Summer is a great time to be outdoors with your pets. But, it can also be a dangerous time for your pets because you are exposing them to potential attacks by ants, bees, wasps and other biting and stinging insects.
Most people know that insect bites and stings can cause an allergic reaction. Did you know that it is just as common for our pets to have allergic reactions to these bites and stings? That’s right! Reactions may be mild, moderate or severe and can occur in pets of any age, breed or sex. Here are some of the reactions your pet may suffer:
- If your pet has a mild reaction, it will have minimal swelling or pain in the area where it was stung. Treatment may or may not be needed but you should keep a close eye out for worsening symptoms. Allergic reactions don’t always occur right away. It is a good idea to call your vet and ask for advice when this happens.
- It is common for dogs to have a moderate reaction to bites and stings. Pets with moderate reactions will often have urticaria. That is a moderate vascular reaction of the skin marked by hives or wheels with rapid swelling. You’ll also see redness of the lips, around the eyes and in the neck areas. It usually causes extreme itching. Urticaria may progress to anaphylaxis and is considered to be life threatening.
Anaphylaxis is the most severe reaction. Anaphylaxis is a sudden and severe allergic response. It produces breathing difficulties, collapse, or even death. These symptoms usually occur within minutes after an insect bite or sting and will proceed rapidly. Symptoms of this usually include a sudden onset of vomiting, diarrhea, staggering, a rapid drop in blood pressure, swelling of the larynx leading to airway obstruction, seizures and cardiovascular collapse or death. Anaphylaxis is triggered by antibodies that the immune system has made. These antibodies cause inflammatory cells, like basophils and mast cells, to release substances that cause the allergic reaction. This type of reaction is life threatening for your dog and you need to take your dog to a hospital immediately.
Summertime is here and we want everyone to have a lot of fun. But, there is no way to prevent or predict these allergic reactions. The best thing you can do it to have a plan and become prepared. We strongly suggest you put your vet’s phone number on your cell phone. It is also a good idea to have the phone number of an after-hours emergency clinic so you’ll have someone else to call if your vet’s office is closed.
Termite Terry would also like to remind everyone to take a close look around your property. If you have a colony of bees or wasp nests around your home, you need to have these taken care of right away. That is especially true if you suspect that the bees may be Africanized (killer bees). You should also look for signs of fire ants or other biting insect species because they have claimed the lives of many pets. Please remember that if your pets are living outdoors in a fenced in area, they have no place to go and they cannot escape an attack.
Do you have problems with ants, bees, wasps or other stinging pests and need help? Call our office at (949) 631-7348 or use our online order form and we’ll be happy to schedule a complimentary Pest Audit for you. You’ll receive a lot of valuable information and learn how to keep your home pest free so you’ll be able to provide your family and pets with a safer environment.