Warmer weather is here, and with it comes an increase in activity of stinging insects. Dogs and cats love to chase fast moving creatures. And they don’t always take into consideration the painful consequences of sniffing, playing with or biting at bees, wasps and spiders. What should you do if your pet is stung or bitten?

First of all, be on the lookout for extreme reactions. Some pets will develop hives or severe and even life threatening swelling around the ears, face, nose, tongue and throat. If you see this happening, call your veterinarian or emergency clinic right away! If the swelling becomes severe enough it can interfere with your pet’s breathing and cause death.

If you only notice a small amount of swelling at the site of the sting or bite, apply a cold compress for ten minutes to reduce the swelling and relieve discomfort. Examine the area closely to ensure the bee did not leave its stinger behind and remove it if necessary. In uncomplicated stings or insect bites, the site should slowly improve every day. If however, the area becomes increasingly red, swollen or painful, call your veterinarian for evaluation, this may be a sign that the area has become infected.

The outdoors are a great place for your pets to play and explore. If they come into contact with a less than enthusiastic insect playmate, now you are prepared!

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