7. Snake Bites and Bee and Wasp Stings
Pets enjoy snake bites and bee and wasp stings about as much as you and I do. And if your pet happens to be allergic to those buzzing insects’ bite or is bitten by a venomous snake, this common summertime hazard could prove life threatening. You can safely assume that a stinging insect or snake got the best of your pet if you notice immediate swelling on your pet’s body and she just won’t stop itching. Following is a basic course of action in case your four-legged friend meets with an unsought natural foe while out and about.
Bee and wasp stings
1. Try to identify the bee or wasp’s stinger, and then scrape it away using a blunt object. Do not try to pull out the stinger with tweezers or your fingers; doing so could release additional venom into your pet’s body.
2. Although it’s not safe for all pets, Benadryl (1 mg per pound of your pet’s body weight) can help combat swelling and itching associated with allergic reactions. Ideally, you should check with your vet to see if your pet could safely benefit from Benadryl before you and your pet find yourself in this situation. An ice pack should also be applied to assist in reduction of swelling.
3. Closely monitor your pet, especially the area on your pet’s body where she was stung, for the next several hours. If you see an extension of swelling beyond the sting site or notice that your dog is having trouble breathing or seems more than ordinarily fatigued, bring her into the vet immediately.
1. Keep your pet as still and as calm as possible. The slower your pet’s breathing and heart rate, the more slowly he will absorb the snake’s venom.
2. If the bite was on the neck, remove your pet’s collar. If the bite took place on a limb, keep the limb below heart level.
3. Call your vet or animal emergency clinic and tell them that you need antivenom for a snake bite. (Note: Not all veterinarians keep this in stock; if the first place doesn’t have it, ask if they know who will.) Also ask if you should administer Benadryl to your pet in the meantime.
4. While you are still on the phone, do your best to identify the type of snake without getting close to it.
5. Transport your pet to the vet or emergency clinic immediately.
6. Under no circumstances should you try to cut the wound, suck out the poison, or apply ice or a tourniquet to the bite wound.