
The animals carry rabies. However, if your dog has had his shots, the probability is low that he will catch rabies. But it’s a good idea to call the vet if your dog has eaten an armadillo that could have been infected with rabies. The vet may advise giving your fur baby a rabies booster shot to ensure your dog doesn’t develop this disease.
It is possible that a dog could develop GI upset after eating an armadillo.
Symptoms of Armadillo Ingestion in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has eaten an armadillo:
- Abdominal pain
- Lack of appetite
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This could be an emergency.
Treatment of Armadillo Ingestion in Dogs
Treatment depends on the vet’s diagnosis. For instance, if your fur baby is showing GI upset, he could have persistent diarrhea and vomiting. In that case, the vet may treat your dog with medications to stop these symptoms. They may also check your dog for dehydration. If he’s dehydrated, the vet may give him an IV with fluids.
On the other hand, if your dog has eaten the shell and other parts of the armadillo, it’s possible he could develop an intestinal obstruction. This condition can be dangerous, so the vet will take x-rays to see where the obstruction is located. In many cases, it will be necessary for the vet to perform surgery to remove the blockage and repair any damage it may have caused.
The good news is that most dogs will make a full recovery after eating an armadillo! If possible, it’s best to keep your dog from eating armadillos and other critters. You’ll both be happier for it!