This post comes out of sharing one of our experiences on dealing with insect bites on dogs and since insect bites are often misunderstood though it can be such a common reason behind sudden ailments in dogs/pets- what with most canines having a habit of sniffing around and poking their faces in the most wierd and strangest of places all the time for their pleasure. We are not offering any common solution to these cases but rather just wish to narrate our ignorance when suddenly faced with a situation like this in which we were left wondering what is wrong with the dog right till the time we reached the vet.
On 25th July, 2010 we were faced with a very confusing case of an approximately 7 month old young dog who suddenly started to yelp after splashing in the water placed in the water bath placed outside.
He started to run around with his tail pointed downwards and was pacing up and down in a frenzied manner.
Within about 10 minutes, he started vomiting and the vomiting continued at an interval of one each every 10 minutes for the next one hour and after that he vomited twice with portions of blood and phlegm in the vomit. All this while we were trying to flush his mouth with cold water and even trying to force feed him water in the hope that if he has ingested something wrong, the same will get drained out one way or the other but nothing helped improvise his condition.
We were deeply worried and called the vet, in any case it was a Sunday so the first vet we called refused to tell us anything on the phone!
We kept trying and then got through two of our trusted veterinarians- and then narrated the chain of events to them. They said the symptoms we were sharing point to case of the dog ingesting something ‘poisonous’. Both of the vets asked us to give him some vanilla ice cream but the dog won’t have or even lick any of it and the vomiting wasn’t stopping either.
We called the vet again.
They asked us to give a few drops of Perinorm syrup to the dog (Perinorm is supposedly a medicine that helps stop vomiting).
Perinorm did help stop the dog’s vomiting and he slept for the next hour or so and then we had another shock in store when the dog woke up and started licking himself, we suddenly noticed that his genital organs swelled and so did his lips and eyes which were getting drastically swollen by the minute. Effectively, all the mucous membranes were showing swelling.
We were then asked to give the dog a 50mg Avil tablet.
By then it was two and a half hours since our agony had started with the suffering dog the vet- nearest to us reached his clinic on a torrid Sunday afternoon (much ahead of his schedule) and we rushed the young dog to the clinic.
While we were taking the dog to the vet’s clinic in the car, he began panting and we noticed that there was a blood-red long sting bite mark on the left side of his tongue.
We reached the vet and finally we realised that the young dog had become a victim of a possible wasp/bee sting while he was splashing around in the water bath while drinking water from the same. Te doctor promptly gave the young dog a set of anti-histamine injections and within fifteen minutes, the swelling on his lips, eyes and genital organs subsided and the dog was visibly relieved and looking far more comfortable, though he was still a bit subdued and sluggish in his movements.
Then the vet suggested that we feed the dog a powdered ‘charcoal’ tablet soon after as charcoal tablets help cleanse the body of all toxins sticking on the surface of the internal organs, we promptly did so and the dog eliminated all the toxins (supposedly) in his next faeces (which obviously was dark and partly black in colour).
The young dog was back to his usual self in a day or two soon after all the toxins were flushed and elimnated out of his body.
And so this basically sums up our first experience of dealing with a dog stung by a wasp/bee.
We would like to summarise and share the main learnings we had from this experience below:
1. Dogs are playful animals and are often found sniffing and exploring unusual places. They tend to sniff under the bins, below the ledges, dark and mysterious corners and love digging up the soil. These places are homes to a number of insects and these insects bite the unsuspecting, curious dogs.
2. Wasps and bees generally tend to bite/stung the animal at places where they have less hair, like the nose, mouth, lips and the chest area.
3. Symptoms to look out for: The animal becomes restless, starts vomiting/shows symptoms of diarrhoea, inflammation or swelling of eye lids, nose, lips, muzzle area. The other symptoms of insect bites on dogs like wheezing, weakness, unconsciousness, weak and thready pulse, increased heart rate and fever may cause the animal to go into shock. Other symptoms of insect bites on dogs might lead to cold extremities, trembling, wheezing and collapse.
4. Do not ignore an insect bite, it could be serious and cause a series of allergic reactions in the dog which may even be fatal!
5. Take the dog to the vet immediately while administering first aid on the way to the clinic.
One useful backgrounder article on the subject of ‘Insect Bites on Dogs’ may be accessed here .
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