Insect Stings

Video 53 of 54
2 min 28 sec
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Insect stings happen quite frequently in animals because they are curious, that is just their nature. So, if there is something flying around, they want to chase it, they want to catch it. If there is something on the floor making a noise, they are going to go and have a look at it. So, interestingly, or not, it seems quite obvious once you know that a lot of insect stings are around the head and even in the mouth. So, it can be quite painful and you will get some swelling in a lot of these strings. If it is in the mouth, for example, on the tongue or inside the lip, it does become apparent quite quickly that there is an issue there. The animal will often rub that area, or they may start salivating if it is in the mouth, to give you a clue that something has happened. You might see that they have actually spat the insect back out again. And then, you will obviously know that they have been stung if they are reacting like that.

Some insect stings do not require any treatment at all and the swelling will go down and if your animal is very comfortable, then there is no need to worry too much about it. But just keep an eye on the swelling, or if there is any infection post-sting because the animal has been paying attention to the site of the sting. If there is swelling and it is really uncomfortable for the animal, then that is when you may need some attention, veterinary attention. And we would treat it, normally, with an antihistamine or an anti-inflammatory, depending on what is required. In some situations, animals will have an anaphylactic reaction to the sting and they will need to be seen then because it can affect their breathing, get swelling all over the body and they are almost certainly going to need some type of strong anti-inflammatory to resolve that.

If you have a sting, say, for example, a bee sting, where the sting is still inside the animal, the best thing to do is to try and scrape that sting out. Do not be tempted to use your fingers to pull it out, because you may either push it in further or as you are pulling it out, squeeze the sting and inject more of the sting into the animal. So, if you have got something like a credit card, something that is hard and flat that you can get underneath that sting and remove it safely, then that would be the thing to do. Not very easy to do that in the mouth of an animal, but you might be able to do it on the top of the head or a foot if that is where the sting has occurred.