Emergency Care

Expert treatment for bites and stings

Bites and stings aren’t usually a health risk other than itching, pain and a minor wound. Often, these types of injuries are properly treated at home. However, some animals and insects deliver life-threatening injuries through venom, infections and wounds. Goshen Hospital Emergency Department evaluates and diagnoses serious bites and stings in Goshen, IN.

If you suspect your bite or sting is serious, visit our compassionate emergency department Colleagues at 200 High Park Ave. We’re here 24/7 to evaluate animal and insect-related injuries.

When to go to the ER

After an animal bite or sting, look for certain signs and symptoms to determine if the injury requires medical attention. Spiders, ants and larger animals are all capable of biting.

Visit the nearest emergency room in these situations:

  • The bite came from a wild animal, an animal unknown to you, a pet not up-to-date on immunizations or an animal acting strangely.
  • The bite victim is not up-to-date on tetanus shots.
  • The bite is on the face, head, neck, hand, foot or joint.
  • The bite is a deep puncture, the skin is torn or there is heavy bleeding.
  • There are signs of infection, including redness, swelling or oozing.


Preventing serious complications from an insect bite or sting

Some people experience anaphylaxis, a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction to insect bites and stings. Call 911 if these signs and symptoms appear afterwards:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Tingling, tightness or swelling of your eyes, face, throat, tongue or lips
  • Hives, itching and flushed or very pale skin
  • Dyspnea, including wheezing or shortness of breath
  • A weak, rapid pulse
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
  • Deep puncture wound
  • Signs of infection, including redness, swelling and oozing


Treating insect and animal bites at Goshen Hospital Emergency Department

If you aren’t experiencing signs and symptoms of a serious animal bite or sting, follow these tips below for at-home treatment:

  • Gently remove the stinger if it is in the skin.
  • Wash the bite or sting with soap and water.
  • Apply a cold compress.
  • Apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion.
  • Take oral antihistamines to ease symptoms.
  • Use over-the-counter pain relievers if necessary.

Worried that your animal bite or insect sting needs medical treatment? Visit our dedicated team when you need to go to the ER. Whether you need expert wound care or lifesaving treatment for anaphylaxis, we can help.

Goshen Hospital Emergency Department evaluates and treats bites and stings, including spider bites, in Goshen, IN.