Typical bites and stings we see at Dignity Health Southern California include:
- Animal bites, including dog bites and wild animal bites
- Bee stings and wasp stings
- Scorpion stings
- Snake bites
- Spider bites, ant bites, and other bug bites
In many cases, you can apply simple first-aid techniques, such as washing the area with warm, soapy water and applying hydrocortisone cream to ease your symptoms. But sometimes, you need urgent or emergency medical care. Our experienced doctors and nurses offer comprehensive emergency care for bites and stings in Southern California at our hospital emergency departments.
If you feel more comfortable waiting at home before going to the emergency room, use the Dignity Health Southern California InQuicker tool to select your estimated arrival time at one of our urgent care clinics or hospitals:
Bites & Stings Requiring Medical Care at Dignity Health Southern California
Our skilled doctors recommend professional medical attention for bites, bee and wasp stings, and other encounters when:
- The bite came from a wild animal
- The bite came from a pet you do not know or without recent immunizations
- The wound is deep or the skin is torn and bleeding
- The bite is on your face, head, neck, hand, foot, or joint
- You do not have an up-to-date on tetanus shot
- There are signs of infection after the bite or sting
- You develop serious wasp or bee sting symptoms
Recognizing Serious Symptoms of Bites & Stings
The most serious signs and symptoms of animal bites and stings stem from infection and allergic reactions. Signs of infection include redness, swelling, warmth, or pus oozing from the wound.
Common symptoms of stings include pain, redness, swelling, and itching. With stings, our doctors also watch for a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. If you suspect anaphylaxis, or you have a known sting allergy, go to your nearest ER or pediatric ER. Call 911 for the fastest medical response.
To receive non-emergency treatment for bites and stings in Southern California, use our Find a Doctor tool and make an appointment at a Dignity Health Southern California location near you.
Our urgent and emergency care doctors and nurses provide expert care for bites and stings in Southern California.