What should you do if your dog is stung by a bee? How do you recognize if your dog has been bitten? Continue reading to find out.
Our dogs are curious creatures. They get great pleasure in chasing after things as well. However, a dog’s curiosity might sometimes result in a bee sting.
Because dogs find insects interesting, they explore them, and if they stick their nose where it does not belong, they get an immediate response! That’s why many insect bites happen on the nose.
So, while your dog may think it’s a fun game to try to bite a flying bee, a bee sting can cause a serious reaction that requires rapid action on your part.
Signs and Symptoms of a Bee Sting
When a bee stings, the stinger becomes stuck in the skin, and the bee dies when the stinger becomes detached from the body.
On the other hand, the stingers of wasps, hornets, and yellow jackets are not barbed. They do, however, cause more pain and can sting multiple times.
So, when a bee stung a dog, the stinger releases poisons that cause swelling, pain, and discomfort.
You may not see your dog stung by a bee, but you will most likely see the aftermath. So, after being stung by a bee or wasp, your dog may exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Lumpy looking skin
- Biting, nibbling, or pawing at the place stung
Each animal, like people, may react differently to the toxin. Some may merely have slight swelling and discomfort, while others may have a larger reaction or even show signs of an allergic reaction.
So the most important thing to do immediately following a bee sting is to watch for an allergic reaction. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- Being sick or having diarrhea
- A large amount of swelling around the affected area
- Swelling around the mouth and neck (even if not stung there)
- Weakness or collapse
- Wheezing and breathing problems
Are Bee Stings Dangerous?
The majority of the time, an insect bite is simply annoying and possibly painful for our dogs. However, bee stings can be dangerous because of the poison they carry and the allergic reactions they might produce.
Additionally, if your dog has been stung by a bee or wasp in the mouth, the swelling might block the airway and cause them to cease breathing. So, the first question you need to answer is where your dog has been stung.
If your dog is stung in the mouth or throat, and you notice that it isn’t getting enough air and is showing signs of gasping or wheezing, you must speak to your vet urgently.
Mild bee stings in dogs can usually be treated at home. Some, however, require emergency veterinary care. For example, multiple stings mean more poison injected into the body, a higher degree of pain, and a greater risk of a severe reaction.
Unfortunately, the dog can die from a bee sting in some rare situations, but again, mention that this is rare.
However, if they are stung too many times at once, they develop high levels of venom in their bloodstream. A lethal or fatal venom dose is defined as approximately ten stings per pound of body weight.
What to Do When Your Dog Gets Stung by Bee
In contrast to wasps, bees leave their stinger stuck in the skin and continue to inject poison into their victim.
If you are unsure whether your dog has been stung by a bee or wasp, search for a sting. If you discover a sting in your dog, you must remove it.
For most dogs, the reaction to a bee sting is localized, meaning the sting area will simply become a little sensitive and puffy.
So, what should you do in such a situation? First, try to scrape the sting away from the skin, just below the venom sac, with something thin and flat, such as a credit card or a fingernail.
For example, a credit card swiped across the stinger toward your dog’s hair growth can sometimes easily do this.
Remember, if you try to remove the sting with your fingers or tweezers, you will push more poison into your dog’s body, producing more pain and a stronger reaction.
Next, using soap and cool water, gently clean the affected area. This can help prevent infections and lower the chance of future complications. This area is likely very sensitive and painful, so avoid scrubbing it too hard.
If you’ve been monitoring your dog for 30 minutes to an hour and haven’t shown any signs of an allergic reaction, you may focus on improving his condition by making them as comfortable as possible.
Remember, even after carefully removing the stinger, a dog stung by a bee will be in pain. You can use an ice pack to help relieve swelling and pain in the meantime. This is especially important for bee stings that your dog won’t stop chewing or licking.
Additionally, hydration is always crucial for your dog’s health. Make sure your dog has plenty of fresh water to drink. Inform your vet if your dog isn’t drinking water or is drinking excessively.
Depending on where you live, bees can range from a seasonal nuisance to a full-on health threat. Usually, in the spring, veterinarians receive many phone calls from concerned owners asking what to do if their dog is stung by a bee or wasp.
However, you can help your dog go through an uncomfortable scenario with less pain and puffiness if you know how to identify a sting and the signs of a problem to look for.
For most dogs, bee stings should improve within 12-24 hours. Therefore, just monitor your dog for a possible allergic reaction. However, if new symptoms occur during that time, contact your veterinarian immediately.