One Spring morning, two Dachshund pups were playfully exploring their fenced yard when Rudy caught Abigail off guard and bounded at her from behind the rose bushes. As Abby took a tumble landing dazed and confused, a bumble bee buzzed passed her. The twosome, quickly distracted by this new found fun, attempted to play a game of pounce with the tiny buzzing creature. Fun did ensue for a few moments, but it then turned nasty as the bee planted his stinger right onto the tip of Rudy’s nose! The pup pawed furiously at his face, and as it began to swell, Rudy started looking more like a Bulldog than a Doxie.
Generally, animals paw at and remove the insect’s stinger, but should you see one through your pet’s fur coat (or on his nose, lip, paw or elsewhere), scrape it away with a credit card, popsicle stick or similar stiff object. Pulling the stinger with fingers or tweezers could rupture the poison sac allowing the toxin to enter your pet’s body. Administer 1 mg Benadryl per pound of your dog or cat’s body weight, and apply a cold pack (a bag of frozen peas works well) to any swelling. Should severe swelling or any breathing difficulties develop, get to your Veterinarian at once.
Black Widow Spiders terrify us all with their distinctive red hour-glass marking, but rarely are they fatal. Smaller pets sometimes have bigger issues with the venom due to their size. Treat bites with ice and Benadryl as you would for a bee sting, and should your pet develop unusual redness, pain, difficulty breathing or paralysis…get to the Vet ASAP.
Brown Recluse Spiders tend to hide in dark, secluded areas and their venom is known to destroy tissue surrounding the bite. Approximately 1/2 inch to 2 inches long, the Brown Recluse can be identified by a distinctive fiddle-shaped mark on its back. When bitten, most dogs do not realize it, but after a while redness occurs. Clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or povidone iodine. If your dog appears lethargic, develops a rash, fever, chills, vomiting or diarrhea or if the wound becomes larger or persistent drainage occurs, seek Veterinary assistance at once.
- Treat dogs & cats for fleas and ticks which can cause skin allergies as well as disease.
- Don’t feed human foods many are poisonous including some fruits and vegetables (i.e.: grapes, raisins, peach pits, apple and cherry seeds, onions, tomato leaves and stems).
- Keep pets well-hydrated and provide shade when outdoors. Outside food bowls should be placed in a pan containing a few inches of water to keep ants out of the food.
- Check www.aspca.org or www.hsus.org to find out what plants in your yard may be poisonous to your pets. Lilies can be fatal to cats and some of the most poisonous household plants include: sago palm, narcissus/tulip bulbs, azaleas, oleander, castor bean, cyclamen, english ivy, kalanchoe and chrysanthamums.
- READ LABELS…There are Pet & Wildlife Friendly Products on the market. Pets are poisoned every year by fertilizers and insecticides. Snail & slug bait pellets can cause seizures. Make sure your pet does not ingest or even get hazardous products on his paws or coat, as he will then ingest them when he grooms himself. This also means all those indoor chemicals and paints you may be dragging out for Spring Cleaning season! Have phone numbers accessible for the ASPCAs Poison Control Hotline (888) 426-4435 and your nearest Animal Emergency Center.