I found this furry thing on my iron fence above some creeping fig and confederate jasmine. On top, he looks pretty handsome. On the bottom, he looks like a grub, with a white sectioned body, many legs, and a darkish mouth at one end.
We live in New Orleans, LA.
Are these poisonous? OK? for dogs?
You have a Puss caterpillar or the larva of the Southern flannel moth.There are multiple generations of this moth in the south where you live. They are found in woodland areas and feed on a wide range of woody plants including apple, almond,birch,elm,hackbery ,oak,orange, pecan,persimmon, scycamore, and rose.
This caterpillar can sting with its venomous hairs. It is said that the sting starts a couple of minutes after contact from the spines on the side of the caterpillar. Pain and itchy burning occurs followed by the spot turning red and in a few more minutes small blisters appear. The blisters last several minutes with the itching lasting several hours and the reddness lasts a day or more. People sensitive to insect stings should seek medical attention.
To reduce pain and irritation use tape to pull out some of the broken spines in the sting area. Washing the area thoroughly with soap and water and as some suggest, poultices of potato or ginger root may help remove some of the irritating venom. Prompt application of an ice pack or baking soda may help to reduce pain and prevent swelling. Antihistaminic drugs, used for other insect stings, are reportedly ineffective.
So far I have not found any information on pets being stung or what to do if they are stung by this caterpillar. Best move the caterpillar(with a stick or container) to a place where the dog can not get to it.
Please be careful.