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Common Conditions - Articles of Interest - Stings and Bites - First Aid Tips

Stings and Bites - First Aid Tips

Ouch! 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. If your pet has been stung by a bee or bitten by a little nasty ant you can use some first aid that may help 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.

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.  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.


  • Bees & wasps commonly sting around the mouth, lips and sometimes on the feet
  • A 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
  • Difficulty breathing

First Aid:

  • Remove the stinger if you can locate it
  • 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
  • Monitor your pet closely and seek veterinary advice if the symptoms worsen

Ant Bites:

Ant bites will often cause pain at the site of the bite and often swelling can occur. Ant bites do not often cause severe allergic reaction however the area that has been bitten can be very irritating to the pet.


  • Pet suddenly holds leg/paw up sometimes flicking and shaking the leg
  • Sudden redness between the toes
  • Licking or chewing at the site of the bite

First Aid:

  • Apply a cold compress to the site of the bite for 5-10 minutes
  • If the bite is on the foot, place the foot in a cold water bath for 5-10 minutes
  • Protect the area that has been bitten, the pet can cause self-inflicted trauma by licking or chewing at the site of the bite. Your local vet can provide a special collar to protect the area if the pet is causing self-inflicted trauma by licking or chewing
Contact your local Greencross Vet if the redness or itching doesn't settle down after 10-15 minutes

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