Most scorpions common to the United States are relatively nontoxic. Their venom does, however, contain digestive enzymes that cause intense local pain. More dangerous scorpions such as Centruroides exilicauda inject a venom that also includes a neurotoxin, which is a poison that affects the nervous system. C. exilicauda is most commonly found in the arid regions of the southwest but has been found in many other states.
Varies depending upon species of scorpion and size of animal.
Local pain, difficulty swallowing, nervousness, behavioral abnormalities, breathing difficulties, drooling, dilated pupils, blindness, vomiting, urinating, and defecating. Death occurs because of hypertension, respiratory collapse, or heart rhythm abnormalities.
Identify species of scorpion if possible. Seek veterinary attention.
General treatment: The scorpion will be identified if possible, and the stinger removed. The wound will be cleaned.
Supportive treatment: Pain medication (other than narcotics) will be administered. The animal will be monitored and treated for any symptoms. Treatment is aimed at correcting signs such as heart rhythm abnormalities, muscle spasms, and hypertension. IV fluids are administered to maintain hydration and urine output, and the patient is monitored for pulmonary edema.
Specific treatment: Antivenins are rarely used in animals, as the stings are not normally fatal.