Stingray Sting


Have you been stung by a stingray? Please tell us about your experience. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Kari, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I was stung in Tasmania. The stingray thrust its barb under my armpit and cut my lower arm as it withdrew. Felt like a metal rod had gone into my arm. My partner and I put pressure on the wounds and got back to the beach. Luckily a nurse was there who tended to my injuries until ambulance arrived. The longest, most painful wait ever. I was treated with opioids and heat. I got secondary infection that needed antibiotics. I rate it 9/10 for pain. I would have my 5 kids and 6 mm kidney stones together than go through that again. Four inches left and it would’ve got my lung.

Comment from: GrandmaV, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 22

I was at Sunset Beach, California when I was stung by a stingray. I was swimming in fairly shallow water and it felt like a punctured bite between my toes. I swam back to shore, and by the time I was walking out, the pain was so bad my husband had to carry me to the lifeguard. I put my foot in hot water, and at first it did not help but later that was the only relief. Once my husband squeezed the jelly like venom out, the pain was relieved 80 percent. So excruciating, I do not wish it on anyone!

Comment from: Martin, 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: January 02

All I can say is that the pain when stung by a stingray was like nothing I have ever experienced before. But imagine being stabbed and burned repeatedly, in the same spot, over and over, for many hours. Wow. However, half an hour after I received a shot of Toradol in my arm, which hurts too, my pain completely disappeared. Better relief than any opiates or NSAIDs. Amazing. My arm is still sore though.

Comment from: Stacyh, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 21

I stepped on a stingray when I was 14. I was on vacation with the family and my dad had touristy, walking type tours planned for the whole week. Needless to say, I had a lot of trouble walking for the first week or two, due to excessive swelling and pain. Three months later and I was still feeling a sharp, aching pain every so often. On a side note, this was when I discovered the whole elevate above your heart thing as that was the only relief I could find.

Comment from: Barb S., 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 02

I was at Manasota Key, Florida. I just moved to Florida. The stingray got me in the left ankle. The pain was excruciating and the hot water didn't help! After about ten buckets of very hot water I had to go to a walk-in clinic. The doctor gave me a shot of something and the pain subsided. They could have taken an axe and cut my foot off and I don't think it would have been worse than the sting pain!

Comment from: Grateful, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: July 16

For the first time ever, I got stung by something (probably a stingray) on the side of left foot at Imperial Beach, CA this morning around 7:00 am. It bled and was lacerated. I washed the wound with seawater and walked (40 minutes barefoot in the water) back to the car. I drove 10 minutes to a CVS store and bought Neosporin to treat the wound. I got home and put my legs up. The pain was uncomfortable but after couple hours, the pain went away. I got lucky. I will shuffle my feet upon entering the water from now on.

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 25

I was celebrating my 60th birthday at Port Aransas. On June 8 I was in calf high water and was hit by a stingray on the top of my left foot towards the edge. The most pain ever! It took about an hour to get to Corpus Christi (friend had to get down the beach and bring the car to me). The wound bled like gushing water. My foot is still swelling up, red and painful. The hole where the barb went in, is turning black around. The doctor is taking a culture of the inside just to be careful.

Comment from: Rdawg, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 30

I was walking on Ft. Myers beach. I had sudden sharp pain in my foot... instant hot shooting pain. I limped to shore, took off my swim shoe and I had a 1/8' puncture wound from the stingray, bleeding. Pain was intense and would ebb and flow. I kept foot in hot water for 3 hours. I was better after 3 hours, but pain is still a 2 or 3 after all this time.

Comment from: BC, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 29

I am sitting in the recliner now with my foot up. I went to Newport Beach with my daughter 4 hours ago and while walking in 2 feet of water watching her boogie board I felt the initial strike on the inside of my foot. The lifeguard said I was hit by a stingray and they gave me a bucket of hot water to put my foot in, which helped the pain. It was the worst drive home as it was so painful on my right foot driving. The pain was tremendous and peaked. I am just now starting to feel better.


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Comment from: Wen25, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 11

I was stung by a stingray last week in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico. I was in thigh deep water and must have stepped on it. The pain was immediate and excruciating! I can only compare it to childbirth. It bled profusely. The only thing that took the edge off the pain was hot water. It lasted around two hours and by then a doctor showed up and brought antibiotics and gave me a shot. He cleaned it (no barb). No pain walking now. It still weeps a little. Shuffle your feet in the ocean!

Comment from: Dale, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 04

I was stung by a stingray yesterday while in the water at San Clemente. We were attending a gathering of old friends and family for a friend who had passed. I thought I would be a tough guy and try and ignore the pain. Bad idea. Not only does it really hurt but it lasts for hours. I gave up on the tough guy idea and went home to take care of it. I finally got home after another hour of driving and put it in hot water and the pain completely went away as long as I kept the water hot.

Comment from: JS, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 22

I got stung by a stingray in the lower ankle at Ocean Beach, San Diego. The sharp pain was immediate. It bled profusely. Medics at the beach put my foot in a bucket of very hot water to neutralize the venom. The throbbing was really intense for at least 30 to 40 minutes. The pain radiated throughout my foot and at times was excruciating. But after about an hour it subsided. I did have a big gash in the area of the puncture, but the medics didn’t think any barbs were left in.

Comment from: Nikitakat, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 08

I got stung by a stingray in Venice Beach, California, closer to the Marina del Rey side. I don't think that matters, I think the beaches in southern California are overrun by stingrays right now. Be careful. Basically after not getting good care on the beach, not hot enough water, the pain was rising up my entire leg. Truly unbearable, so I decided to go to the emergency room. Once there, I maintained the hot water temperature, almost 3 hours after the initial sting though. I didn't take antibiotics, I got infected ended up with cellulitis and antibiotics for almost a month. Terrible.

Comment from: MissDre, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I was stung by a stingray yesterday at the ocean beach San Diego, on the top of my foot and knuckle of big toe. Lifeguards had me soak in hot water for 90 minutes. There was so much blood! The pain was extreme. I haven't cried like that in years. They told me to go to Urgent Care, and after my x-ray, my foot was like a volcano of blood flow, then stopped. Now I'm resting my foot up, it keeps bleeding when I stand up, I think it's cleaning out venom. No barb. I forgot to do the sting ray shuffle.

Comment from: haylee, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: August 07

I was stung by a stingray this past Saturday at Treasure Island. I wasn’t even knee deep in water walking up to shore when I felt this stabbing feeling on the back of my ankle. I immediately rushed up to shore and noticed that I was bleeding pretty profusely. There was no barb in my foot. My boyfriend wrapped a towel around my foot to stop the bleeding. The bleeding stopped after about 5 minutes. I was lying on the beach for an hour crying in pain. My whole leg felt like it was on fire.

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

I got stung by a stingray two days ago in Summerland, just south of Santa Barbara. I was actually quite far out, I felt something bite the side of my left foot and screamed out in pain. The pain was only comparable to childbirth, I saw a gash that was bleeding. The pain intensified and I felt like I would throw up. I had to walk up a large hill to my car and drove 30 minutes home to my hot tub. The heat helped and I was able to tolerate the pain, and swelling; no emergency room visit and no sign of infection.

Comment from: Sidney , 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: July 03

Grandson age 11 was stung by a stingray in Ventura California. He had excruciating pain, luckily we had a doctor with us. He bled for a short time. We administered hot water treatment for several hours along with Tylenol. He was very miserable for about 3 hours but felt great the next morning with minimal swelling the next day.

Comment from: Cameron, 25-34 Male (Patient) Published: June 26

I was out swimming in the ocean on Ana Maria Island, Florida. I stopped to take a break and when I put my foot down in the sand I felt instant pain. I wasn't sure what had got me but I swam to shore immediately. I limped over to where our chairs were and sat down to take a look at the outside of my left foot. A woman passed by and told me it was definitely a stingray and I would need help. My uncle gave me a strong painkiller and drove me to our beach house where I submerged my foot in really hot water, which worked very well. I did not go to the hospital nor did I remove the barb and my foot healed up fine in a couple days with a bandage. I will say that the pain was quite intense, and I've broken bones before.


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Comment from: Doug, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 15

Symptoms are exactly as described. Hot water soaking will soften and remove the stingers. I was good for about a week, the area was still red and became infected. I went to the doctor and he prescribed antibiotics. The first 1 to 2 hours after the stingray sting were the most uncomfortable.

Comment from: Sam.S, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 15

I just returned from Cancun where I was stung by a stingray three days ago. I had a puncture type sting. I bled pretty badly for a while until the life guard put a crazy tight bandage on my foot, and the pain was insane. At the hospital, like everyone else, my foot was placed into a bucket of hot water with a vinegary smell and almost immediately the pain faded to nothing. I was stung walking along the edge of the sea, barely had my foot in the water.

Comment from: Debbie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 14

I was in shallow water in St. Petersburg, Florida where I live. I stepped on a stingray and thought a shark had bitten me on my left side of my left foot. Pain was excruciating and I could barely get out of the water with help of my niece. After an hour she was able to drive me to my doctor. I had to be carried off the beach by two people. I felt like I was going to throw up and pass out. They submerged my foot in extremely hot water which helped. I was given a tetanus shot and pain shot. I was in a lot of pain and very weak for a few days. It’s now been a month later and I have had symptoms similar to Lyme disease. One of the spots where I was stung is on the bone and swollen with a crusty ring but not red, just dry skin. My hands, feet and sides of my face feel numb. I was extremely sick with flu like symptoms and extreme weird headache for five days. I sleep a lot and have no energy. I also have fibromyalgia but this is not anything like those symptoms. I went back to my doctor and had blood work done and waiting for the results. I just feel that the poison from the stingray sting is the culprit. Not a lot of information so I wanted to post if anyone else has similar situations.

Comment from: MalibuRumPineappleOr, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 12

I was stung by a stingray on the side of my left foot 8 hours ago. The pain was as severe as the pain I experienced during natural childbirth. I actually starting utilizing breathing techniques to cope with the pain. I waited about an hour to go to the hospital because I kept telling myself the pain should get better any moment, but it didn't get better and actually got worse. I didn't see the stingray. When I went to the hospital I described my injury to the receptionist checking me in and she said 'oh a stingray stung you!' She immediately called the nurse out. The nurse immediately put my foot in hot water and the pain went from a 9 to a 4 in 60 seconds. That's amazing! Unfortunately removing my foot to change water basins had to be done quickly. I learned the hard way when I removed my foot for the x-ray. The technician had me sign my paper and in the 60 seconds my foot was out of the water my pain returned to a 9! My pain went away about an hour ago. The hot water and rum helped. Now I only have a mild discomfort. My foot is swollen but I've been able to walk on it during the entire experience. Hot water is your friend!

Comment from: Mario307, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 30

We were vacationing at Mustang Island and my 11 year old granddaughter stepped on a stingray and she was struck on the top of her foot. She screamed and cried out and told me she felt like she was going to die. I drove 15 miles to Corpus Christi medical center where she was treated immediately probably because she was screaming in pain in the waiting room. She was given hot water treatment and her pain subsided and she doesn't want to go swimming anymore.

Comment from: Ginade, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 14

I was in the water in Redington Beach. Walking bare foot I felt a penetrating something on the outer side middle area of my foot. I quickly felt extreme pain, and tried to walk ashore. It was extreme pain, the worst pain I have ever felt. I was screaming and everyone cleared the water. I could hardly walk. I knew when I looked down there was a bloody puncture wound. I poured cold water on it, about 3 bottles. I cannot stress enough: do not use cold water. If you are at the beach bury that foot in hot sand, heat is the only relief you will get. It took 1 hour of extreme hot water at home in shower till I could even get to stand on it long enough to get to urgent care. It was the worst pain in my life. At the urgent care I was treated again with soaks of hot water. I was given antibiotic also. There were no visible stingray barbs.

Comment from: Black diamond , 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: May 10

My pet stingray (a Leopoldi black diamond) died, so I was removing him from the tank into a large fish bag, ready for safe disposal. As I was tying a knot in the bag my wet hand slipped off the knot straight downwards onto the barb, the full barb fully into the pad of my hand. My hand was paralyzed and the pain that went through my arm is nothing like anything that I ever experienced before. I kept my hand in the sink and continuously ran the hot tap on it which helped. I also had a tourniquet in a first aid box I keep in the kitchen, so I used that at the top of my arm that slowed off its passage into my system, and then went straight to Accident and Emergency where I was treated for 2 days. Now I am on a course of strong pain killers, with an appointment with the plastic surgery team tomorrow to determine what's going in inside my hand.

Comment from: deelou, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 03

I disturbed a stingray in thigh-deep water and received a very painful laceration on the side of my foot. The local Red Cross where I was staying in Sonora, Mexico, cleaned it and placed several injections of a numbing agent around the wound. The severe pain persisted for several hours. My foot remained swollen for over a week, and the wound bled or wept blood-tinged fluid for about 5 days. After 2 weeks, it is still somewhat swollen and is itching a lot. The skin is still slightly red and slightly warm.

Comment from: Mapa , 45-54 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 10

My nephew was taking a stingray off a hook accidentally caught and it wrapped its tail around his wrist and caused quite a bad laceration. About 15 minutes after injury he had a seizure that lasted about a minute. We went to emergency room and they treated it with warm water which gave him instant relief. The venom caused the seizure. Not something to treat lightly. Seek medical help immediately.

Comment from: Timo, 45-54 (Patient) Published: July 24

Yes, I was stung by a stingray on my foot ten days ago. It is still sore and red. I'm concerned it might be infected.

Comment from: Raybite, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: April 24

I accidentally stepped on a stingray while on vacation. The pain was a very sharp and painful. Thankfully there was a clinic at the resort I stayed. Don't take it lightly, seek medical attention.

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