How to Deal With Scorpion Stings On Your Dog

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Scorpion stings can be quite painful, but most are not fatal. They may even sting more than once in most cases. The stinger is usually located in at the tail segment and is never left on your pet’s tissue. It can be quite stressing when your dog gets stung by a scorpion. However, according to National Geographic, there are almost 2,000 species of scorpion, but only about 30 can actually kill your dog. 

Scorpions are more of desert dwellers but can also be found in North Carolina, British Columbia, and the Himalayas. Scorpion bites are not an everyday occurrence, but at the same time, it doesn’t mean they don’t happen.

The most common type of scorpion is the Arizona bark scorpion is mostly found in the South Western U.S. Some of the prone areas are, some parts of Mexico, southern Utah and Nevada, and southern California.

When traveling, we are prone to carry our pets around. If you decide to do so, make sure you familiarize the types of scorpion species found in the area for caution, especially if it is a hotbed for scorpions. Also, if you can leave your dog at home or in the care of your neighbor, then that reduces the risk of stings.

How to Deal With Scorpion Stings On Your Dog

How Scorpions Operate

Most often, scorpions hunt at night and will hide under rocks or trees. Homes along the deserts are more prone to have scorpions. 

Scorpions are nocturnal and are active at night. They always prefer to hide in dark places. Dogs are naturally curious and may go digging up holes where scorpions live, and they may end up getting stung. They will often sting the dog on the tail, nose or paws. It is usually a self-defense mechanism when it’s trying to protect itself.

When you go for camping and carry your dog along, search for any scorpions to avoid any possibilities of getting stung. Scorpions may hide even in shoes, ensure you shake them thoroughly before you wear them. Proper training of your dog could also prevent such dangers. Commands such as Sit, Lay Down and Come could help in the prevention of scorpion stings.

Signs that Your Dog has been Stung by a Scorpion

Scorpions, especially the bark scorpions, can enter any windows or doors that measure ⅙ an inch. A scorpion sting is almost similar to an insect sting. It could result in swelling and pain whose intensity depending on the location of the sting. 

Some of the common signs that your dog has scorpion stings are:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Vomiting or drooling
  • Watery eyes
  • Dilated pupils
  • Swallowing difficulties
  • Limping, head shaking, licking the affected area, rubbing and so much more
  • Weird behavior
  • Yelping
  • Agitation
  • Tremors
  • Jumping back
  • Pains when urinating
  • Hypertension
  • Collapsing

The Arizona Poison and Drug Information Center conducted a study on scorpion stings on dogs and noticed that the smaller breeds had more severe reactions than the larger breeds. The larger ones recovered quickly too. 

What to do When Your Dog Gets Stung

A scorpion sting should always be treated as an emergency. If the scorpion is still there, be sure to carry it to your vet for accurate identification. Taking your dog to the vet should be the priority. As these are emergencies, you may find yourself low on cash. However, worry not, you can apply for short term loans from reviewed lenders by LetMeBank, and you can comfortably pay your vet.

At times, you may have gone on vacation when the sting occurs, and you have no access to your vet. Your focus should be to make your dog comfortable before you can access health care. Take some cold water and rinse the affected area and then cold press for about 10 minutes. It helps in slowing the spread of the venom. 

Don’t be tempted to offer any medication to your dog without any direction from the vet as this could make the situation even worse. Only administer prescribed meds as the vet knows your dog’s history and knows what works for them and what does not.

Don’t apply any suction or cut into the wound and remove any jewelry on the dog.

Restrict your dog’s movement as the venom could spread even faster. If you have a cone, put it on him so that he doesn’t lick the wound.

On your way to the vet, there are some things you can do to suppress the situation if the stinger is visible, you can use a pair of tweezers to remove it. Try calming your dog to prevent the blood pressure from rising. This also prevents the venom from spreading.

The dogs will usually recover under four hours, but it is advisable to monitor your dog closely in case the condition worsens.

When you notice the scorpion stings on your dogs, you have to first administer first aid before heading to the vet as it helps neutralize the situation.

Isabella Donnelly

    Isabella Donnelly

    An Australian Registered Veterinary Surgeon and Practitioner, Isabella Donnelly earned her Bachelor of Animal Science at Adelaide University before going on to study Veterinary Medicine at Melbourne University, from which she graduated in 2017. She has collaborated on honours and PhD projects, and she is working to complete a publication for the Veterinary and Agricultural Faculty of the University of Melbourne.