Caissie Canine Instruction: Bug Bites
We begin this week’s “RUFF TAILS” featuring 2 beautiful K9’s, a Golden Labrador, named Buddy and a Golden Irish Retriever named Molly.
Our family keep us busy, all year around, but we love the summertime, as we go boating, and cottaging. However, the Deerflies have been particularly bad this season and here we are with a Deerfly bite each. (Molly’s bite is on the muzzle, Buddy above his eye)
Now that our family, called our vet, got professional advice and medication, we are back enjoying the rest of the summer!!!!
Welcome to Doggie Dialogue
Many of our clients go hiking, camping, and cottaging with their k9’s. Some of the dogs will experience different types of bug bites during their travels.
Most common bug bites in K9’s are ticks, fleas, spiders, and bee stings.
Flea bites look like a cluster usually found around the belly or paws. Fleas are most aggressive in warmer months.
Summertime can bring on blackflies and horseflies. These are the most aggressive types of flies and can leave a dark red splotch on your dog.
Dogs are sensitive to the proteins contained in the salvia of the most “biting” insects. Some dogs are born with this sensitivity, other dogs may develop this sensitivity if they are exposed numerous times to a particular insect.
The most common clinical signs are redness or swelling at the site of the bite, swollen muzzle, and/or hives.
Hives maybe a sign that your dog could be allergic to the insect bite. If your dog is allergic or you notice generalized weakness, trouble breathing, or having a seizure, your dog could be going into anaphylactic shock and need to seek veterinary care immediately.
Treatment for insect bites is based on the type of insect and the severity. For bee stings, vets will remove the stinger and administer an antihistamine and/or an anti-inflammatory, if needed.
Treating your dog with a bee/insect bite at home, we recommend look for the stinger first. We recommend remove the stinger with a credit card/debit card instead of a pair of tweezers.
The tweezer could eject more venom into your dog’s body when getting “pinch” as you pull out the stinger. Gently scrape the credit card around the stinger until you bring the stinger up to the surface and remove very gently with your hand or flick it away with the credit card.
Using a cold compress will help soothe the bite and help with the swelling. You can also make a “baking soda paste” to apply to the bite or sting. (Paste: Baking soda mixed with a little bit of water)
Some dogs may be able to take over-the-counter human Benadryl or Hydrocortisone
however, NOT all dogs can safety use this medication. Call your vet to ensure it is safe for your SPECIFIC dog and if so, how much to give.
Bug bites and stings are common with all pet owners and because these insects transmit bacteria and/or viruses, we recommend veterinary prescribed prevention medication.