Insect bites and stings

Coming into spring, everybody wants to be back outside and enjoying the warmer weather and longer days.

As much as that is true for people and their pets, the same goes for insects and other invertebrates too whose bites and stings can be an uncomfortable experience, as Gracie (pictured) recently found out.

Gracie’s mum brought her in to Uni Vets Camden after she found her with swelling around the face. Just like in people, animals can have a range of responses to insect bites and stings, but swelling around the head like this, called oedema, is a common sign.

Because this swelling can affect the respiratory tract, even going so far as to cause anaphylaxis, insect bites and stings can be a real emergency, and you should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible if signs like this are seen. In most cases, anti-histamines and sometimes steroids are used to reduce swelling. The sooner treatment is started, the more rapid the resolution.

Gracie spent the day with us as her owners were at work. The swelling started going down through the day and was gone overnight. She is doing well.

By Tom Gillard, 5th Year Veterinary Student, The University of Sydney

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