Insect Stings on Pets: — What to Do?

Easy at-home remedies can help your dog or cat when they've been stung by a bug, or swallowed a live insect.

Summer is here, and with all the fun and increase in outdoor activity, also comes the potential increase for our pets to be stung by insects. Being prepared ahead of time is key to ensuring your pet’s safety.

Insect stings to our cats and dogs can generally be managed simply with a home remedy. The exception is when the sting is in the mouth or when the insect is swallowed. Here are the basic approaches for treating an insect sting in your pet:

Exterior Insect Stings

An old human remedy works good here—slice a raw onion and apply to the sting as soon as possible. It is thought that onions contain specific enzymes that break down the inflammatory-causing compounds in insect stings.

Interior Insect Stings (mouth or swallowed)

This is where preparation comes in; you need to keep antihistamine capsules/liquids in your first aid kit for use in these situations. A rapid administration of antihistamine soon after the sting can prevent serious complications. To administer, pour metered dosage (based on weight) down the throat, close mouth, tip head back, and massage the throat. If you suspect your pet has swallowed an insect live, this can be a serious matter. The insect may continue stinging the pet inside the body, which can result in a swelling of the trachea and a cutting off of the oxygen supply. Rapid administration of antihistamine may stave off serious health complications.

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