In our dry, desert climate, scorpion stings and spider bites are common in pets. Their curiosity can get the best of them, resulting in a defensive sting, or they can fall victim to a surprise bite by simply sniffing in the wrong place at the wrong time.

As pet owners it’s important to know the facts about symptoms and treatment.

Scorpion Stings in Pets: Symptoms & Treatments

Each dog or cat will respond differently to a scorpion sting. The severity and toxicity of the sting will depend on a few different factors including your pet’s age and weight, your pet’s physical condition, and the type of scorpion.

scorpionCommon symptoms of scorpion stings include:

  • Signs of severe pain through yelping, whimpering, licking/biting the wound area
  • Drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Muscle tremors
  • Loss of bowel and/or bladder control
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Paralysis

Treating scorpion stings in pets:

The best treatment for a scorpion sting is to seek immediate emergency veterinary care. Call ahead to alert the staff that you’re on your way. In the meantime, first aid can help stabilize your pet and ease his or her discomfort.

Restrict movement: Since activity will increase circulation and the spread of the toxin, make an effort to keep your pet calm and still.

Offer Diphenhydramine: Diphenhydramine (plain Benadryl) can also be given to dogs to reduce allergic reactions, however it’s important to consult your veterinarian first to determine the proper dosage for your pet.

Spider Bites in Pets: Symptoms & Treatments

The severity of your pet’s spider bite depends on the species of spider, your pet’s age and weight, and your pet’s physical condition, so each pet will react differently to a bite.

black widow spiderCommon symptoms of spider bites include:

  • Swelling at the site of the bite
  • Swelling of the entire face, a condition called angioedema
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Weakness or dizziness that results in disorientation
  • A slow or weakened pulse
  • Loss of consciousness
  • An increase in heart rate
  • A fever high enough to cause shock
  • Coldness in the extremities
  • Mild to severe trembling
  • Vomiting or diarrhea

Treating spider bites in pets:

If your dog has severe facial swelling, is experiencing difficulty breathing, or is in severe distress, seek immediate emergency care from your veterinarian. Diphenhydramine (plain Benadryl) can also be given to dogs to reduce allergic reactions, however it’s important to consult your veterinarian to determine the proper dosage for your pet.

VETMED’s emergency and critical care services are offered 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Call (602) 697-4694 for an appointment or to let us know you’re on your way.