Hot days followed by showers bring out a lot of creepy crawlies. Be prepared – cockers are explorers and can get stung during their adventures. Here is a quick first aid guide to refer to.
Wasps sting several times & can cause nasty allergic reaction. Try to keep your spaniel away from them (use “come” or “leave” cues). Should the worst happen apply ice to sooth, follow with solution of vinegar + water . You can use original Benadryl / Piriton but ONLY AFTER CONSULTING A VET.
Bees leave a stinger which must never be pulled out but rather “scraped” out with a credit card or similar object. Apply ice, follow with solution of baking soda + water. Prevent the dog from scratching or liking it. If the bite becomes irritated, take the pup to the vet.
Mosquitos are not as offensive but can cause irritation in hairless spots or if the cocker is shaved thus his skin is easier to reach. Too many bites can cause redness and even raised temperature. Mosquitos are known to spread heartworm – make sure your spaniel is protected by monthly preventatives.
Slugs & snails carry lungworm that can be fatal. Use preventative treatments to reduce risk. Set traps in your garden to catch the unwanted visitors. Never leave water bowl or toys in the garden. Do not let your dog drink from public bowls.
Ticks are the worst bugs as some carry Babesia parasites that cause haemolytic anaemia. Make sure to remove the tick with his head still attached using a special tick removing stick and twisting it anti clockwise. Follow with antiseptic solution. Never squeeze or pull the bug! Never apply oil on tick either. Save the tick in a small jar for up to a month. There may be a red spot or pimple on the location of the bite – if it becomes irritated or enlarged, take your dog to the vet immediately. If your cocker looks unwell, quiet, uninterested in food, run to the vet. Symptoms may take up to 3 weeks to appear.