Bee-Ware of Insect Stings and Bites This Summer!

Happy summer! This morning at 10:16a the season officially changed, and we here at Encina welcome the longer days and warmer weather (though today is a little too hot for our taste)! Another hallmark of summer, for veterinarians and staff at least, is the influx of emergency cases we see that involve an unfortunate meeting between a pet and an insect that can result in an allergic reaction like the one you see above. Meet Samson, a gregarious boxer that normally resembles the handsome picture you see towards the left. A bee sting yesterday rendered him a little, shall we say…swollen, still good looking but definitely not his normal stunning self. Just as some people are allergic to bees and others are not, such is the case in pets. Symptoms may range from mild redness, swelling, and itching, to vomiting, difficulty breathing, collapse, and even death. We often get calls from worried owners about their pets having swollen faces, and it is our recommendation to have these animals come in for a visit because facial swelling can precede life-threatening airway obstruction. Most minor to moderate reactions typically require an examination by a veterinarian and two injections, an antihistamine and a steroid, which combat the swelling and discomfort.

Look at the Swelling Surrounding Samson's Eyes and Muzzle!

Avoiding bees and other bugs may seem to be nearly impossible, but keeping your pet out of clovers and blooming, ground-covering plants is a good idea this time of year. Remove any hives from your yard (we recommend calling a professional to do so), bees typically build hives under awnings and in trees while wasps nest on the ground. It is not advisable to apply insect repellent to your pet, as the ingredients may not be safe for animal use. Please call us at (925)937-5000 if you suspect that your pet is having a reaction to an insect sting or bite, we are available 24/7 to answer your questions.

For further information, please visit UC Davis’ webpage on the topic by clicking here