Insect bites and stings

Since pets spend more time outdoors during the warm summer months, we see more dogs with allergic reactions to insect bites and stings.  Reactions can range from mild pain and inflammation at the site to a full blown anaphylactic reaction, but the most common reactions we see  are swelling of the face, drooling (if stung in the mouth or on the lips), skin hives,  and generalized itchiness.  These reactions can be dramatic and need to be treated before they progress into something more serious & potentially life-threatening.  Treatment is best initiated as soon as possible, and may include anti-histamines, anti-inflammatories, and sometimes even epinephrine (in severe cases). 

If a pet has experienced a reaction to insect stings in the past, he is more likely to experience a more severe reaction in the future, so it’s important to get him seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.  Some pet owners may want to have anti-histamines on hand to give orally as soon as they notice any symptoms, but we recommend that you speak with your veterinarian first, as not all human medications are safe for pets.

Honey is one of our patients who had severe facial swelling after a bee sting:

   

With prompt treatment the swelling went down and she felt much better!

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