Sting Treatment and Prevention

Sting Treatment and Prevention

Animals have evolved to develop the functions they need to survive. That includes tools to help them hunt and defend themselves when necessary. An animal sting is an example of that evolutionary trait.

An animal will use its instincts on when to use its sting or bite against something. They will attack prey if they are hungry. That is usually something smaller than them. Humans are not part of the menu. Animals sting people because they were threatened and are just defending themselves.

A honeybee stinger stays on the skin of anyone unfortunate enough to receive it. That, however, kills the bee. They do this only to protect their hive or queen. An animal’s instinct is to use what they have to defend themselves and their group when threatened.

Most animal sting symptoms are mild, but there have been severe cases depending on the toxin and health of the victim.

How is a Sting Different from a Bite?

The main difference between an animal bite and a sting is what body part they use to penetrate your skin. With the former, the animal uses the mouth to break the skin. An example of that is a mosquito.

A sting is when the animal uses a specialized part of its body to attack and inject venom. Scorpions are an example of animals that use a stinger.
Both attacks can penetrate human skin. The sting symptoms can range from painful to deadly given the right circumstances because of the venom involved.

Immediate Animal Sting Treatment

If you or someone near you gets stung by an animal, you should follow these steps:

  • Move to a safe area to prevent further attacks or stings. The animal struck because it felt threatened. Moving away will usually stop another sting from happening.
  • Try to remove any stinger stuck to the skin. These can continue to pump venom into the body if left alone.
  • Wash the affected area with running water and soap.
  • Get a cold and damp cloth to place over the affected area. Alternatively, you can use ice to keep it from swelling and reduce the pain.
  • If the sting is on an arm or leg, raise it.
  • Avoid scratching the affected area as it can do more harm than good. You can use oral over-the-counter medication to combat itching.
  • If the pain is too much, you can take nonprescription pain relievers.
  • If the attack is from a known dangerous animal like sea urchins, blue-ringed octopus, or wasps, you should seek medical attention immediately to get proper sting treatment.

Common Animal Sting Symptoms

Most stings cause mild symptoms like swelling, pain, and itchiness. However, there are types of animals that carry more dangerous venoms that can cause:

There are cases where the animal sting is known to be mild or harmless. The danger is when the person stung is allergic to it and experiences a strong reaction.

Rush to ShorePoint Health Emergency & Urgent Care for Dangerous Animal Sting Symptoms

As one of the only health systems in Cape Coral with ER and urgent care services under one roof, ShorePoint Health Emergency & Urgent Care offers affordable pricing, quality care, and trained staff. Patients are only billed based on the level of care received, and there are no appointments needed for in-person visits. The ER is available 24 hours a day, every day, and the urgent care walk-in clinic hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.

ShorePoint Health Emergency & Urgent Care Cape Coral, a department of ShorePoint Health Port Charlotte, is located at 2521 Del Prado Blvd. N. in Cape Coral and may be reached at 239-356-0740.