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Springtime bites and stings

posted: 07/Nov/2016

If you have ever experienced a bee or wasp sting, or even an ant bite you can understand how much it hurts and it’s the same for our pets. 

It can be difficult to know if a bite or a sting from an insect is dangerous or not. Similar to human health, our pets may also have allergic reactions, which can potentially be very dangerous. 

There are a number of first aid measures that can help to reduce the amount of swelling and pain in the affected local area.  It is however important to monitor your pet closely and if the conditions worsen, the best safety precaution is to seek immediate veterinary care.

Ant bites

Ant bites will often cause pain at the site of the bite and may cause swelling. They do not often cause severe allergic reactions, however the area that has been bitten can be very irritating and uncomfortable to your pet.

Look out for signs such as:

  • Holding up their paw or shaking their leg
  • Sudden redness between the toes
  • Licking or chewing at the site of the bite

First aid tips for bites:

To make your pet more comfortable, try applying a cold compress to the site of the bite for 5-10 minutes.  If the bite is on their foot, you can also place the foot in a cold-water bath for 5-10 minutes. 

It’s important to ensure that your pet does not aggravate the area by excessively scratching or biting the sore. 

It’s important that you contact your local Greencross Vets if you are concerned about your pet’s health or if the redness or itchiness does not settle down after 10-15 minutes. 

Bee and wasp stings

Bee and wasp stings can be nasty and some pets can have an allergic reaction. If the reaction to the sting is severe, it can cause the airways to close. It is important to note that the sting doesn’t have to be near the face to cause this reaction. 

If there is any swelling around the face or throat, or your pet is having trouble breathing and has pale gums, it’s vital that visit your vet immediately. If possible, ask someone to phone the clinic ahead of time so that they are able to prepare for your arrival and immediate care of your pet.

Bees and wasps commonly sting around the mouth, lips and sometimes on the feet.

Look out for signs such as:

  • Swelling at the site of the sting
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Pain at the site of the sting
  • Itchiness at the site of the bite or over the whole body
  • Pawing at the mouth and difficulty breathing.

First aid tips for stings:

If your pet has been stung, try to safely remove the stinger if you can locate it. Then apply a cool face washer to the affected area or wash the area with cool water. Restrict exercise to help decrease blood supply to the area and therefore pain and swelling. Ensure that you monitor your pet closely and seek veterinary advice if the symptoms worsen.

To minimise your pet’s exposure to insect bites and stings, monitor your garden for potential infestations such as bee and wasp hives, nests and ant hills. You may also like to limit your pet’s exposure to flower and herb gardens, where certain insects will be more prevalent. 

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