Have you ever worried about your dog being stung by a scorpion? The good news is that out of the 1752 known types of scorpions, only 25 of them have enough venom to deliver a fatal sting. The bad news is that some of the poisonous ones do live here in Arizona, including the deadly bark scorpion. While scorpion stings are hardly an everyday occurrence in the area, they aren’t uncommon, either. In this article, your Scottsdale veterinarian offers advice on what to do if a scorpion stings your canine pal.


If Fido is stung by a non-venomous scorpion, he may limp or hold up the limb that was stung. While these types of stings are very painful, they generally are not life-threatening, and can be considered comparable to a bee sting. Stings from venomous scorpions, on the other hand, are very dangerous, and can be fatal. Drooling, watery eyes, dilated pupils, trembling, difficulty breathing, and even collapse are all symptomatic of scorpion stings. You may or may not see swelling at the site of the sting.

What to Do

Always treat a scorpion sting as an emergency. If you know or suspect your dog was stung, get him to an emergency clinic immediately. We recommend calling ahead, so that the staff can be prepared for your arrival. Before transporting Fido, put an ice pack on the site to reduce swelling. Restrict his movements, as activity will only make the venom spread faster. If you have a cone, go ahead and put it on him, so he doesn’t lick the wound. If you have an antihistamine, such as Benadryl, that may help, but be sure to get your vet’s advice.


Precaution is, as they say, worth far more than a cure. Scorpions are nocturnal, but that doesn’t always mean the daytime is safe. A dog that disturbs a sleeping scorpion is definitely at risk of being stung. If you’re camping, check for scorpions before bedtime, and remember to shake your shoes in the morning. Be sure that Fido knows the five basic commands, which are Sit, Stay, Heel, Lay Down, and Come. If your dog is properly trained, you may able to keep him away from danger.

Please contact us, your local Scottsdale vet clinic, for all of your dog’s veterinary care needs.

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