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That Stings! Insect Bites and Pets

Posted by Awesome Doggies

Dog-and-BeeAlong with the great summer weather comes more time outdoors, and more insects. Like people, animals can become the victim of  nasty bites and stings, and their reaction to them can vary from a mild swelling to life-threatening reactions.

Unlike in humans, it may be difficult to see a sting through your pet's fur so it is important to know the signs and know what to do if your dog or cat has an insect bite.

Sometimes your pet may just have a small local reaction with mild swelling, pain, or itching at the site. You might notice a small raised area when petting your dog or cat or they might react to the area when touched. First, hold your pet calmly but firmly and look for a stinger. If one is still in the skin, remove it with your fingers or tweezers. Monitor your pet for additional signs of distress, such as labored breathing, or additional swelling which may signal a need for a trip to the vet.

In a more serious reaction, you might see swelling of the face or limb, or a rash like hives over the abdomen. If this happens, take your pet to the vet for treatment immediately. You might also call for recommendations for treatment that can help while on your way.


Severe and life-threatening reactions might occur is the pet has an allergy or is the victim of multiple stings at once. In addition to swelling, you might notice lethargy, vomiting, panting, or fever. If your pet has come upon a wasps' nest, swarm of bees, or a yellow jacket's nest, throw a towel over your pet to keep the insects away, retrieve your pet as soon as it is safe, then transport them to the vet immediately.

Fortunately, most stings do not amount anything more than a mild and momentary discomfort. You can help avoid stings by walking on cleared paths and making sure your property is not attractive to pesky insects. 

To learn more about insect bites and how to treat your pet for them, check out these websites:

Insect and Spider Bites and Stings on Dogs I WebMD

Cat Bug Bites I Aardora

Insect Bites on Dogs I Pet Assure Newsletter

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