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Stingray Injury

Question:

What symptoms did you experience with your stingray injury? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Jen, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 05

Five weeks after getting stung by a stingray on my middle toe I still have swelling and bruising on the top. It aches and has become flattened around the cut. There are bulges under the skin on either side of the cut that are a little painful.

Comment from: Jamie, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 07

I was barbed in the foot by a juvenile short tail stingray. This made me fall to my knees, unfortunately onto an adult short tail stingray (about 5 or 6 feet) which barbed me in the chest. I spent 4 days in the hospital. Excruciating pain. Bathing your feet in hot water doesn't help when you get it in the chest. Just saying.

Comment from: Stingnado, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 18

I was in the Grand Caymans touring stingray city where miraculously no stingray injuries have ever occurred. I was the first (yeah right). I was in agony after my encounter with my new found archenemy “sting-ee”. While I can claim the title of being the first known patient to walk into the emergency room (ER), and riding in the ambulance screaming in agony, I would gladly give up that award and devastating experience. Oddly, the ER doctors reported seeing these injuries weekly. Look, don't touch!

Comment from: Micky, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 03

I've been stung by stingrays 6 times (I work in the ocean in San Diego). Each time is a little different but follows the same pattern. The pain doesn't set in for 5 to 15 minutes; once it does, it's pretty severe. Each time I've just soaked my foot in hot water for 1 or 2 hours and been alright after that. Nothing more than light to moderate aching and swelling for a couple days. One sting did swell quite a bit, so I put Epsom salt compresses on it for a few days and was eventually fine.

Comment from: Shaynna, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 27

My daughter was stung by a stingray in June of 2017. She has sought help in San Diego, her home and Michigan, now Portland. No one is helping her. She has suffered great pain since then, and now is paralyzed on her entire right side. At times she cannot not talk. We are begging for help and anyone who can help us.

Comment from: Lisa Randolph , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 27

I was boogie boarding at Mancora beach, Peru, and paddling out after catching a wave. I pushed off the bottom and felt an intense sting in my left ankle and knew immediately that I was hit by a stingray. The pain ramped up quickly. The hotel offered hot water to soak my foot in. I went to a local clinic, was administered antibiotics via IV and given a week's worth of antibiotics. The worst pain ever! A week later, it is still swollen and painful. But I think I'm healing.

Comment from: Eric R., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 26

I was stung by a stingray 11/13, at Del Mar, San Diego. As a surfer for last 38 years I've avoided them till now. Initial feeling was that a shark bit my foot off. Next 30 minutes, I had 10 level pain, next 1.5 hour: 9 to 6 pain. Hot water 113 deg, is imperative as soon as possible. Two weeks later I still have swelling from the sting, near the top of my big toe, to the ankle. Now that I've been stung, I will search long and far to order stingrays off restaurant menus, and eat them. They need to be hunted. It is humans or stingrays, not both.

Comment from: David McNally, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 14

I got stung by a stingray on my right wrist in Huntington Beach, California on the 4th of November 2018. The pain was severe. I had a rash at the area and running up my arm, as well as swelling. I got the wound cleaned by a doctor, and was prescribed antibiotics as well as a tetanus shot. The pain, swelling, and rash subsided the next day. However, 1 week later there is mild swelling, redness, and mild itching at the area. I am not sure if this is normal after 1 week!

Comment from: Jupiter , 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 30

My son got stung in Jupiter, Florida. He went to ER, soaked in hot water, and got X-ray. They gave Him antibiotics as well. It has been 8 hours, he is still bleeding, still soaking in hot water with antiseptic soap. He has it elevated as well with triple antibiotic cream on the wound with band aid. There is little swelling 8 hours later. Severe pain is gone but he is still dealing with the light bleeding from the wound.

Comment from: Jupiter , 13-18 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 30

My son got stung by a stingray in Jupiter, Florida. He went to the emergency room, soaked in hot water, and got x-ray. They gave him antibiotics as well. It has been 8 hours, it is still bleeding, and he is still soaking in hot water with antiseptic soap. He has it elevated as well with triple antibiotic cream on the wound with Band-Aid. There is little swelling 8 hours later. Severe pain is gone but he is still dealing with the light bleeding from the wound.

QUESTION

Emotional trauma is best described as a psychological response to a deeply distressing or life-threatening experience. See Answer
Comment from: BethE, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 22

I was stung by a sting ray in St. Simons, Georgia mid-August, 2018. I was standing in foot deep water on an overcast day. It had stormed the night before. I felt something hit against my foot as a wave spilled over my legs. Immediately I felt a stabbing or cut. At first I thought I had stepped on something but when I jumped away from the pain, I saw something swim away. The pain was a 10/10. Three months later I still have numbness and tingling at the puncture site. Worse pain than childbirth.

Comment from: Emily, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

I was stung by a stingray on 8/13/18 in Tybee Island, Georgia. I had searing pain and could not move foot. It got me on the right ankle. I had the worst pain of my life for one and a 1/2 hours. I made an Emergency Department (ED) visit by ambulance, and had tetanus shot and doxycycline. Two days later I had cellulitis, major bruising, swelling, and was back to ED for IV antibiotics. I was back for a CT a week later, had more cellulitis, and more IV antibiotics. I have had follow-up with infectious diseases doctor now, MRI is in 2 days. I have used all my sick days for the year on this. I still have stiffness and swelling, and am limping. I'm not diabetic, am an APRN, doing everything right, this is bad.

Comment from: Rainy , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 05

At Honeymoon Island, Florida, with foot deep in water, I could see the bottom. Purple flag was up and I was shuffling feet, however I stopped for conversation and started to walk when I got stung by stingray. I felt like I had been whipped or slashed with a sharp piece of glass. I was in immediate intense pain and so confused I could not walk on that foot and bleeding from puncture wound and lacerations. I made an emergency room visit and had tetanus shot and antibiotics. It was the most intense pain ever experienced in my 48 years. I had my feet in hot water for 3 hours, refreshed every 10 minutes, and foot is swollen.

Comment from: Beachmum, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: August 30

My son (9 years old) got stung by a stingray at Coronado Beach on August 25, 2018 (5 pm) about 30 feet from the beach. He ran to the beach screaming in pain, and my husband got the lifeguard who drove him to the lifeguard tower to soak in hot water for about an hour. He was in great pain and crying the whole time. There were about 5 or 6 other people who got stung soaking their feet at this time. We gave him ibuprofen back at hotel and his foot was sore for a day or two after.

Comment from: Marsthing, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: August 28

I got stung by a stingray today in Ventura. I did hot water treatment and that brought the pain down to a 7. We decided to go to the emergency room when the pain moved up to my hip. The 15 minute car ride without any hot water was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt, easily a 9 out of 10. The super intense pain lasted about an hour.

Comment from: Heidi, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 28

My daughter got stung by a stingray at Coronado Beach in San Diego. She was still in shallow water when it got her. She screamed and cried like I've never seen. I could only imagine her pain. She bled all over the lifeguard's truck. They washed her foot and soaked it in very hot water for about an hour. I gave her ibuprofen and took her home. Her foot is swollen and feels weird she says. But the pain is gone.

Comment from: ss, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I was stung by a stingray on 8/19/18 in San Clemente, in the bottom of right foot and 2 small toes. I thought I cut my foot on glass at first, it was very bloody and I had sharp pain. I went directly to the lifeguard and could barely speak. Pain was excruciating, my breathing was intense. He rinsed my foot and I was taken to first aid HQ, had my foot in a hot water bath within 10 minutes of the sting. Nauseous, I felt I'd pass out but didn't. Pain went away after about an hour in the water. It is still sore and tender 8 hours later. The worst pain of my life.

Comment from: Coronado, 19-24 Male (Patient) Published: August 21

I got stung by stingray on 8/17/18 in the mid-afternoon at Coronado Beach about 30 feet from shore (at the breakers). Felt like I stepped on glass, knew it wasn't when the pain spread to my foot in the first minute. Got a lift to the lifeguard's house where my foot was soaked in hot water for about an hour. Pain was coming and going in waves, but definitely had some 9/10 on the pain scale in that hour. Very important to get medical attention immediately after being stung.

Comment from: Mom, 0-2 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 08

My daughter was stung by a stingray on 8/10/2018 at Coco Beach while heading back to shore. She kept telling I can't walk. When she pulled her foot out of the water blood was gushing from the wound. She said something prodded her foot in the ocean and she experienced excruciating pain, on a scale from 1 to 10 she said it was as though someone was turning up pain level to 1000! She was shaking, crying, and broke out in a sweat.

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Comment from: Stingray shuffle, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: July 27

I was stung by a stingray in St. Petersburg, Florida in about 2.5 ft. of water. At first I thought a large crab or something bit me. The puncture wound bled and was a bit smaller in diameter than a pencil. Almost immediately I felt an intense amount of pain that got worse with time and peaked around the 1 to 2 hour point. The lifeguards gave me hot packs and instructions for home care since no barb was imbedded. Second day I feel light headed and a bit nauseous, but the pain was almost all gone.

Comment from: CozuMelinda, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 20

I got tagged on the bottom of my left wrist while snorkeling, trying to exit over a sandy/rocky area in rough surf in Cozumel. I didn't see the stingray but had seen them earlier, and nearly-boiling water made the pain almost disappear. My hand turned blue, then red, then white and felt like it was being crushed in a vise. I have almost no pain after 3 hours, just sore. Ten days later, hand and 2/3 of forearm are black and blue, stiff and sore like a muscle strain. It was a tiny (1 cm) puncture but bled a lot. I was given Bactrim.

Comment from: Ouch!, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 16

I was stung on the top of my foot by a stingray. I bled a lot as I continued to go out into the surf on my board. Salt water soak helped a little in the ocean. Foot started to feel bad and numb so I hobbled into shore. Pain started and I got home quick as my body started to shake from pain like I was shivering. I ran extremely hot water over my foot and then soaked with Epsom salts. It has been 8 days now and foot is still swollen, red and hard, with tight skin on top of the foot. The cut has healed close with local triple antibiotic ointment.

Comment from: Suzie, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

This past week I was in Huntington, California. My friend and I had been there for maybe a total of an hour. We were body surfing in the water. I noticed we were drifting pretty far from our things, so I began walking back to shore to stay near our bags. As I was walking, I felt as if a crab had just pinched my pinkie toe. I yelled to my friend who I was with that I had been pinched and needed to go back to shore. I sat where the water met the sand and noticed my foot was indeed bleeding from what I thought was a crab pinch. I rushed back to my towel and began to put pressure on it to stop the bleeding. I began crying from the pain, hysterically. A stranger nearby came over to see if I was alright and I had explained how I had been pinched by a crab. He told me, 'oh no, that is what getting stung by a stingray feels like. We have had a lot of issues with that for a while. I have been stung at least ten times!' He then told my friend to get a lifeguard. The lifeguard came and brought me a bag of hot water to put my foot in. I felt like I was going to pass out from the pain and also super nauseous. The water would start to get cold every 15 minutes. The lifeguard would come back and change out my water. Every time I would lift my foot out of the bag, it hurt like no other pain I have ever felt in my entire life. We kept my foot in a bag for 2 straight hours. My friend and I then left to go to our hotel. The next two days, we spent at Disneyland and California Adventures. Yes that is right, I walked on it for 2 days straight. We walked a total of 10 miles a day! I took ibuprofen every couple hours to help the pain go down so I could walk. By day 3, my foot was completely swollen. It was so painful to walk on. We drove back home the day after and I couldn't even fit a shoe over my foot. I attempted to keep applying hot water to it and nothing seemed to help the swelling go down. We are now on day 5 and my pinkie toe feels extremely numb still. I am hoping this goes down and I can have a normal foot again.

Comment from: Randy B, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: May 01

I was stung by a stingray last week in Florida, at Belleair Beach. The day before my sting, a woman was stung in the water and we saw her lift her foot which was bleeding immediately. We got her ice and only learned, the next day, that ice doesn't help but hot water is necessary to ease the pain as the heat breaks down the venomous protein infused by the sting. Ten minutes after the conversation on shore, I stepped into the water and was stung on the bottom of my foot! Luckily I knew what to do and immediately went to my hotel room and ran hot water over my foot. In the minutes of walking to the hotel, the pain went from bearable to excruciating; only hot water made it okay, but even then I felt like I was going to vomit or pass out for the first 30 minutes. Every time I stopped the hot water, thinking it was enough, a minute would pass and the severe pain would return, then I'd go back to the hot water. I did this for two hours and then I was okay to just lie on the bed. I was surprisingly able to walk on the foot by the evening, and went out to dinner. By the end of the next day, the foot was very tender and the wound began bleeding again. I returned to New York the following day and saw a doctor who prescribed an antibiotic in case of infection. It has now been one whole week and my foot is still extremely sore, I'm finding it difficult to walk properly. I have learned that when entering water where stingrays possibly might be present, it's important to shuffle your feet slowly along the sand which warns them of your approach and shoos them away. Don't lift your feet and walk, as you can step on one, which triggers a sting. I saw three more stingrays at the beach later in the day I was stung, as I stood safely ashore. They must have come as a large group for feeding or breeding.

Comment from: Donna , 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 20

I was walking through ankle deep water in Brighton, Queensland. I had on water sandals because I'm aware of stingrays and stone fish in the area. I felt a fish like movement on the side of my sandal strap, then suddenly felt like a crab had bitten me. I pulled my foot sideways and upwards out of the water. I noticed the 15 mm puncture wound was gushing blood, I immediately applied pressure to the wound with my thumb but it wouldn't stop the blood flow. We made up a tourniquet and made the trek back to the road. By the time I had made it to the car I was shaking and sweating from the pain. My partner took me to the emergency room at the hospital, where they had one look and admitted me straight away. They put my foot in hot water (45 C) for 60 minutes and sent me off for an x-ray. They gave me tetanus shot, then put the needle of the anesthetic directly into the wound, gross! I had immediate pain relief though was still bleeding a lot. They irrigated the wound with saline and gave two antibiotic tablets, with a prescription for a further 14 days. Nurse was fabulous, I was her second patient that day. Apparently breeding season is in March in Australia. Early days yet, so hoping for a speedy recovery. Thanks to all the other comments, it was helpful.

Comment from: Ginger, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

While vacationing in Costa Rica, I stepped on a stingray when exiting the ocean in less than knee deep water. It felt like a shark chomped onto my right Achilles and anterior ankle. I realized blood was pulsing into the water as I tried to get to the beach before the 'shark' took another bite. Once on shore, I was unable to put any weight on my right foot. The laceration was a jagged 2.5 inches long wrapping around my Achilles and extending to the anterior side of my ankle under the ankle bone. I immediately removed my swim shirt to apply pressure to stop the bleeding. Fierce pain began pulsating up my lower leg to my knee. I was transported back to the resort. They did not offer my any hot water; only water to drink. After a 3 hour ride I arrived at an empty locked clinic. While I waited in the van for the doctor, I writhed and moaned in pain, literally begging for help. I began passing out when the doctor arrived. I lay on my stomach as the doctor filled my foot with 10 ml of lidocaine before I felt slight relief. He explained that he was cleaning the wound and repairing my Achilles that was partially severed. He claimed that he put in 3 stitches into the tendon (but weeks later when questioned declared he did not repair my tendons). He applied an additional 12 compression stitches to close the jagged wound along with antibiotics and morphine for good measure. I returned to the US 3 days later to find that the doctors had no idea how to help me. The stitches were removed 12 days later and I went through 3 more courses of antibiotics as my foot massively swelled and turned red and blue. One doctor said that I nearly lost my foot and was relieved I came in when things went sideways! I needed crutches for 3 weeks and a boot for another 6 weeks. It's been 9 months and I still suffer from stiffness, swelling, muscle cramps/knots, shooting pain in tendon, numbness in outer 3 toes and lack of circulation in my foot. The doctors tell me to ride my bike or run, both of which cause pain and swelling for days after the activity. I've had 3 children in natural childbirth and I've had kidney stones. This is by far the hardest thing I've had to overcome physically and I wonder if I will ever recover. I really wish I would have known about the hot water and how to avoid stepping on stingrays in the first place. I don't know if this has anything to do with the incident, but I have had several severe colds and have been quite fatigued since the incident. Maybe it's because I struggle to be as active as I once was or because I am in constant pain.

Comment from: roland, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: February 20

While recovering a shark line and trying to remove the hook from what I thought was a 'skate' the stingray inserted its barb into my leg at the left kneecap. I tried to remove it with pliers but failed. I was 3 miles offshore at the time, I recovered my shark line and started to return to my mooring. At this time the pain was extreme and my leg was becoming paralyzed. At the mooring I accessed my dinghy and rowed ashore. I left the dinghy at the boat ramp and hobbled to my vehicle, drove to the nearest hospital and was admitted. I was assessed and x-rayed and a decision was made that an operation had to be undertaken at another hospital an hour's drive away. My wife drove me to this place and after some 4 hours wait I was taken to a surgical ward to be operated on the following day. The incident took place at 10 AM, at 6 PM I felt a stinging sensation approximately 10 inches higher up on the opposite side of my leg, the barb had moved to this area during the day. I was operated on at 11 PM that night and kept the barb as a souvenir. The incident occurred in Bass Strait in Tasmania. The pain during this ordeal was the worst I have ever experienced, I have had a number of injuries over my 76 years, and this has been the strongest pain ever.

Comment from: ouch, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I got stung by a stingray on the bottom of my foot at Dana Point in late August, almost 6 months ago. My friends thought I had gotten bit by a shark because there was so much blood and quickly pulled me out of the water. The lifeguards told me it was a stingray and said I would be fine and walking by the next day, all I needed to do was put my foot in hot water to pull out the venom. The pain was excruciating, I was crying uncontrollably and thought I was going to throw up. The hot water really helped and the pain completely went away after 30 minutes in hot water. The next day my foot had doubled in size and was super numb. I used crutches for 3 weeks, my foot was numb from the site of the sting, the ball of my foot, all the way up to the top of my big toe. It took 6 weeks to be able to bend my toe, it was just so sensitive. Five months later, the spot where I was stung is still fairly sensitive, I'm thinking there is nerve damage. My big toe has been numb since, but not very noticeable. However, I started running more recently and now my big toe has returned to a point of numbness that is starting to give me pain. I think it is the running, but maybe in combination with cold weather.

Comment from: SA, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 14

I got stung by a stingray at Santa Monica beach, California on 7/9/17. I was swimming in water up to my shoulder when I felt something latch onto my ankle. Excruciating pain like my ankle was being twisted in a medieval torture instrument. I thought it was a large crab. It lasted a few seconds and then I swam to shore, thought I was going to pass out from the pain. The lifeguards were terrific. They knew straight away what it was, got my foot in hot water and drove me off the beach to paramedics. I decided not to take ambulance (cost reasons). I sat on a bench with my foot in hot water for about an hour. The guy playing guitar beside me was great, insisted on going to his car and getting me water and Advil. After an hour, the pain was still severe so I went to the emergency room. They did an x-ray and discovered there was a barb in the foot. The doctor made a really good effort to get it out but the subsequent x-ray showed that some of the barb had broken off and was still in my foot. The doctor suggested waiting a few days to see if it works itself out and if not I'll need to go back. They put me on two sets of antibiotics, and gave me pain medicines. That was three days ago. The first day I couldn't walk on it but now I can, the pain is much better, it seems to be healing nicely although it's very swollen. I am grateful to all the kind lifeguards and medical staff and strangers (although not so grateful for the people on the boardwalk who took photos of me in pain with my foot in the stingray kit plastic bowl thing; crazy)!

Comment from: Melodye77, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 13

I suffered from a small sting ray injury on my foot on the 28th of December 2016. The pain was immediate and intense, I could feel it coursing through my foot, making it go numb. The wound was very small, less than a centimeter. The size of the cut was out of proportion to the intensity of the pain. My foot swelled up straight away and hot water brought immediate relief. After a week or so the swelling started to go down but it was still painful. At about 2 weeks after the incident my foot swelled up again with a secondary infection. I took a course of antibiotics and the swelling went down. Now 6 weeks later my foot is still not healed properly. My 2 smallest toes are still numb and the injury site is still red and slightly raised.

Comment from: Butterflycait, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 31

On a recent visit to Fort Myers Beach, Florida I had a most unfortunate encounter with a stingray. I felt immediate, severe pain, and thought perhaps a crab had latched onto my foot. When I was able to get back to shore, my foot was bleeding profusely and the burning, searing pain was creeping up my leg, unlike anything I had ever experienced. Family members helped wash out the wound with potable water and then transported me to the local emergency department, where emergency medical technicians immediately diagnosed a stingray injury. By now I was experiencing nausea in addition to the pain. They began hot water baths, which, surprisingly, brought relief. We continued that treatment at home for several more hours. Some swelling as well as bruising, oozing and stabbing pain continued for several days, relieved by over-the-counter Advil. Although I believe the worst is behind me, I am seeking further medical treatment from my physician at home.

Comment from: Ram, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: January 03

I stepped on stingray while surfing in Oceanside, CA, south of pier. It happened on December 9. Today on January 2 I am maybe 95 percent recovered. I still have black callus on outer foot and a little bit of swelling. I took one 5-day course and one 7-day course of Bactrim for it to get here. Along the way it was very swollen after the first week and I even felt tenderness at my knee. I am Indian and have very strong immune system. I never even get a cold more than once in 3 years. So I suggest you get Bactrim course for 1 week immediately if you get stung and keep out of the ocean water until it heals. I was not given any hot water on the day of the injury although I went to the emergency room; not sure if that made it heal much slower.

Comment from: Ryanvanren, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 22

I was stung by a stingray on November 13, 2016 at Huntington Beach, California. I was in about a foot of water with my 8 year old, bodysurfing. After I got stung, I ended up at the lifeguard station about 30 minutes later where they soaked my foot in scalding hot water. The pain for the first hour was tolerable and even more so, when it was in the hot water. I only soaked for about 45 minutes and then went back to the beach to watch my daughter play in her volleyball tournament. After about another 40 minutes (so now about an hour forty five after being stung) the pain was intense and I couldn't sit still. So, I ended up back at the lifeguard station to soak for another 45 minutes. The pain lasted for about 3.5 to 4 hours. Once I got home and put my foot in a Jacuzzi, it virtually went away. I was fine the next day and all week. Now, a week later, my foot has started swelling, is a little painful and the wound is itchy. Not sure if I should go get antibiotics. The wound does not appear to be infected and the swelling is not around the wound, but higher towards my ankle.

Comment from: Ronny, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 13

I was stung walking out of the shallows (less than knee deep) at San Onofre State beach. It felt like something loosely grabbed my foot then I got nailed in the ankle. Felt like someone just jabbed me superfast with a hypodermic. I knew it was a stingray immediately even though I had never been stung even by a jellyfish. Soon as I got out of the water I saw blood oozing from a single puncture wound. I instinctively reached down and squished it, and oozed more blood out. It felt like a bee sting, then like a wasp sting. Didn't get much worse than that. I called 911 just in case I had a reaction. I'd never had a problem with stings but I read where marine venoms were more evolved than their land counterparts. Although the pain subsided after about an hour, two weeks later it's still slightly swollen and itchy. There is some super light oozing. The paramedics were surprised I wasn't in more pain. Personally I feel I may have squished out a portion of the venom. So that's a hint for future reference. Hope I never get stung again but maybe I'll take a venom sucker out thingy with me in the future.

Comment from: jodolphin73, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: September 27

I was just stung by a stingray this weekend (on the bottom of one of my toes). I was paddle boarding and fell off my board accidentally stepping on a stingray. Honestly, this was the most painful experience I've ever had to endure. I was paddling from Doheny Beach at Dana Point to Baby Beach in the harbor when I was stung. I was basically forced to paddle my way back to the harbor in excruciating pain (I don't know how I did this without passing out). It took about an hour or so to finally get to the shore. After an hour of paddling with this pain, the lifeguard could not help. He didn't have access to hot water. I then had to wait another 10 to 15 minutes to get to my partner's family's house. Their neighbor was so helpful! She took great care of me and I am so thankful to her. She had also been stung in the past and knew exactly what I was going through. My only advice if this ever happens to you is, get your foot in the hottest water possible at the fastest rate possible. The pain can be so bad that you can actually pass out from the pain. Because the venom was spreading, I couldn't touch my foot. I experienced leg cramps, fatigue, dizziness, shaking and nausea. Pretty awful experience.

Comment from: annie, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: September 20

My friend was fishing. He caught a stingray, went to take it off the line, and its barb went into his arm. He cleaned it up and went to urgent care, and they transported him by ambulance to hospital. He spent a week there, then was released. His hand is still swollen with busted blood vessels and blisters, and now he has shooting pain in his arm and legs and his leg is swelling up.

Comment from: Atlz, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: September 12

I was stung by a stingray on August 28th in Hilton Head, SC. As I was walking into the surf I felt a hard tap on my ankle and then instant pain. I knew right away it was a stingray because I felt it swimming out from under my foot. The pain was excruciating. Bleeding, I limped my way to the lifeguard who put a heat pack on my ankle. My girlfriend brought hot water from the resort bar on the lifeguard's advice. For the next two hours I soaked my foot. The pain gradually went away and I was well enough to go back to Atlanta. This morning (Sep 9) I woke up with intense pain and some swelling. The pain was exactly like the initial sting but not as severe. Seriously contemplating a trip to the emergency room. I've stepped on stingrays twice before without getting stung. But this experience makes me think twice about walking in sandy surf.

Comment from: S.A., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: September 08

In August 2016 I was vacationing in Mexico. On the 2nd day at 7:30 am while swimming in the allowed area, I felt a sharp poking, tearing, twisting, whatever you name it on my leg above the left ankle. I swam to the shore fast and pulled a 4 inch long white spine while blood gushed out. I went to the lobby and I had the worst pain ever, no words to describe. Lifeguard treated by cleaning and putting iodine and bandage my ankle. Then I waited an hour and a half for the doctor. I was writhing in pain. Doctor used warm water and vinegar and the pain went away after 30 minutes. I had one stitch and got antibiotics. I had plenty of drinks and went back swimming, which were both stupid. It got infected and swollen. Back in USA I went to the doctor and in emergency room, I was given two bags of antibiotics and prescription for after. Foot is red and swollen, hurts around the wound, and burns like hot liquid is flowing in waves inside my veins. I hope I get better.

Comment from: Carol, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 08

I was stung in the Gulf of Mexico August 22, even had on my Teva strap-on sandals but must have shuffled into a stingray. It felt like something bit/stung me, I had intense pain and numbness, half way up my foot for about 3 hours with bleeding and small crescent shaped cut near nail bed. Eight days later cut was not healing, but had blistered up. Then I had swelling and pain. I saw the physician's assistant and was put on antibiotic. I had x-ray, then referred to podiatry, more x-rays done, ultrasound, and put on two different antibiotics and cream. The wound got lanced and culture sent in. I am elevating foot and no closed toe shoes for 2 weeks. Hoping for the best as I work on my feet.

Comment from: Jan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I got stung by a stingray 9 days ago on Catalina Island. It felt like a hot ice pick into the top of my foot. I knew what it was immediately. It bled profusely and I read that the ray also injects an anticoagulant with the venom. The hot water soak for 1.5 hours helped immensely with the pain that was shooting from my foot up my leg, and after letting it bleed some, pressure stopped it right away. I sent a photo to a doctor and he prescribed 500 mg of Keflex 4 times per day. I also got Hibiclens antibacterial skin wash hoping to avoid secondary infection. The barb was not left in my foot and I hope no debris since I was hiking on an island and didn't have professional cleansing of the 1.5 inch wound. Being an avid, swimmer, diver, and surfer for 65 years, and never being stung is pretty good I guess. It's now itching like crazy! I see that others mentioned this too.

Comment from: Raptor, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 04

This is my 8th sting from stingray. At Bolsa Chica State Beach I was surfing at dawn. I shuffled my feet and hit a wing with my toe then, whack. I got the stinger in the middle of my well calloused heel. Ok, so I'm a veteran at this (so I thought). I called my wife, she knows the routine. Ice chest with hot water in the garage, many more containers of hot water to add. Cold beer, tequila and a shot glass standing by. I live 4 minutes from the beach. So the pain did its usual climbing up the leg in ever increasing waves of pain. More hot water settled it down. Two hours later all ok; or so I thought. Now the best part. Six hours later I felt achy all over. Muscles and joints all ached. Extreme fatigue, nausea and headache set in for two days; like flu symptoms. I never had this reaction from the prior 7 stings. So that settled down after two days and I thought I was fine. Wrong. A giant blister developed on my heel about two inches by an inch. This was between the thick callous and the skin. My heel was basically delaminating. Of course the giant blister popped. Secret sauce has now been excreting for two weeks. I am using antibiotics and trying to keep it clean. The giant patch of callous is being shed like a snake skin. The virgin pink skin underneath is not ready for this, hence the continual oozing. I'm three weeks out now. The heel still occasionally bleeds and oozes, but it's much better. Maybe a couple more weeks and I'll be back in business. I'd post a picture, but can't find how to do that here. Maybe for the best because it's hideous.

Comment from: Heather450, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 19

I was stung by a stingray 3 weeks ago in Treasure Island, Florida. I was in chest deep water (with my 2 kids) and felt something crunch hard on my foot. I thought maybe a crab, I had no idea but it started bleeding immediately. No life guards on this beach. I lay down for a bit with foot elevated and poured water on it to clean it out. Pain progressed to the worst pain I've ever felt. I went to the emergency room (ER) which figured by puncture wound description, that it was stingray. I got tetanus shot, pain medications, an x-ray which showed no barbs, was given antibiotics. My foot was red and swollen for a week, then started to get better, then it blew up red and hot. I went to urgent care and was given stronger antibiotic and topical application. Next day the wound started to grow and turn black. I've seen many wounds in my line of work so knew this didn't look good. I went to the ER, more x-rays were done which showed nothing. I was put on 3 doses of antibiotics. I followed up with my primary care physician, then was referred to infectious disease doctor where stat MRI was ordered and sent to podiatrist. The podiatrist debrided top layer of wound as necrotic. I will return to both doctors next week and will find results of MRI and am presuming there will be more debridement of wound. My foot is still sore to the bone and swollen. I can't get shoe on. The radiology technician said something about cellulitis so I am sure they will put me on more antibiotics as I have now finished the 3 doses I was on. This is nothing to mess around with. I did not know to put in hot water until after the fact. Thankful that it was me instead of my 2 kids that was right beside me. Needless to say I will likely enjoy the beach from my chair and stay out of the water going forward.

Comment from: Anon, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 07

I was stung on the top of my left foot while walking through shallow water in South Carolina. It felt like someone banging a red hot nail into my foot and the pain went up and up for the next few hours. I usually deal with pain well, but this had me sweating and asking for cold water while I was being short/rude with family members that were just trying to help me. My father took me to the hospital where they put my foot in very hot water, which helped a ton. They x-rayed my foot and gave me a tetanus shot. It took months to heal. My foot will never be the same. It hurts sometimes and the scab still flakes to this day, a year later. I was with many of my young nieces and I am always thankful that I was stung instead of them. What a nightmare that could have been!

Comment from: frank, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 03

I was fishing in Exmouth Gulf in Western Australia and got stung by a stingray in my left ankle. The barb went in about 2 inches and initially I thought it was a shark. There was heaps of blood so I got out of the water as soon as possible. It took about ten minutes to get back to camp and while boiling the Billy the pain was unlike any I ever had experienced. But as soon as I put my foot into hot water it eased. After about an hour I removed my foot from bucket and had a shave (fresh water was scarce so thought I would use it). Four days later we went into town and saw the doctor. They gave me antibiotics in a drip and next morning I drove home. I got there late and had more antibiotics in a drip. I had a week of pills since and they run out tomorrow. The wound is getting bigger and a little painful so will go back to the doctor in the morning. We'll see what happens.

Comment from: From the UK, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 27

Two days ago I stood on a stingray whilst paddling with my kids and I shot out of the sea like a madman. After I had realized what had happened and started to bleed from my instep onto the sand the pain started. I am not a wimp but that pain is like no other. I am just glad it happened to me and not my 9 and 7 year old kids. We found a clinic nearby and I had to keep my foot in what felt like boiling water for an hour. A day later there is no pain just a big swollen foot and I cannot move my toes. I am taking antibiotics and had a tetanus jab. I just hope the swelling does down soon so I can wear my shoes again. The posts on here are really interesting and thanks to everyone who contributed.

Comment from: davis, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 22

I stepped on a stingray 8 weeks ago. At first my lip swelled, then each side of face, eyes and tongue, and then rash under arms and groin area. I still having swelling on face and tongue. Doctors so far just give me Benadryl. I can't find a doctor that can give any answers as to why I still have the symptoms after this long.

Comment from: dana, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 02

The stingray injury caused unbearable pain, burning and searing, and severe muscle cramping from foot to thigh. The whole bottom of foot is swollen and red hot to touch. There is a 2 inch laceration on heel. I had chills and twitching when pain was at its height and numbness in toes. The pain came in waves, then after 1 hour constant when not immersed in hot water. I was given morphine, x-ray, antibiotics, and oral pain medicines for healing time.

Comment from: Debra H, Female (Patient) Published: April 16

I was just stung by a stingray on the side of my left foot by the bone below my pinky toe on Easter Sunday, in front of my little one. I tried to be strong and hold in the pain for 1 and 1/2 hours. At first I thought it was a crab but as the pain and swelling increased and I just wanted to pass out from the pain, my husband took me to the emergency room (ER). I had 7 days of antibiotics and pain medicines. I went back to Urgent Care a week later as my foot was still really swollen and hurting. I am back on 10 days of antibiotics and pain medicines. I can't get a shoe on and it looks red and swollen.

Comment from: mike, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 07

I got stung on my hand on my index finger knuckle, and man, it was very painful. I did suck on it and spit out the blood for about a half hour. I washed thoroughly with soap and water. I have been fishing for 40 plus years and never had anything like this happen to me before. I was trying to take a hook out of a very small ray who a park service personnel said was a small bat ray and bat rays don't sting; wrong! Very hot water does relieve pain, better than 10 milligram Vicodin two times and 10 milligram valium once.

Comment from: Meghan4409, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 17

In August 2014 I went surfing with my brother in Sea Isle City, New Jersey and I was surfing. It felt like I stepped on a razor blade or a knife or I got stabbed by a thousand knifes I didn't know, and I was knee deep. I came in from surfing and my ankle was gushing blood so I called my mom over and she asked what happened and I had no idea. So 3 people on the beach had to carry me off the beach and my sister called the cops and they called the ambulance, and this old lady gave me some water because I was in so much pain and crying. My knee down to my ankle was killing me, the pain was so bad. When I got to the hospital they said I was stung by a stingray and then they put hot rags on it and it felt better but still hurt awfully so they took an x-ray and found nothing in my ankle, thank goodness. But they gave me an antibiotic and pain medications and I went home. Till this day when I wake up it still hurts and the bone is a little swollen so I might have to get it re-checked and get an MRI of the bone but I'm scared to go surfing again. They said it was a deep puncture wound.

Comment from: Frank, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 04

I was stung by a sting ray on my heel, 10 days ago on the south coast of Australia. The pain is quite intense but the lifeguards cleaned and bandaged, I went home and it slowly improved with pain killers and time. The swelling has gone down and the pain and numbness just about gone. The wound is healing but it still oozes a haemoserous fluid every day. I didn't go to the doctor initially as it started to get better, but will go soon if it keeps oozing!

Comment from: Sting del Rey, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 29

Ten days ago I was stung/swiped on my right Achilles by a stingray while walking around a rock jetty at extreme low tide in Venice, California. The pain was so immediate and severe I thought it was a fish hook to the Achilles (which I insisted to the emergency room (ER) doctor). Warm water helped but it was three hours of pain until I received pain medications (Norco) and a tetanus shot (the pain was mostly gone following medications). The following three days, my ankle swelled to a cankle and bruised. In the past 2 days, the itching has increased and swelling has returned, looking and feeling like there's an infection. I am waiting to hear back from my doctor to get antibiotics.

Comment from: tommy6969, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 01

Bad breath is caused by several reasons among which, poor dental hygiene, dry mouth and remainders of undigested food particles. At times excessive tobacco usage and severe dieting can also cause bad breath. So, along with the regular activity of the maintaining oral hygiene, the inclusion of home remedies can help maintain a good breath and lesser or nil chance of oral diseases.

Comment from: SurprisedSwimmer, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: September 16

I was swimming in chest-deep water off Long Beach, CA. I put my feet down on the bottom and must have stepped right on a ray. I yanked my feet back up immediately and swam to shore. I saw that I was bleeding from about a half-inch laceration on the side of my heel. I went to the lifeguard and was told it was the fourth stingray injury he had seen that day. He got me transported to Lifeguard HQ where I joined a group of other victims for that day. All of us had one foot stuck in mylar bags of extremely hot water. After about 45 minutes, I was able to take my foot out of the bag and walk around without much pain. The wound had stopped bleeding. My wife drove me home, and we cleaned the foot off and put antibiotic ointment and a bandage on the wound. The pain was mostly gone by bedtime. From what I've read in other stories, I must have been VERY lucky!

Comment from: Painful, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 18

I was stung two years ago on the Gulf Coast of Florida and I am still suffering from numbness on my ankle! It was easily the most painful experience of my life and I have gone through childbirth!

Comment from: Mark, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 27

Reading through these posts it sounds nearly identical to my experience. Last week while on vacation, I was stung by a stingray in the heel while wade fishing. The pain from the venom was so intense I, too, couldn't think straight. I finally got to the ER an hour or so later and they soaked it in very hot water and prescribed me to penicillin for the next seven days. The tremendous swelling went down over the next six days, but then a week from the day I got stung my muscles and nerves in my foot were throbbing and sensitive. My pinky toe, the toe next to it, the outside of my foot, and the pads of my feet are extremely sensitive and I can't stand to wear a shoe on it. I went back to the doctor this past Monday and he put me on another round of antibiotics and a round of steroids. I also had the terrible itching on my foot days later. After reading these posts about nerve damage, it sounds like that might last for a while.

Comment from: I love palms, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 12

I was struck on the inside of my foot while wading around 30th street on Isle of Palms. The pain built up for about 90 minutes. It was so intense, I actually had to start laughing at how ridiculously painful it was. My wife drove me to Nason Clinic in Mt. Pleasant. They took me right away and had a bucket of scalding hot water ready. The hot water brought immediate relief. I got a shot of morphine, toradol and tetanus and was on my way home. I was fine the next day with just some lingering stiffness, pins and needles and minor fatigue.

Comment from: sondrad, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: April 01

I was stung a week ago in my foot. I had extreme pulsating pain for several hours.

Comment from: Bill, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 07

I stepped directly on a stingray that punctured the bottom of my foot. I went to an emergency room immediately after. The care was not that good but it took care of the immediate problem. After 15 months I am still having problems with swelling. I tried a cortisone shot after 6 months but I only got temporary relief. It is extremely difficult to find medical professionals anywhere, even the southern coast of California, who really know how to treat this type of problem.

Comment from: Bonne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

My husband and I were in the Gulf of Mexico, about mid-shin deep when we noticed a sting ray swimming by us. While looking at that one I took a side-step and BAM! Another one that was hidden in the sand tagged the side of my foot and I went down. My first thought was, “Oh my gosh!” thinking a small shark had swum up when we were looking at the other ray and bit me. I guess I had been watching way too much Shark Week! I was bleeding profusely and had what looked to be a slight cut around a half inch long. I thought at first I would walk back to our condo, rinse it out, add a bandage and be back at the beach. About three minutes into that thought the pain hit and I went down. I could not even think because the pain was so intense. I have to say I have had two children and neck surgery and injections every three months into my neck for a disease I have in my back, but this pain made that stuff feel like a paper cut! Needless to say, I will never go into their home again. I have learned the utmost respect for these creatures. I learned the hard way and I wish no one else had to. Just an FYI also, we found out that mating season for stingrays in the Gulf of Mexico starts around October. If you're down that way, be careful!

Comment from: Bay St Louis MS, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 14

I was stung by a sting ray three years ago on my left ankle. The ankle is still stiff and numb. At the time of the accident, I immediately went to the hospital emergency room. I was on antibiotics for nine weeks.

Comment from: stinger dinger, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I was stung in the right foot over a year ago. I am still having problems with pain, soreness and stiffness.

Comment from: Vivalalida, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 28

I was lanced by a ray on the coast of Kenya on the dorsum of my left foot. The stingray wound was infected with a plant pathogen called lasiodiphlodia thebromae. It was treated successfully using Vfend, which nearly finished me off. The last remnant of the ulcer disappeared, but the skin is still a bit rough over the healed wound. It's been a very nasty experience.

Comment from: Me-chel, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 10

I was stung by a stingray. My husband immediately took me to urgent care because I was in so much pain. They soaked it in hot water for almost two hours. The pain finally eased up. It was x-rayed to make sure the barb was not in there. I have been put on medication. We will see what happens.

Comment from: Cheryl, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 09

I was stung on the big toe in Costa Rica. I was near an estuary where they apparently like to gather for mating season. I didn't know what it was and thought that perhaps it was a jelly fish sting. I had heard that urine could help disinfect and/or ease the pain, so my husband helped me out with that! LOL! Well needless to say that did nothing. I rinsed it in a beachside restaurant restroom sink. A waiter saw me hobbling around and in broken English he offered me vinegar! The pain was progressively getting worse and the puncture site was turning blue and swelling and spreading. The waiter/surfer said that I should get to a doctor because it could start to cause muscle cramps and worse. Well that scared me enough to go to a clinic. There they had me lie down and soak it in the hottest water that I could handle. At this point I was sweating profusely but the pain was subsiding a little. They bathed it in super hot water for about an hour and gave me some pain killer and antibiotics. I went back to the house and soaked it for another hour and then it was fine. It did take a long time to heal as I think it got a little infected. The area was tender for a few months probably due to nerve damage.

Comment from: Dad, 55-64 Male Published: January 10

I was in Costa Rica between Christmas and New Year's when I stepped on a stingray. I got a small laceration and pretty good puncture in my heel. Pain was intense but we had no knowledge of treatment so beach bar brought vinegar and I took gin. After about an hour it was down to sore but I could walk. Now a week later it itches like mad and there appears some discoloration and redness in my heel and around the entry wound. The puncture is still there and it looks like there is a blood clot inside. I'll see what happens over the next week or so. I tolerate pain fairly well and don't go to a doctor except as last resort.

Comment from: Shoulda_Shuffled, 45-54 Male Published: August 19

I got stung on left big toe and went to emergency department to make sure wound was clean. The doctor took vitals and X-rays to make sure barbs were not still in wound. I received pain medicine and antibiotic prescription. I soaked foot in hot water for next five hours.

Comment from: Blair W., 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 11

I got stung on the heel by a stingray today at Myrtle Beach. It hurt so badly! I soaked my foot in really hot water for about half an hour because it provided relief. I took 2 Aleve, and started an antibiotic called Levaquin. I have to take it for seven days.

Comment from: mama_3girls, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 09

I was stung on 7/29/11. I went immediately to an urgent care facility. They soaked my foot in hot water for an hour or so, which helped with the pain immensely. They took x-rays, looking for remaining barbs. There were none. I was given a tetanus shot and a one week prescription for antibiotics. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow.

Comment from: Heather, 13-18 Female (Caregiver) Published: August 01

My 14 year old daughter was stung by a sting ray off the tip of Cape San Blas, FL in the gulf on July 20th. We were with a group and the captain of the boat tried to put hot water from the engine but it was only warm, not hot so it didn't help much. He pulled everybody in and we immediately left for the marina. When we got back I took her to the ER. They immediately got very hot water with soap in it and had her soak her foot. They gave her pain medicine (narcotic) and prescription for antibiotics. We came home on the 23rd and by the end of the next week her foot was worse...very swollen, red and weepy so I took her to her pediatrician. Her pediatrician changed the antibiotic, told her to soak her foot four times per day and put prescription antibiotic on the wound. She's been doing that for 4 days and has not seen a lot of improvement yet.

Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 01

The lifeguard soaked my foot in lukewarm water for 15 minutes and sent me on my way. I was in excruciating pain for 4 hours, even though I took ibuprofen.

Comment from: mayan1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 08

I was stung in Mexico. The life guard soaked my foot in hot water and ice water, alternating. Then she used a vinegar and water mix, which pulled all of the venom out.

Comment from: Ms. Boostrom, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 21

I was stung about a year ago in the Sea of Cortes, accidentally stepped on a stingray. We were a long way from any medical care, but the trip guide knew to put my foot in very hot water, which relieved the excruciating pain and, other than being sore, I continued to enjoy my trip swimming with whale sharks. When I got back home, I had it x-rayed, nothing was in my foot and it never got infected, but a year later I am still in near-constant slight pain and tingling at the wound site. My doctor says it is because of nerve damage and may always be that way or it may eventually go away, am hoping for the latter!

Comment from: Hank, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 05

I was stung on the left foot on 7/26/11 heel area while fishing in Port Aransas. I immediately went to the Rangers office and they suggested I have it X-Rayed. When I arrived at the doctor's office they gave me some hot water to put my foot in and it pretty much got rid of the pain. There was no barbs left in the wound, he prescribed me some antibiotics and sent me on my way. Today is 8/4/11 and I had to go back to doctor for more antibiotics because of itching and swelling and infection. If you could wear sandals all the time it would probably heal quicker. It seems like shoes or boots do not help the matter.

Comment from: dlorenscheit, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: July 19

I was stung in the foot, but unaware that it was a sting ray. I continued to hobble around on the beach for awhile before heading back to take a shower. I took a hot shower and cleaned the area. I then put antibiotic ointment on the wound and covered it. 10 days passed and I noticed it wasn't getting any better, so I went to urgent care, they gave me some antibiotics. It has now been 17 days since the sting and the wound is still not healed. I will write back with more details of what's happened at a later date.

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