If you think your dog has been stung by a bee it is important to monitor them for an allergic reaction. Our Oceanside vets explain what to do if your dog is stung by a bee.
How to Tell if Your Dog has Been Stung by a Bee
The most obvious signs to look for are excessive licking, pawing of a particular spot, swelling, and drooling. If your dog is digging around in a flower bush and cries out, it may be safe to assume a bee sting is the culprit.
The most common spots for bee stings on dogs include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What to Do if Your Dog Has Been Stung
After a sting, monitor your dog for an allergic reaction. If the stinger is still in the wound attempt to remove it by flicking it out with a thin card ( eg credit card, business card, playing card, etc) or using a piece of gauze. Do not use tweezers or squeeze the stinger because it might release more venom into the wound. In the meantime, call your regular vet to let them know what happened and ask if they’d like you to bring your dog in.
Monitoring Your Dog for an Allergic Reaction
The most important thing to do immediately following a bee sting is to watch for an allergic reaction. Dogs who have been stung before or who are stung by multiple bees at once time are more likely to have an allergic reaction.
If the site of the sting swells significantly it’s important to monitor your pet’s breathing, especially if it’s located on the neck or face. If you feel like your dog isn’t getting enough air or is starting to gasp or wheeze, take them to an emergency vet immediately.
If your dog starts vomiting within 5-10 minutes after being stung or has increasingly pale gums, this could be a sign of anaphylactic shock. If your dog shows either of these symptoms, head to an emergency vet immediately.
Other dangerous signs of an allergic reaction include significant drooling, agitation, or sudden aggression.
Making Your Dog More Comfortable
If 30 minutes to an hour have passed and your dog is showing no signs of an allergic reaction, you can focus on making them more comfortable.
In this case, your veterinarian may have already recommended over-the-counter medications (antihistamines such as Benadryl) but be sure to use the recommended dosage for your dog not the recommended dosage on the package.
For most dogs, the area of the sting will be sensitive and puffy, but most dogs should begin to feel better within a few hours after a sting and likely return to normal after a day or two. In the meantime, you can apply a dampened towel to the sting site to reduce inflammation and swelling.
Has your dog been stung by a bee and is having a bad reaction? Contact our vets in Oceanside to get help for your dog.