While you do your best to keep your dog safe, there’s no telling what kind of trouble they’ll run into if they’re off on their own. Even under supervision things can get dicey! That’s why it’s so important to be prepared for an emergency vet visit. In this blog, we’ll talk about what to do if your dog gets stung by a scorpion.
Scorpions and Your Dog
These arthropods can be found all over the world, and are particularly common in the southwestern United States. It’s actually quite common for cats and dogs to have a close encounter with one of them, especially at night when they’re most active. Fortunately, of the almost 2,000 known types of scorpions, only about 30 are venomous enough to deliver a fatal sting. Remember: the bigger the scorpion, the less venomous it is.
Regardless, any scorpion sting can cause extreme pain for your dog. And it’s important to be informed on what species of scorpions are most common in your area and what threat they present to you and your dogs.
For example, the Arizona bark scorpion (Centruroides sculpturatus) is common in Arizona (as the name suggests), western New Mexico, southern Utah and Nevada, and even in parts of southern California. While this scorpion isn’t venomous enough to cause real harm to your dog, it’s important to know that your dog could tangle with one if you’re not careful and end up with a stinger in their paw. Especially if you’re in one of these areas, it’s your job as a pet owner to know what steps to take in the event that your pooch does have an unfortunate tangle with one of these stinging baddies.
What should I do if my dog is stung by a scorpion?
First and foremost, it’s crucial that you stay alert to symptoms that your dog is exhibiting if they were stung by a scorpion. You might not have seen the scorpion. You might have heard a yelp and thought your pup was just startled. But if you notice any of the following symptoms, you need to act right away.
- Excess salivation
- Inappropriate or trouble with urinating and defecating
- Difficulty breathing
- Excessively licking one area
If you see or suspect that your pet was stung by a scorpion, immediate action is necessary. If you don’t have immediate access to an emergency veterinarian in your area, it’s important to make sure your dog is as comfortable as possible while you work to get to an animal hospital. Do not attempt to give your dog any sort of medication or painkillers until you’ve spoken with your veterinarian.
If the scorpion is still within your line of sight and you’re able to safely capture it, do so. You can then bring it to your veterinarian for identification. This will help your veterinarian identify the correct treatment for your dog.
Once at the emergency vet, you can expect the veterinarian to remove the stinger (if possible), clean your dog’s wound, and apply a cold compress. You may also receive a prescription or recommendation for pain or allergy medication for your dog.
Of course, the most important takeaway here is to be prepared and be educated. If you’re traveling to a new area, look into common pet threats there. And make sure you know where the nearest emergency veterinary hospital is. Keep your pups safe this summer!
You don’t need to wait for an emergency to become familiar with our veterinary services. If you want to learn more about how to prepare your pets for a monsoon, get the best care you can find for all of your pet’s health needs. We are more than just an animal hospital. Contact us today or directly call us at 520-888-3177 for more information about our specialty and 24-hour emergency services.