Catfish are often found in muddy rivers or lakes and along the beaches in tropical and temperate waters. These fish are naturally aggressive and known to sting humans very often. The typical appearance of the fish is that they have whiskers around the mouth. This typical appearance has an uncanny resemblance to the domestic cat and hence the name.
Catfish sting is often associated with severe edema and inflammation at the site of the sting. The condition is often associated with unbearable pain. The catfish sting apparatus comprises of three spines, which are embedded into the sting site. These spines contain chemicals/venom which are responsible for the inflammation and irritation.
Catfish Sting Symptoms
The catfish sting is associated with the following symptoms,
- Redness and inflammation at the site of the sting.
- Severe burning pain and irritation which is often associated with swelling of the extremity that is involved.
- Though bleeding from the site of the sting is uncommon, slight bleeding may be observed.
- Inflammation at the site is often associated with formation of red colored wheals around the sting site. The site is very tender and hot to touch.
- Occasionally, the person stung by catfish may pass out due to the pain.
- In severe cases, catfish sting may result in gangrene and may require amputation, if infected.
First Aid Treatment For Catfish Sting
Here are some key first aid treatment protocols, which can help in effective management of Catfish sting,
- Immerse the affected part in hot water. This is known to reduce the pain from the sting. Ensure that the hot water is of tolerable extent otherwise it may result in burns.
- Using tweezers try to remove the spines. This is very important since the spine contain the venom, which can spread through the blood stream.
- Using fresh water, scrub and irrigate the wound. This is aimed at removing the venom around the site of the sting and limiting its absorption by the skin.
- Don’t try to cover the wound. Keep it open and well ventilated.
- The sting can often get infected and hence ideal precautions need to be taken to prevent infection and maintain hygiene
It is always recommended that you consult your healthcare provider after the sting, to check on the status of the patient and also provide advice on the appropriate treatment protocol. Consult your doctor immediately if the patient experiences symptoms like joint pain and lethargy.
Home Remedies For Catfish Stings
Here are some remedies that have been proven to be effective in the management of Catfish sting,
- Homeopathic drug, Apis Mel is considered to be very beneficial in the management of stings. Apis can help reduce the inflammation and the irritation at the site of the sting and helps reduce the pain associated with the sting. Other homeopathic remedies that are equally effective include Arsenic and Belledona. These drugs are prescribed in low potency and repeated about four times a day.
- Local application of tea tree oil is useful, especially to prevent infections. Application of tea tree oil may cause burning for a few seconds on application, but it is a very strong anti-microbial agent
- Cold compress, about three to four hours after the sting helps in reducing the inflammation and the pain associated with the sting.