What You Need To Know When Your Dog Is Stung By A Bee

Posted on
June 15, 2020
a black dog standing in a field of tall grass that likely has bees in it
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Dogs love the outdoors and sniffing everything out, which means it’s likely your dog may encounter a bee or wasp at some point. And because of dog’s playful nature, it’s even more likely that they’ll get stung. Not all bee stings are fatal, but either way it’s important to know how to address the wound so that your dog doesn’t experience more pain than necessary. Here’s what you need to know about treating a bee or wasp sting for your dog. 

Your dog may find itself in lots of trouble besides bee stings, which is why it helps to keep Fauna Care healing sprays around the house. This article will cover:

  • How to treat a bee sting for your dog
  • How to figure out if a sting is serious

Steps To Take For Treating A Bee Sting

When you hear your dog yelp while they’re playing in the field, it’s important to check up on them and see if they’re ok. Keeping an eye on your dog especially while they’re outside allows you to identify problems like bee stings early and treat them promptly. Here’s what you need to do if you suspect your dog has a bee or wasp sting

Recognize Your Dog Was Stung

First, you want to make sure it was a bee or wasp that has caused the pain. Notice if your dog is pawing suddenly at their face or chewing on their paws. You may also notice swelling in an area where the sting happened. Remember, bees sting at the body part closest to them, so for dogs that’s likely to be their eyes, ears, and feet. You should also look for signs such as whining, drooling, and/or holding up their paw (in the case that the paw is the affected area). Then, search the area for any insects that could have caused the sting. It’s helpful to know exactly what type of insect bit or stung your dog so you can identify how severe the injury is. 

A bee on a purple flower in a field
Look around to see what insects are nearby that may have caused your dog injury. You may be in an area with lots of bees, which is helpful in confirming what situation you’re dealing with.

Remove The Stinger

If you’ve identified the injury as a bee sting, you’ll have to next look for a stinger. Removing the stinger is not a problem for hornet or wasp stings, as bees are unique in leaving their stinger in their victim. It’s important to find and remove it as soon as possible, as it contains the venom. The longer the stinger is in, the more toxins are secreted into the dog. If you find the stinger, do not remove it with tweezers as that may squeeze more venom into your dog’s body. Instead, using something like a credit card to flick the stinger out. 

Soothe The Stung Area

Once the stinger is out, it’s now time to make your dog more comfortable by soothing the pain. There are several remedies you can try. Mix a thick paste of baking soda and water and cover the stung area with it. For larger affected areas that may include several stings, you could try an oatmeal bath. Once you’ve done that, you can help minimize swelling by holding an ice pack in place for about 10 minutes. A bag of frozen peas does well for a small affected area, while a large cooled towel is better for a larger affected area. 

Reduce Interference With Healing

Once you’ve treated the bee sting, your job isn’t done yet as your dog may be inclined to bite and scratch at it afterwards. This can lead to infection and delay healing. To prevent this, you can try a head cone or lightly bandaging the affected area. 

A dog in a sweater and cone
The collar may feel like an extreme measure to take for a bee sting, but it may be fully necessary to ensure your dog doesn't mess with the affected area too much to the extent that they make it worse.

How To Identify If A Sting Is Serious

Most bee stings are not extremely harmful and can be treated effectively at home. However, there are instances of bee stings being fatal. Your dog may get an allergic reaction to the sting. Here’s what you can do to identify if the sting is serious and needs immediate professional care. 

Signs of A Serious Reaction

A reaction can happen anytime from 20 minutes to a few hours after the incident, so you must keep a close eye on your dog the first hours after you’ve identified the sting. If you notice any of the following symptoms, take your dog to the veterinary for emergency treatment:

  • Severe swelling
  • Hives anywhere on the dog’s body
  • Difficulty breathing; wheezing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness; disorientation
  • Seizures   
  • Collapse 

Stung in the Mouth or Throat

When your dog encountered the bee, they may have reacted to it by snapping at it. This may lead to your dog getting a sting inside it’s mouth or throat. This can be difficult to confirm, but if you suspect this is the case for your dog, contact your vet immediately. The sting may cause swelling in the mouth and throat, making it difficult for your dog to breathe. 

A woman watches a puppy lunging at a ball in a field
You can't control how your dog will react to everything, and unfortunately they may not know to be careful around certain insects. This means your dog may try to eat a bee, so if you see signs of an allergic reaction, you should see the vet immediately.

It’s difficult to avoid a situation such as this, so all we can do is be prepared for if it happens. Simply knowing how to react and knowing what signs to look for is well enough. It’s important throughout this to stay calm and not be idle during the situation. The quicker you react, the less chance the sting is fatal and the faster you can give your dog comfort.

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Posted on
June 15, 2020

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