We have Red Ants in The Netherlands and just like California Fire Ants (or Southern Fire Ant), they bite. But I never knew about the dangers of being bitten by one until I visited a Shamanic Horse Retreat in San Diego, years ago. I learned that once you've been bit, you can go into anaphylactic shock which is rare but can be life-threatening for both animals and humans!💢
I am currently on vacation, while house-sitting the ranch where I have my instructors job. The owners and I have grown very close, so I didn't hesitate when they asked me to watch their property and animals for the 3rd time, for two weeks. 🐕This time I also brought my dogs (French Bulldog and Chihuahua), they grew up on my boarding stall so the "farm lifestyle" is familiar to them. So are European Red Ants... but not Fire Ants!
🆘On our 3rd night on the ranch, my husband and I were sitting outside, casually watching the goats and horses when my French Bulldog Posh got bit by a Fire Ant. She was running frantically for short spurts, followed by licking and chewing on her paw while making painful sounds and drooling and then running off again. I immediately picked her up, washed down her paw with cold water and put her on her back on my husband's lap to slow down her heartbeat and rapid breathing. Now I was looking for something to help sooth the pain and itching while monitoring her very closely in case of an allergic reaction. I decided to put my faith in the Green Clay paste from De Groene Os. It's one of my favorite products (for horses) to put on (small) wounds, skin rashes or to repel insects, but it's safe to use on dogs as well.
This is how I used the Green Clay for the Fire Ant bites:
🌿 After running cold water down her entire back foot and drying it off with a soft towel, I applied the first layer on her paw cushion and in between her toes, where I thought she was bit.
🌿 That first layer got soaked up and disappeared in about 3-4 minutes after applying, meanwhile her paw cushion started swelling and I noticed a small red dot underneath (probably where she got bit).
🌿 The second layer also disappeared, but after applying the 3rd layer it stayed on, hardened and started to cool. I also applied a layer on the upper part of her feet, to give her some extra relief from the burning and itching.
🌿 Posh was still on her back in my husband's lap, enjoying some love and scratches while we were waiting for the clay to harden.
🌿 Finally I wrapped a plastic bag around her foot, tying it with a rubber band so she could walk around or nap in her bed. After about an hour I washed off the clay with cold/warm water until her fur and skin became visible again.
💯The Results: No swelling, no rash, and no more itching or burning!
The next morning -after a good night's sleep- Posh acted like her normal self again. We tried to eliminate most of the Fire Ants by pouring a mixture of water and lemon juice (and peels) over their nest, to prevent them from biting any more dogs or (small) animals.
For more information about De Groene Os & the Green Clay, please visit www.degroeneos.nl
Love, Zoë & Posh