Bee and wasp stings can be painful and frightening for a dog. A single bee sting will produce pain, swelling, redness, inflammation. If your dog is stung, follow these steps:
- Carefully remove the stinger with tweezers.
- Apply a paste of baking soda and water to the site of the sting
- Apply an ice pack to relieve swelling and pain.
- Ask your vet about giving your dog a dose of oral antihistamine.
- Give your dog fresh water and watch them carefully.
Allergic reactions usually occur within 20 minutes, but can be delayed for hours.
What if the Dog is Stung on the Head, Mouth, or Nose?
If the sting is on the nose, mouth, or around the head, observe your dog for several hours to make sure that any swelling does not interfere with breathing or swallowing. If the swelling increases dramatically after a few minutes after the sting, see a veterinarian immediately.
If your dog disturbs a hive, call them to you and put distance between your dog and the swarm immediately. Then, take your dog to the closest veterinarian. Treatment for massive amounts of stings must occur quickly to prevent shock and circulatory collapse and to minimize damage to organ systems.
Anaphylactic Bee Reactions in Dogs
Have you ever heard of someone having to inject himself after being stung by a bee? These are anaphylactic reactions, the scariest and most lethal allergic reactions we see.
In dogs, we see major reactions like this if they are bitten by an insect (bee or wasp) or if they have an injection of medication (like a vaccine) they’re allergic to. Antibodies produced by the host react to the substance, dropping blood pressure and sending the body into shock. If a dog has had a past incident and survived, the owner may carry an epipen, but sometimes the first occurrence can lead to death. Fortunately these reactions are very rare in dogs.
If you notice any unusual changes in your dog, contact your veterinarian immediately.