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Whether you are hiking in the woods or working in the yard, bites and stings are always a possibility. When animals bite, they can leave wounds and germs behind, including bacteria and viruses. A sting from an insect can leave the stinger or venom in the skin, causing infection and allergic reactions.
At Dignity Health, our doctors offer care to treat these common types of bites and stings in Arizona:
If you are experiencing a life-threatening symptom or allergic reaction to an animal bite or insect sting, call 9-1-1.
Most bites and stings are minor injuries and can often be treated at home. However, you should get immediate medical care for the following situations:
You should go directly to your nearest ER or call 9-1-1 if you have any of these symptoms:
If you need to go to the emergency room (ER), take advantage of our InQuicker™ online tool by selecting your estimated hospital arrival time and wait at home until your time to be seen.
The most common signs of bites are minor wounds or deep punctures. Either of these can lead to infection without proper care. Symptoms of possible infection include swelling, redness, warmth, or oozing from the wound.
Symptoms of insect stings are pain and discomfort, swelling, redness, itching, and feeling hot to the touch. It is possible to have an allergic reaction to a sting. Sometimes, the reaction is a life-threatening condition called anaphylaxis.
Treatment of bites and stings depends on your symptoms and whether or not you are allergic. Treatment may take place at home, in a doctor’s office, outpatient emergency care clinic, or a hospital’s ER department.
You should get emergency care for wounds that may require stitches. If you are allergic to stings, administer your epinephrine auto-injector (if you have one) and call 9-1-1.