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Signs That Your Dog Has Been Bitten by an Ant: How to Treat

Signs That Your Dog Has Been Bitten by an Ant: How to Treat

Dogs are known to stick their noses just about anywhere—and we mean this in the literal sense. And while we love their curiosity and enthusiasm, accidents can happen sometimes. Our furry friends certainly aren’t immune to insect bites and allergies. Notice your dog acting a bit strange after a few minutes spend outdoors? He might have been bitten by an ant. 

Ants colonies are located just about anywhere there’s a food supply. Ant bites on dogs are quite common. The effects can mostly be mild, but some ant bites can also be dangerous and painful. If your dog has allergic reactions or a medical condition, the ant bites can cause complications. Here are signs to know for sure if your dog has been bitten by ants. We also offer first aid information and other things you can do about it.


Signs of Ant Bites in Dogs

Do ants bite dogs? They most certainly do, although experts say that ants would only normally bite if they have been threatened. Some ant breeds like fire ants would be a little more aggressive. What do ant bites look like on a dog? If your dog has been bitten by an ant, you’re likely to notice some or all of the following signs:

 

• Bite wounds or hives

This would be very tiny in size and you’ll notice the surrounding area will appear red or swollen. Dog’s fur protects them from ant bites but they’re vulnerable to ant bites in certain areas like the paw pads or the belly. You may also see ant bites on your dog’s face.

 

• Swelling and itchiness

You’ll notice your dog flicking, scratching, or shaking a paw or leg if he has been bitten by ants. He might also lick or chew on the problematic areas.

 

• Vocalization

Your dog might whimper or cry in pain and irritation if he has been bitten by an ant.

It’s rare but some dogs may have severe allergic reactions to insect bites, in which case, you’ll notice symptoms such as:

•          Vomiting and diarrhea

•          Weakness

•          Fever

•          Agitation

•          Seizures

•          Difficulty breathing

•          Cardiovascular arrest


How to Treat Ant Bites on Dogs: First Aid

If you’re pretty sure that your dog has been bitten by an ant, you can try any of the following first-aid treatments:

• Cold compress

Apply a cold compress to the ant bites for up to ten minutes. It should relieve the itch and help reduce any swelling. You can apply this method if there are ant bites on the dog’s belly or other exposed parts of his body.

• Cold bath

If your dog has been bitten on the footpads, you can soak his paws in a cold water bath for five to ten minutes.

• Dog cone

Prevent infections by making your dog wear a dog cone to prevent him from licking his paws or scratching the ant bites in other parts of his body.

• Ointments

You can apply an ointment like hydrocortisone cream to relieve itchiness and pain.

• Baking soda salve

Try mixing baking soda with water to create a topical paste for pain and itchiness relief.

• Oatmeal bath

An oatmeal bath would also be effective for cleansing, in case some other ant bites are not visible.

• Aloe vera gel

If you have some aloe vera gel available, it can bring instant relief for ant bites on dogs.

• Apple cider vinegar

If you have apple cider vinegar at home, this would also work as an effective pain reliever. Mix apple cider vinegar in equal parts with water and apply to the ant bites about three times a day.

• Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine that is generally safe for dogs. You can administer it if your dog shows an allergic reaction to the ant bites. Ask your vet before you give your dog any medications.

• Ice cubes

If your dog has been bitten by ants inside the mouth, you can help him by giving him ice cubes or ice water.



Ant Bites on Dogs: Treatment

If your dog has been bitten by ants, watch out for any allergic reactions. If he shows more of the severe signs like difficulty breathing or disorientation, he may have been bitten by a dangerous type of ant. Excessive inflammation or the formation of hives might also be a cause for concern. Take him to the vet immediately with medications. Monitor your dog closely in the first 24 hours after being bitten to see if any extreme symptoms show up.

How to Prevent Ant Bites on Dogs?

While your dog might learn to be a little more careful about ants after he has been bitten, there are things you can do to keep your furry friend protected.

• Keep your dog away from areas where there might be ant colonies. Soil, bushes, and tree barks are common ant dwellings.

• You have the option to use ant repellents to protect your dog from ants and other harmful insects. Citronella and lemon may be among the smells that dogs hate the most but they are effective insect repellents.

• Keep food tightly sealed. You know how fast ants come when you have accidentally left some food exposed. Use air-tight containers and keep your home ant-free.

• Dispose of leftovers properly and clean up any crumbs thoroughly.

• Check your yard for the existence of ant mounds or colonies.

Conclusion

Ant bites on dogs are generally harmless and can be treated with first aid care and relief. There are plenty of household items you can apply topically to the bitten areas to soothe itchiness, irritation, and pain. Benadryl is also a safe first aid prescription. However, you have to watch out for any anaphylactic effects if your dog is prone to allergic reactions or may have suffered from a particularly potent ant bite. Observe for any extreme symptoms especially within the first 24 hours. If there’s any sign of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, fever, or respiratory distress, consult a veterinarian immediately.

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