Insect and Animal Bites Treatment Questions and Answers
Stings and bites from insects are common and they often result in redness and swelling in the injured area. At Eastside Urgent Care we can help treat insect and animal bites. Walk-in today or call us to schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 872 Ohio Pike Cincinnati, OH 45245.
How do you know if a bug bite is serious?
In most cases, bug bites are minor irritations on the skin as the result of a bug coming into contact with exposed skin and biting it in some form. Bugs are all around us when we are outside so bug bites will naturally occur from insects such as mosquitos, ticks and spiders. Bug bites will typically cause the skin to become red and itchy at the site of the bite but in some cases, they can lead to more serious consequences such as allergic reactions or the spread of diseases and viruses. It is important to know what symptoms to watch out for so that you can seek out medical attention when necessary for treatment.
If you experience any of the following symptoms after experiencing a bug bite, seek medical treatment right away:
- Difficulty breathing after being bitten or stung by a bug. This is a common reaction to bee stings and can be a sign of a severe allergic reaction that is causing anaphylactic shock.
- Nausea, vomiting and cramps can be a sign of many different illnesses, depending on the type of bug or insect that bit you. Body aches and vomiting could be an indication of West Nile virus, particularly if they are accompanied by severe headaches, high fever or weakened muscles. A black-widow bite can also cause severe abdominal cramping.
- Severe swelling to the eyelids, lips and throat can be symptoms of an allergic reaction as well as an early sign of anaphylactic shock. Meanwhile, swelling of the eye causing pain, vision distortion or floaters should be checked by a doctor.
- Confusion, faintness and dizziness may also be indicators that you are experiencing anaphylactic shock and need medical attention. A rapid heartrate should also get checked as a potential symptom of anaphylactic shock.
- Tick bites that cause a red, doughnut- or target-shaped rash at the site of contact could be an indication of having contracted Lyme disease that will need to be managed through ongoing treatment.
- Fevers and severe headaches following a bug bite should get checked as they could be symptoms of West Nile virus, particularly if you are immunocompromised or over 50.
What are the signs and symptoms of insect stings and bites?
Many insect stings and bites cause mild symptoms on the surface of the skin. These symptoms can include redness, pain, swelling, itchy skin and a bump at the site of the bite. In these cases, the symptoms will typically go away within a few hours or days and don’t require medical treatment but may benefit from medication such as an antihistamine for mild allergic reactions. Some people do suffer from moderate to severe allergic reactions as the result of a sting or bite from certain insects. In severe allergic reactions, individuals can experience anaphylaxis which is life-threatening that requires immediate medical attention. Symptoms of an anaphylactic or severe allergic reaction can include wheezing, dizziness, trouble breathing, tingling and throat tightness. Individuals with severe allergic reactions should always have an epinephrine shot on them so in the off chance they come into an allergen they are severely allergic to; the epinephrine will minimize the reaction enough for them to seek immediate medical treatment.
Why is it important to see a doctor after being bitten by an animal?
Animal bites should always be checked by a doctor, whether you know the animal that bit you or it was an animal unknown to you. Animals can cause serious damage with their bites depending on the strength of the bite and the severity or depth of the wound. Potentially harmful bacteria can be transferred into your body through an animal’s teeth when it punctures the skin. Many household pets are vaccinated but if they aren’t, there is a higher risk of them transmitting something like rabies to a person they bite. Seeking medical care will ensure you are given the proper treatment to prevent you from becoming very ill. The doctor will inspect the wound and the area around it for signs of infection or damage to internal tissues. They will properly clean and dress the wound and they may give you a run of antibiotics as a precautionary step. In cases of deep or severe bites, they will also be able to stitch up the wound.
What should I do if I have been bitten by an animal?
Depending on the animal that bites you and the severity of the bite, you may be able to treat the bite at home. If it is a pet that lives in your own house or one you are very familiar with and know their medical and vaccination history, and the wound is a minor surface wound, it can probably be cleaned and bandaged at home. Keep an eye on it for a few days to ensure there is no redness, pain or swelling, or other symptoms that could be indicators of an infection. In the case of a bite from an unknown animal and especially in the case of a wild animal, medical care should be sought out, so contact our team of healthcare professionals today at Eastside Urgent Care. We can help ensure that the proper medical treatment is applied to the wound to prevent infection, especially of rabies in unvaccinated animals. We serve patients from Cincinnati OH, Covedale OH, Delhi OH, St Bernard OH, Bridgetown North OH, and Elmwood Place OH.