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Fire Ants, all over the yards in Florida.

Fire Ants are dangerous.
Taylor Family

While walking your pug we seem to overlook some of nature’s greatest creations and nuisances. It is nice to be able to stop and smell the fresh air, take in the beautiful sky, and enjoy her warmth. Yet, there are nature’s nuisances and deadly critters crawling under our feet: Fire Ants. Fire ants can detect a threat from a few feet away and move in to eliminate the threat such as your pug. If a fire ant attack occurs on your pug the best thing to do is remove your pug immediately from the area. Once you are in a safe area, with quick brush strokes start knocking the ants off your pug, focus on the face, paws, legs and belly as this are the areas in which the ants could focus on also. As you are brushing them off continue to move down your pug until all fire ants are removed. If possible, try not to use your bare hands while brushing the ants off. Your sleeve, gloves, or towel is best. Fire ants’ sting or burn and as you are brushing them off your pug you are now the threat in which you are susceptible to the sting and burn. It is best not to use water because the fire ants will clamp down on your pug.
Once you feel all ants are removed, double check your pug to be sure. Once you are positive all ants are removed start the first aid treatment. Apply an after-bite liquid or a moisten cotton ball with pure ammonia, dab the location of the bites to help relieve itch. Mix baking soda and water into a paste and apply to the affected areas for 20 minutes. It is helpful to wrap the area with plastic wrap to keep the paste in place. Remember to supervise your pug during this step to make sure no licking. Wash the ant bites with antibacterial soap for two minutes and apply anti-itch cream or spray; and finally apply cold compresses to reduce itching and swelling.
Once the initial first aid is complete, a pug owner will need to continue preventive care so the ant bites will not become affected. Wash the bites with antibacterial soap, minimum twice a day. Apply betadine to the bites. Keep the cold compresses on, as needed, to help reduce swelling and itching. If needed and after consulting with your veterinarian give your pug Benadryl. Benadryl is a histamine-blocker and helps to relieve itchy, watery eye, runny nose, and etcetera.
Here are some symptoms to be aware of for the infected area. Redness – Some redness is to be expected, but it should go away within time. If redness continues an infection may be present. Swelling – Fire ant bites, as in other bites will cause some type of swelling. The swelling should decrease within 36 hours but if doesn’t this could mean infection. Increases in wound size – Fire ant bites do take some time to heal but should not increase in size unless infection is present. Discharge and/or weeping – A pimple type cyst will form which should have some type of discharge. If pus or other discharge is coming from bites, could be an infection. It is best to monitor the ant bites daily and take note or photos of area. If signs of an infection are present it is best to seek veterinarian care. A veterinarian may prescribe an oral antibiotic or stronger anti-itch antibiotic cream.
There will be some pugs that may have an allergic reaction to the ant bites, here are some signs to be aware of: gums may become pale, increase drooling, panting, may have difficulty walking, develop hives, swelling on/or around the face and/or paws, nausea, vomiting, seizure, passing out, will not eat and/or drink, be lethargic, shock or death. In most cases symptoms will occur within the first 12 hours of the fire ant attack. If a fire ant attack occurs, after initial first aid is given, monitor your pug closely for the next 24 hours. If one of the symptoms occurs immediately take your pug to a veterinarian.

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