We had a very large bee hive that thrived underneath a building on my property for over five years. I can't remember how long it had been there, because it's been a long time. The bees were great. They never bothered us and they helped the flowers grow in my family's nursery business.
So why did I start worrying? Well, two years ago we had a bee incident. When the bees became active once again in the Spring, they became more aggressive than usual. They started to sting people out of no where and it was unusual behavior for them.
One day, my father was mowing the grass on his tractor like he always has since we've lived here. The bees began to swarm and attack him and any other people that were around at the time. They chased people down the street. It was kind of scary and that's when I really began to worry about bee stings not just for my human family, but for my dog too.
After doing some research, I thought that perhaps the bees were beginning to hybridize to African "Killer Bees". Either way, my dad called a beekeeper to have the hive removed. Although, they returned again this year. The beekeeper was called again.
What to do if your dog gets stung by a bee.
So with an abundance of stinging flying insects living on my property, what would I do if my dog were to get stung?
When I worked as a Veterinary Technician, we saw many dogs who had been stung by bees. Dogs will usually get stung on their snouts, probably because they are nosy or are trying to catch the bugs.
They would usually present with swollen muzzles and the Veterinarians would give them an injection of diphenhydramine, which is Benadryl. Sometimes, they would also give them an injection of steroids to help with the swelling.
|Dog with a swollen muzzle from a bee sting. Photo via OakleyOriginals.|
If a dog is allergic to bees, or gets stung multiple times it is possible that they can go into anaphylactic shock, and that is a medical emergency that requires prompt Veterinary care. If your dog has a severe reaction, they may experience vomiting, drooling, have difficulty breathing, or have a pale colored gum color.
Here are some things you can do to help your dog if they are stung by a bee:
- Remove the stinger as quickly as possible, if you can.
- Call your vet to see what kind of treatment they recommend. They may tell you to give your dog oral diphenhydramine (Benadryl). Make sure you call first to get the correct dosage for your dog!
- Apply a cold compress to the sting to help reduce any swelling.
- Apply a baking soda and water paste to the sting to help with any pain. Never give over the counter pain medications to your dog without talking to your Veterinarian first. Many are toxic to dogs.
If you have a first aid kit for your dog, adding some of the items listed above might be a good idea. Especially if you have stinging insects around your home. And if you don't have one, it might be a good idea to make or buy one! Here's one that's available for purchase on Amazon.
I'm glad my dog never really goes near the bee hive or tries to catch flying bugs in her mouth. I am always wary of the hive, however, and of course it's always on the back of my mind.
- Bee Stings 101: How to Help Your Pet via VetStreet
- What to do if your dog is stung by a bee via Dr. Marty Becker
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