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Bites from Insects

 

With stings of bees, wasps, hornets or ants, signs usually occur within about 20 minutes of the bite. Dogs should be observed for at least 12-24 hours after a reaction as mild symptoms may progress in severity.

The stings of bees, wasps, and ants often occur on hairless areas such as the stomach and feet, but are most common on the face, head, or inside the mouth. Stings and bites tend to produce local inflammation and pain, which takes about an hour to subside.

Multiple stings and bites can cause a severe allergic reactions including anaphylactic shock. With some insects, such as honey bees, the entire venom-stinging apparatus is torn from the insect's body after stinging and remains attached to the victim. This apparatus contains muscle tissue that may continue contracting, thereby injecting more venom into the pet.

Do not remove this using tweezers as that may inject more venom into the pet. It is better to gently scrape (with a credit card or similiar card) the sting out. Some wasps and hornets may sting repeatedly because the venom-stinging apparatus remains attached to the insect.

Signs of Insect Stings

Usually characterised by swelling of the eyelids, ear flaps, lips, and sometimes the entire face. If the pet has been stung in the nose or mouth, watch for an immediate large swelling. This may cause the pet to have a hard time breathing. You may also see hives, wheals, or welts or localised swelling if the skin is involved.

The bites are often pruritic (itch). In an anaphylatic reaction, animals may also go into shock with symptoms such as wheezing, weakness, unconsciousness, increased heart rate, fever, or cold extremities (legs), trembling, vomiting, diarrhoea, wheezing and collapse.

Contact us immediately if any of these symptoms occur.

Immediate Treatment

Remove sting if possible. Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the sting or bite to relieve the itching. Calamine lotion dabbed on with a cotton ball can also relieve itching and pain.

Apply an ice pack or cold compress to the area to relieve pain and swelling. Contact us.