If you live in Phoenix, then you know scorpions are a part of life here. And during the summer, they can easily be found hiding in the house or scurrying about the back porch. Being curious animals, dogs, in particular, may mistake these dangerous desert dwellers for entertainment. While it’s unlikely that your dog will die from a scorpion sting, it’s important to know the location of the closest vet near you should your cat or dog get stung by a scorpion. Understanding the symptoms your pet may experience from a scorpion sting is as important as knowing what to do if or when they get stung.

Signs and Symptoms of a Scorpion Sting

  • Yelping, whimpering or licking/biting the sting location
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lack of bladder or bowel control
  • Dilated pupils
  • Drooling
  • Shaking or muscle tremors
  • Paralysis

Of course, your pet may or may not experience all of these symptoms, or any at all for that matter. Every pet can respond differently to a scorpion sting. But if you suspect that your dog or cat has been stung by a scorpion, it is best to bring them in to see your local vet for an evaluation right away.

Scorpion Sting Relief at Home

If you are unable to get your pet to the veterinarian immediately, there are some first aid treatments that you can apply at home to ease your pet’s discomfort and stabilize his situation.

  • First, we recommend keeping your cat or dog as still as possible. Moving around increases circulation and the possibility of spreading the toxic venom throughout his body.
  • Second, if you can locate the sting site, gently remove the stinger with a pair of tweezers. This is sure to induce a bit of pain, so this step is best done with helping hands to comfort and hold your pet still.
  • Third, wash the sting site with cool water and apply a cool compress for ten minutes to alleviate pain and reduce the swelling.
  • Fourth, you can administer a Diphenhydramine, such as plain Benedryl, to help with any allergic reaction your dog or cat may experience form a scorpion sting. When you call your veterinarian, make sure you ask for the appropriate dosage for your pet as this will vary based on size and weight.
  • Lastly, if you are able to catch or kill the scorpion culprit, do so and bring it in when you visit the vet for identification. Tip: the larger the scorpion, the less venomous the sting. It’s the small ones you really have to watch out for.

How to Prevent a Scorpion Sting

We realize that preventing a sting is not always possible, but there are some precautions you can take that will decrease the likelihood of your four-legged friend getting stung.

  • Scorpions like to come out at night, so keep an eye on your pup if they are playing around the yard after dark.
  • Limit the amount your dog or cat roots around the garden to avoid digging up a nest.
  • Invest in a blacklight. When UV light is shown on scopions they turn green.

Your Local Vet in Gilbert

When it comes to desert living, the possibility of your pet experiencing a sting is very real. While we hope that your pet never experiences a scorpion sting, it’s best to be prepared in the event it happens. If you have any questions or are looking for a local vet in Gilbert or Mesa, contact us at East Valley Animal Hospital. Wewe pride ourselves on having respectful, compassionate and caring interactions with our clients and their pets.