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When to See a Doctor About Your Animal or Bug Bite

tick on finger for bite blog header

Summertime is back! After camping out all winter and swimming through this rainy spring, the time for fun in the sun is here.

But as we spend more time outdoors, we inevitably come into contact with wild and domestic bugs and animals that have the potential to get a bit nippy.

Bug bites and animal bites can carry significant consequences if left untreated. NMC Health can get you healing for your bite and get you back out there this summer. Our expert providers at our Family Medicine clinics in Wichita, Park City, Valley Center, and Hesston are experienced in getting to the source of your concern, answering your questions, and getting you the relief you need.

Appointments at family medicine clinics can take a little longer, so it’s recommended that you visit an Immediate Care clinic if you need to be seen within 48 hours. NMC Health | Immediate Care in Newton is open 24/7 to help you receive care any day of the week. Walk-ins are welcome and you can even check-in online to see wait times and get in line before you come in. We have the tools and knowledge to help patients 6 months and older and with a wide range of health needs, so you know you’re in the best hands when you are in our care.

For the most extreme cases, a trip to the Emergency Room may be necessary to help you recover from your severe health need. The Emergency Department at NMC Health Medical Center is ready to serve Newton and the surrounding communities to get you the emergency care you need and get you back on your feet.

Now that you know where to go when your summer bites, here’s what to do and where to go for medical treatment for your bite.

When to See a Family Medicine or Immediate Care Clinic About Your Bite

An unfortunate part of getting outdoors during the Summer are bites. Any time you are outside, you’re sharing the space with animals, mites, ants, spiders, and more creatures, increasing your chance of getting bitten.

Most of the time, you’ll get bites from bugs like mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers that don’t result in a reaction requiring medical intervention. However, occasionally, you’ll run into a bite that may have you more concerned because the bite:

Won’t go away

If you got a bite and it just won’t go away, there’s a chance you are experiencing a reaction or an infection that’s working behind the scenes in your body, prolonging the bite’s lifespan. If your bite doesn’t go away or gets worse, schedule an appointment with a family doctor or check-in online with an immediate care clinic to get the relief you need.

Is from an animal

Animal bites are no joke, especially for young children, elderly, and immunocompromised people, and should be taken seriously. Animals, including pets, can carry a variety of diseases that you don’t want to take your chances with. Even animal bites that don’t break the skin could infect you through contact with the animal’s saliva.

If you or a loved one has been bitten by a strange animal, whether wild or domestic, you should treat the wound at home and see a doctor fast to get advice on how to treat and prevent infections and disease. This is especially important if flu-like symptoms like a fever, headache, malaise, decreased appetite, or swollen glands develop after being bitten by an animal¹.

Is from an unknown source

If you have a bite that you have no idea what it animal or bug it came from, you should contact your healthcare provider regardless of the severity of the bite, so they can advise on the best course of treatment. Some bites like from spiders, mites, and flies can be hard to distinguish between dangerous and benign bites.

Is making you feel funny/ill

If you or a loved one has been bitten and begin to develop flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, malaise, decreased appetite, or swollen glands or the bite develops a rash around it, you may have an infection that requires treatment to resolve and should be seen by a medical professional.

When to Visit an Emergency Room for Your Animal or Bug Bite

While bites often go away on their own or with an over-the-counter medication, there are signs to be aware of that your bite may be turning into a medical emergency. Be aware of the following symptoms so you know when to seek emergency medical care for your bite²:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • The sensation that your throat is closing
  • Swollen lips, tongue, or face
  • Chest pain
  • A racing heartbeat that lasts more than a few minutes

If you experience these symptoms following a bite, seek medical attention immediately to get treated ASAP.

Get Answers. Get Relief. Get Back Out There!

Whether your bug bite just won’t go away or you need immediate medical condition for a severe animal bite, NMC Health Family Medicine, Immediate Care, and the Emergency Department at NMC Health Medical Center have you covered no matter your concern or level of care needed.

If you or someone you know are having a medical emergency, call 911. You can get directions and learn more about the Emergency Department at NMC Health | Medical Center here.

Need to be seen fast, but your bite doesn’t fit the bill for a trip to the ER? Get relief without the wait at NMC Health | Immediate Care in Newton! See wait times and check in online by clicking the button below.

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