Summer Issues - Stings & Grass Seeds
Dogs and cats love to chase buzzing insects. Unfortunately, this means that insect bites and stings are fairly common, especially at this time of year. With most stings your pet will experience some pain or irritation and localised swelling, but sometimes things can be more serious. Swelling associated with bites in the mouth can impair breathing and, like with humans, individual animals may be allergic to insect bites. This could potentially lead to anaphylaxis, a life threatening allergic reaction.
So what should you do if you suspect your pet has been stung?
If they are otherwise well, you can attempt to remove the sting (if left behind) - try grasping and pulling or otherwise carefully scraping at the base of any poison sack. Most dogs suffer stings to their face, paws or the inside of their mouth where they have tried to capture the offending insect!
Wrapping ice or an ice pack in a towel and applying it to the area can help relieve the pain. Localised swelling is normal.
If your pet is struggling to breathe or collapses, call the vets immediately. These are signs of an allergic reaction and we will need to see them as soon as possible.
Call us if you are at all worried or the signs seem to be persisting after a couple of hours.
Grass seeds in places they shouldn’t be are also common at this time of year. The pointy end means they become embedded in the skin very easily. Most commonly, these get stuck down ears, up noses and in between toes where they cause a lot of pain and irritation. You may notice varying symptoms such as licking at paws, head-shaking and sneezing or coughing. These often come on very quickly, so if you notice something out of the ordinary following a walk/ run in the fields, these little grass seeds may be to blame so give us a call!
Removal of the seeds may sometimes require sedation or anaesthetic. You can try and prevent them causing harm by keeping hair between toes and around ears short and if possible avoiding areas of high risk. Also inspect your dog and remove any seeds and debris following a walk.
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