Outdoor Insects That Can Harm Your Dog

Your Labrador retriever Bailey is the ultimate outdoor animal, as he’s always up for a game of fetch or a jog through the neighborhood. Bailey also loves to roll around in tall grass, especially right after a bath. Unfortunately, Bailey’s outdoor activities put him at risk of attack by the local insect population. Bailey seems to shake off most insect bites, but your Farmington Hills veterinarian can address serious bite complications.


Common Symptoms

Regardless of the bite source, your pooch will likely show redness and swelling at the bite site, and his face might also look a bit puffy. However, Bailey could also be allergic to biting insects’ saliva or venom. If that’s the case, Bailey’s skin will develop an angry red color, and he might vomit and develop breathing trouble. Although Bailey can potentially die from a severe bite allergy, these occurrences are rare.


Blasted Bees

During the spring and summer, dogs and bees cross paths quite a bit, and Bailey constantly pokes his nose into questionable places. You might hear Bailey yelp in pain after he gets stung, or see him rub his swelling muzzle or lips on the ground.


Scary Spiders

Chances are, Bailey’s been bitten by a spider or two, resulting only in localized swelling and pain, as most North American spiders aren’t poisonous. Unfortunately, the secretive brown recluse spider is a nasty exception. Brown recluses lurk in dark areas around wood piles, dog houses, and sheds. If a brown recluse nails Bailey, the spider’s venom spreads slowly, leaving a dark ulcer after it kills off your dog’s tissues. These ulcers take time to heal, and often produce more serious complications.


Biting Flies

Biting flies seem to think Bailey’s especially tasty. Fly bites can lead to crusty-looking sores or bumps, especially around Bailey’s face or ears. If Bailey doesn’t receive treatment, these areas can become infected.


Terrible Ticks

Just like Bailey, ticks thrive in grass and tall brush, giving them plenty of chances to attach to Bailey’s neck, head, ears, and feet. Ticks can cause infection, irritation, and anemia. Ticks also carry serious and potentially fatal Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Lyme disease, and ehrlichiosis.


For most bites, removing the stinger (if applicable), cleansing the bite spot, and giving appropriate medications will be sufficient. Your Farmington Hills vet can provide you with specific guidelines. If Bailey has a serious allergic reaction, get him to your vet immediately.

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