Preventing pesky insect stings – Bite back!
When it comes to being an attractive target for biting insects, dogs must look like an all-you-can-eat buffet. Combine that with inquisitive dogs who sniff or get aggravated and bite at stinging insects like bees, hornets and wasps, it’s a wonder you dog doesn’t leak water from his body like a sprinkler when he drinks!
Before we tell you how to prevent or treat the problem, we first want to emphasize that insect bites and stings hurt your pet every bit as much as they do you. So as their guardians, we want to take precautions to prevent bites from happening in the first place. Luckily, it’s very easy.
To prevent bites:
We recommend prescription topical parasite control products that kill fleas, ticks and repel mosquitos and other flying insects. DO NOT use human products on your pets as they can often be toxic, and do more harm than good. Non-prescription products may have severe side effects even when used properly due to the high dose used. Please call us for advice on the best product for your pet.
To soothe a bite/sting:
- Scrape the stinger out. If your pet has been targeted by a bee, it probably left a souvenir behind! Part the hair to get a good view, and then try and grab the stinger with tweezers, or scrape it out using something like a credit card.
- Soothe it with soda. You can apply a paste of baking soda and water to the bite or sting; the alkalinity helps the itch. You can also use a product that uses ammonia to use if anyone gets stung; it has a dabber-like pen and works really fast and well.
You should see us if your pet gets bitten or stung on the face or nose – those are the most common place because pets explore the world with their noses – and the pet swells up so much it could interfere with his breathing. If a pet gets bitten and half and hour later there is only minor swelling, you are probably going to be okay. But if he gets targeted and five minutes later he’s really swollen, treat it like an emergency and head straight to us!
One last bit of advice. We recommend keeping Benadryl in your home at all times. Ask us what an appropriate dose would be for your pet. It can save a life.