Dog First Aid – Insect bites

Biting is an inherent behavior of dog! Even though dogs are considered as man’s best friends, people can’t help but be intimidated by the fact that the jaws and the sharp teeth can deliver quite a punch. The threat of rabies was eliminated with ongoing vaccination programs but dogs are still feared because the injuries that can be caused by their bites. Isn’t it quite laughable that the “mighty” dog can be affected by the bite of a tiny insect?

Insect bites are particularly common during the summer months. Inquisitive puppies are often seen in the garden pestering and following insects around thus they often get insect bites on the nose or on the other less hairy body parts. A dog stung by bees and wasps or bitten by scorpions and spiders will suffer from severe pain .

Some dogs are tolerant of the insect bites. Aside from the tingling sensation on the bite site, the dog will not be affected at all. However, some dogs would manifest insect bite symptoms 20 minutes after an insect bites. Swelling of the eyes, ear flaps and lips are signs that the dog is allergic to insect bites. Other dogs would even show more serious reactions to insect bites. The dog would break out in hives and the face would swell. The condition becomes fatal when the swelling extends to the throat so that the dog will suffer from breathing difficulties as the airway is blocked. This condition would result to abnormal heartbeat and the dog may also go into shock.

If shock occurs as a result of the insect bite, the dog has to have urgent medical attention. The dog owner can take care of the other mild and non-life threatening symptoms of insect bites. As long as the dog was not stung in the throat or the insect bite has not resulted to the swelling of the throat that will make breathing difficult, some first aid methods can be applied to lessen the pain resulting from the insect bite.

Use tweezers to remove the barb of a bee and wash the sting site with a saline solution. Baking soda and water paste , warm compress or cold compress applied to the bite site will reduce swelling and pain as the toxin is drawn out. All pet owners have to have a first aid kit to be able to administer first aid to the pet and as dogs are susceptible to allergic reaction, Benadryl and other antihistamines should be a mainstay of the first aid kit. Antihistamins are medications that can be safely given to the pet for allergic reactions.

At Sarah’s Dogs you can learn more about insect bites as well as first aid for dogs.

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