Insect Bites

Insect bites and stings are quite common in both dogs and cats and can involve ants, bees, spiders, fleas, ticks and a variety of other annoying little critters. While some bites will only cause a mild annoyance to your pet, others can create a serious pet health problem. Since insect bites are so common, it is essential to know how to deal with them should they occur.

Insect Bites

How it Affects your pet

What an insect bite or sting can do to your pet depends on what type of insect was involved and whether or not your pet develops an allergic reaction. However, in some cases, pets may develop rashes or hives, experience swelling and pain, and/or have a difficult time breathing after being bitten or stung. In rare cases, flying insect stings can cause some pets to go into anaphylactic shock and even die. Some spider bites are toxic and can cause your pet to experience seizures resulting in shock and sometimes death. Stings of such insects as scorpions or centipedes can cause your dog or cat to become extremely ill as well.

Common symptoms

If your pet is bitten or stung by an insect, it could show symptoms within anywhere between five to 20 minutes. Since there are some cases that can become quite serious, it is essential for you to be able to recognize these symptoms and be on the look-out for them. Common Symptoms of Insect Bites on Dogs and Cats: Swelling of the Eyelids, Ear Flaps, Lips or Entire Face, Swelling of Other Areas of the Body, Difficulty Breathing, Hives or Rashes on the Skin, Wheezing, Generalized Weakness, Fainting or Collapse Weak Pulse or Increased Heart Rate, Fever, Shock, Trembling, Vomiting and/or Diarrhea and Intense Itching.

Treatments

The treatment for insect bites varies significantly depending on the insect involved and whether or not an allergic reaction has occurred. If your pet has been stung by a flying insect, you will need to remove the stinger and clean the wound. Additionally, antihistamines will help prevent allergic reactions, and insect repellents may be recommended to prevent future bites or stings. In any case, topical lotions or creams containing antibiotics and/or corticosteroids can help prevent infection and relieve itching and pain. If there has been a severe allergic reaction, epinephrine injections can help prevent shock. Additionally, severe cases may need anti-venom and/or IV fluids as well. Finally, if fleas or ticks are involved, a parasite prevention program and such products as Advantage or Frontline may be recommended.

Breeds Affected

Pets can be curious, no matter what breed or age they may be. Unfortunately, at times, this curiosity can get them into trouble. Many insect bites or stings occur due to an animal's natural desire to explore their environment. As such, pets that match the following criteria and/or engage themselves in the activities listed here are often more vulnerable to insect bites and stings than other animals. Pets most vulnerable to Insect Bites: pets that spend a lot of time outdoors, animals that spend time in or near wooded areas, pets that like to dig/burrow, hunting dogs, animals that enjoy exploring in gardens, poor hygiene, pets that live in crowded quarters, filthy or neglected environments and suburban and rural areas.

Insect Bites Affects

  • What an insect bite or sting can do to your pet depends on what type of insect was involved and whether or not your pet develops an allergic reaction. However, in some cases, pets may develop rashes or hives, experience swelling and pain, and
  • or have a difficult time breathing after being bitten or stung. In rare cases, flying insect stings can cause some pets to go into anaphylactic shock and even die. Some spider bites are toxic and can cause your pet to experience seizures resulting in shock and sometimes death. Stings of such insects as scorpions or centipedes can cause your dog or cat to become extremely ill as well.

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