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What is Scorpions Poisoning?

Scorpions are eight-legged arachnids that are commonly characterized by their curved tail that curves up and over their back. Scorpions can be found all over the world except for Antarctica, and many of the scorpions in the United States are in the southwest regions. Scorpions live in dry climates that are warm, namely California, New Mexico, and Arizona. They are known to be present in tropical and subtropical countries, and can live in rainforests, savanna, temperate force, caves, grasslands, and some species of the scorpion even live in snowy, mountainous regions.

Every scorpion has venom and uses it to paralyze prey in order to kill it. Contrary to popular belief, scorpions usually kill their prey by using force rather than venom. The venom of the scorpion is not considered to be life-threatening to humans or animals, but it does kill smaller prey. Scorpion venom is made up of enzyme inhibitors, neurotoxins and other compounds, is stored in sacs of glands, and is only released by the scorpion at specific amounts. There are over 1,000 species of this arachnid.

Even though the venom of the scorpion is not so toxic, it does cause pain and side effects. There is one species of scorpion known as the C. exilicauda that is highly poisonous with its venom affecting the central nervous system. This scorpion is commonly located in the very dry, southwest regions of the United States.

Scorpions poisoning in dogs occurs when the venom of the scorpion penetrates into the dog after the sting. The compounds that make up the venom cause it to be poisonous.

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Scorpions Poisoning Average Cost

From 33 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

Symptoms of Scorpions Poisoning in Dogs

Symptoms of a scorpion sting vary from mild to severe. Symptoms include:

  • Pain
  • Change in behavior
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Pupil dilation
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive urination
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Arrhythmia
  • Hypertension
  • Collapse

Types

There are certain species of scorpion that are much more venomous than others. These types are:

  • Arizona bark scorpion, found in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, California, and Mexico
  • Fat-tailed scorpion, found in Asia
  • Brazilian yellow scorpion, found in Brazil
  • Death Stalker, found in Israel
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Causes of Scorpions Poisoning in Dogs

The cause of scorpions poisoning in dogs is the toxic venom of the scorpion injected into the dog. The scorpion venom causes poisoning by:

  • The venom of the scorpion consists of a tiny protein chain, known as chlorotoxin
  • The chlorotoxin prohibits any chloride ions from penetrating the muscle cells, and causes paralysis
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Diagnosis of Scorpions Poisoning in Dogs

If you suspect your dog has been stung by a scorpion, call your veterinarian. If you are unsure that your dog has been a victim of the scorpion, but you live in a part of the country wHere scorpions are prevalent and your dog is exhibiting the symptoms of a scorpion sting, once you get to the veterinarian he will be able to assess your dog by looking at the clinical signs. He will do a complete physical examination; however, scorpion venom does not show up in blood testing. One definitive way to prove your dog has been stung is the stinger is still in place. The veterinarian, after assessing the dog’s symptoms, will come to a diagnosis based solely on those symptoms.

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Treatment of Scorpions Poisoning in Dogs

Luckily, in most cases, scorpion stings are not fatal. The veterinarian will keep a careful watch of any muscle tremors, high blood pressure, or any heart irregularities. Treatment includes:

Cleansing

Once the stinger is removed, the wound will need to be cleaned.

Pain Medication

Pain medication will be given to lessen the irritation and swelling from the sting.

Fluids

In order for the dog to remain hydrated during the treatment process and to encourage urination, fluids will be given intravenously. This also helps with any edema, or swelling, that can occur at or around the site of the sting.

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Recovery of Scorpions Poisoning in Dogs

Most scorpion stings have a good prognosis if treatment was administered in a timely fashion. If your dog was stung by a scorpion and treated, the veterinarian will explain his prognosis and what you need to do for him at home. To prevent scorpion stings in the future, especially if you reside in a climate where scorpions live, be sure to occupy your dog outside or keep him contained while keeping an eye on him. Roaming dogs that live in a climate that has scorpions have a greater risk of getting stung, while not in your sight. Since it is important to take your dog to the veterinarian soon after a scorpion sting, owners of roaming dogs may not find out they were the victim of the sting until they become very ill.

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Scorpions Poisoning Average Cost

From 33 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

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Scorpions Poisoning Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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American Staffordshire Terrier

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Five Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

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Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Drooling, Lethargic, Slimy Water

For a few days Lulu has been lethargic, her water is very foamy/ slimy after she drinks. She's been drooling, licking her front legs, and can barely keep her eyes open. She is still eating. The earliest appointment I could get is for tomorrow. I just found a scorpion outside. Could this be the cause? Should I give her benadryl?

July 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I cannot say for sure without seeing her, but Lulu seems to need much more than a Benadryl. she sounds quite ill, and I think it is good that you are having her seen tomorrow, as they will be able to examine her, see what has been causing this, and get treatment for her. I hope that she feels better soon.

July 27, 2020

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Charlie

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Saint Bernard

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6 months

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Serious severity

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4 found helpful

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

So my Saint Bernard puppy was stung by a bark scorpion and because he is free roam we didn't notice until he was paralyzed and having uncontrollable urination. He is in the vets office now for 24hrs with iv's and they are force feeding him and giving him antibiotics. Today they gave him some antihistamine I think they said. What are the chances he will recover if he was stung 3 1/2 days ago and has been paralyzed for 2 1/2 days already?

Nov. 29, 2017

Charlie's Owner


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4 Recommendations

Most dogs stung by an Arizona bark scorpion recover well, but the symptoms you are describing sound quite severe for a scorpion sting; the treatment however is based around supportive care. I cannot give you any specific statistics since I don’t have a data source. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.petpoisonhelpline.com/poison/scorpions/ www.merckvetmanual.com/toxicology/venomous-arthropods/spiders-and-scorpions#v8591655

Nov. 29, 2017

Can a scorpion sting cause seizures in a dog? Our PBGV has had two full blown seizures in the last month out of the blue. He is 4 years old. We live in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Jan. 12, 2018

Jana K.


our large male saint bernard dog just had his second episode of seizures, drunken behavior...and just weird neurological symptoms..has happened about a month apart. i am not there currently have been out of state (for health reason) however husband is out on property with the dogs and we live in the southwest four corners area of colorado. we thought maybe a toad, now we are wondering if an arizona bark scorpion could be in the four corners of sw colorado and if this is indeed what happened. i have read that the arizona bark scorpion is highly toxic to dogs and can cause seizures et...it always happens at night in the middle of the night the dog will start barking at something and then the next day my husband will notice the symptoms.. we truly thought the dog was going to die this last time...my husband was up with him all night last night..laying on the ground with the dog outside...(he loves the dogs)...trying to comfort him through seizures...honestly we cant figure it out...;(

June 14, 2018

Rebecca K.

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Scorpions Poisoning Average Cost

From 33 quotes ranging from $3,000 - $10,000

Average Cost

$5,500

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