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The Dangers of Insect Bites


With the warm weather here your pet risks being bitten by bees, wasps, mosquitoes, ants and spiders. Often times these stings and bites can cause an allergic reaction. Allergic reactions can happen to pets of all ages and breeds. A reaction to a bite may not be appearant right away. Some allergic reactions may take several exposures for a reaction to occur.

If your pet should get stung or bitten be aware of the symptoms so that you can determine the severity of the reaction.

    • Mild Reaction: fever, sluggishness, and loss of appetite.
    • Moderate Reaction: urticaria (skin condition that is characterized by red welts). Other symptoms include swelling and redness of the lips, around the eyes and neck region. The condition is commonly itchy and can be life threatening. Urticaria is the most common reaction among dogs.
    • Severe Reaction: severe difficulty breathing, collapse and the risk of death. In severe reactions the symptoms occur within minutes of a bite or sting. Watch out for sudden onsets of vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, rapid drop in blood pressure, swelling of the larynx, seizures and cardiovascular collapse or death.
Flea & Tick Bites

Flea and tick bites can be painful for your pet. Flea bites can cause itching that can last up to 5 days. Extensive skin damage caused by your pet's biting, licking and scratching due to the itching can lead to hot spots. Hot spots are surface lesions that can grow and develop secondary infections from opportunistic bacteria. Depending on the area of the bite your pet may suffer from excessive hair loss and small red papules with reddish-brown crusts.

Topicals and ointments like 1. GreenTree Septiderm-V Skin Care Bath, 2. HomeoPet Flea Bite and 3. HomeoPet Hot Spots can be used to provide relief to your pet.

Bee, Wasp, Ant & Mosquito Bites

Bee, wasp, ant and mosquitoes bites should immediately be identified to determine the type of insect bite and the type of reaction your pet may have. Stingers should be removed (when accessible) with a pair of tweezers. For immediate treatment make a paste of baking soda and water and apply to the bite to help relieve itching. An alternative to baking soda and water is Cardinal Hydrocortisone Drops. For pets with longer coats it may be necessary to part and trim the hair for proper application. Reduce pain and swelling by placing an ice pack or cold compress to the area

Spider Bites
Spider bites can come from a variety of spider types. The two most common and dangerous are from black widows and the brown recluse spider. Bites from the black widow spider can cause regional tenderness and numbness followed by increased sensitivity to the senses of your pet. Other symptoms to watch out for are seizures, increased blood pressure and heart rate, and paralysis from a decrease in muscular rigidity. Cats may also experience severe pain, drooling, restlessness and early paralysis.

Brown recluse spider bites are less harsh but still serious. Usually a reaction can be seen within 2-6 hours with pain and redness occurring in the area of the bite. After about 12 hours a blister may be visible and progress into a “bulls-eye” lesion. Within 7-14 days the skin dies and focal ulceration occurs. These types of spider bites can take several months for the skin to heal. However, if your pet suffers from a viscerocutaneous bite (invasive bite) you may see signs of fever, joint pain, weakness, vomiting and seizures. For all spider bites it’s essential that you contact your veterinarian for immediate attention.

Snake Bites

Pet owners should be especially cautious of snakes. Snakes can be found in a variety of environments your pet might explore including: hills, rivers, grassy areas and rock crevices. A snake bite can be identified by one or two puncture wounds with visible bruising, bleeding and painful swelling in the area of the bite. In extreme cases pets can suffer from shock, lethargy, weakness, muscle tremors, vomiting, depressed respiration and nausea. In the event that your pet is bitten by a snake immediately restrict the movement of your pet. DO NOT attempt to remove the venom, apply tourniquet or apply ice to the area.

Remedies and Prevention

If your pet does have an allergic reaction your veterinarian may recommend you to administer 1. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Regardless of the severity you should call your veterinarian immediately and have your pet taken in for an examination.

For mosquito, flea and tick bites, the use of 2. Calm Coat Topical Spray will help to relieve itching while helping to reduce inflammation associated with the reaction.

Keep your dog or safe by spraying your house. Foggers and carpet sprays are one way to kill fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and ants. Try 3. Siphotrol Outdoor Fogger   and 4. Adams Carpet Sprayfor your home. Another alternative is to have an exterminator spray your home inside and out. If you choose to have an exterminator come, leave your pet with a sitter or daycare to avoid accidental digestion and inhalation of the pesticides.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)

Flea and tick bites can be prevented by using year-round flea and tick control treatments. 1. Frontline PLUS, 2. K9 Advantix and 3. Advantage are topcials that can be used to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes. All of the and tick control are waterproof and can be used on puppies and kittens as young as 8 weeks old.


Help your pet feel better faster by surrounding them with their favorite toys and treats like Otis and Claude’s Bettie Fetch Toy  and Pet Health Solutions Krazy Kitty Catnip.

The Dangers of Insect Bites