Pet Stings, Bites, and Allergic Reactions

Recognize When Your Pet Has an Allergic Reaction to Stings or Bites with our Livonia Veterinarians

All sorts of insects, reptiles, and other animals can sting or bite your pet, and some of these incidences can be life-threatening. Here at Sheehy Animal Hospital in Livonia, MI, we want you to know the facts to help protect your pet in the case of an emergency. 

Veterinarian wrapping bandage around dogs leg

Recognize the Most Common Types of Stings or Bites

The most common insect bites come from fleas and ticks. However, there are other more dangerous biting bugs requiring emergency care and follow up dermatology treatment.


A spider bite can be very dangerous to a pet, especially if they are very sensitive to the venom. The two most poisonous spiders in the United States is the brown recluse and the black widow spider.  Your pet may react to a spider bite with vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, and weakness. If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, take them to an animal hospital as quickly as possible.

Bees, Wasps, Hornets, and Yellow Jackets

These flying insects can be particularly aggressive if disturbed. If your pet has encountered a swarm of these insects and stung multiple times, take them to the animal hospital. Single stings aren't so dangerous unless an allergic reaction occurs with swelling of the throat. In this event, get your pet to an animal hospital quickly.

If your pet has been stung by a bee, look for the stinger protruding from the skin. Don’t pull out the stinger with your fingernail or tweezers because the pressure may inject more venom and more skin irritation. Instead, use something stiff, like a piece of plastic or a dull knife blade to scrape away the stinger.

Fire Ants

If you suspect your pet has been bitten by fire ants, check their belly area because fire ants tend to bite and sting an animal where there is little or no fur. For multiple stings, you should take your pet to an animal hospital. For only a few stings, keep your pet under close observation in case of an allergic reaction. Fire ants stings also tend to become infected and could cause a rash. 


Some snakes, such as rattlesnakes can be lethal to your pet. Snake venom can cause swelling and sluggishness in its mild form and unconsciousness and death when more severe. If you suspect a snake has bitten your pet, take them to an animal hospital as quickly as possible. Their lives may depend upon quick treatment.

Contact our Livonia Veterinarian Immediately if Your Pet Has Been Bitten or Stung

If you suspect your pet is suffering an allergic reaction to an insect or reptile bite, please contact us at the Sheehy Animal Hospital at 248-206-3030 for an evaluation by a Livonia veterinarian. Time could be of the essence, so please don’t hesitate. With our specialized knowledge of dermatology, we can also treat your pet for a rash or other skin irritation

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  • "I love this veterinary clinic. Dr. Sheehy and staff are all friendly and seem to take pride in their jobs. I enjoy taking my three rats there and would recommend them to everyone I know."
    Cheyenne H / Livonia, MI

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