Thursday, June 11, 2015

What Should You Do If Your Dog Gets Stung by a Bee?

This is a question that has been on my mind a lot lately. What should I do if my dog gets stung by a bee? Or something similar to a bee like a wasp, hornet, yellow jacket, etc... The reason for my concern is due to a large population of bees on my property. Not to mention we also have nests of wasps all over the place too.

depositphotos/kellyplz

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. 

Sources:
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24 comments:

  1. thanks so much for this post... sadly Easy has not learnt the lesson as he stepped on a wasp what hurt his paw... he is still in hunting mode :o(

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    1. Oh no! I've stepped on a bee before and that was the worst... your foot gets all itchy after a few days. Oh my gosh it's just soooo itchy! Hate it! :(

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  2. It's that time of year, thanks for refreshing what we should do. Great information!!

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  3. Great tips, I have never had a dog been stung by a bee "yet" so I know it's bound to happen sooner or later!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

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  4. Thanks for the great advice! We do have bees in our backyard and mom is always worried I'll get stung. Love Dolly

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  5. Great info! Those bee stings can be awfully bad.

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  6. Thanks for the info. I would probably have just given her a Benadryl so thanks for the reminder to call the vet first for the dosage info! Rita has never been stung - I'm knocking on wood! My friend's dog was stung the other day and had a very bad reaction and they had to rush to the vet. She had to get an epy pen (sp?) for him and she's so worried now that he'll be stung again! Bee stings can be scary!

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    1. So scary! I'm glad your friend's dog was OK. Hopefully he won't get stung again and it was just a one time thing.

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  7. Great reminder, because it's that time of year again. When Rodrigo and Sydney were puppies, Sydney dug up a beehive (I didn't realize they could be underground) and was stung multiple times. We got the dogs inside, I called the vet, and since she wasn't having a reaction, they recommended Benedryl and she was fine.

    We know Rodrigo and Sydney aren't allergic to bees, but we're not sure about Scout and Zoey so we're staying vigilant and today, we have a first aid kit :)

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    1. Wow - so scary! I've heard some horrible stories about the underground beehives... people mowing over them and then being attacked and killed. I think that scares me more than anything. Glad Sydney was fine afterwards.

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  8. I've been dreading bee stings myself. I know what to do for me but dang it, I catch Titan at times snapping at things flying and get worried. This is great information and I'm thankful I keep a stock of Benadryl in my house for his hay fever. Thanks for sharing this Ann! I'm passing it along.!

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    1. Shiner will occasionally snap at house flies, but I've never really seen her chasing bees around or anything. Thank goodness!

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  9. We have a doggie cousin that we can share this information with. AND... Mommy put the first aid kit on her wish list!

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  10. Poor Liam the pug has already been nailed this year. I found the little wound on his lap, right where his legs meet his abdomen, so he probably trapped the bee while sprawled out on the grass. Ouch! Thankfully, he's not allergic, so it went away without the need for drugs. Here's hoping he doesn't get stung again this year!

    Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie

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    1. Poor guy! I hope he doesn't get stung again!

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  11. Katie and I have each been stung once and both of us in the paw pad. Rotten bees! Mom put a cold pack on our stings and kept a close eye on us to check for any allergic reaction. For us, it was just painful for a bit but nothing more.

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    1. Foot stings are the worst Emma! I wonder if they made your feet itchy like they did mine?

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  12. Great post! My dog, Phoenix is always getting stung by bees. Poor thing! :/

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  13. Great information and great advice ! Purrs

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  14. Great info. Jax got stung on his leg last month. Ironically, he wasn't fazed by it. I did all the jumping up and down will a little screaming in between. He didn't seem to have a reaction, but I'm glad to read more info about it.

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  15. Thanks for the posts. From all the comments it seems this something a lot of dogs owners will have to deal with.

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  16. I have dealt with wasp stings, but no bees yet. Bain seems to want to eat them, then changes his mind immediately! I try to keep him away from them.

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  17. My 1-1/2 yr old mini pin mix got stung at least twice today by underground bees. All he was doing was trying to pee near a bush. I pulled him out of the area ,but one bee followed us and stung him in the haunches. I smacked at it and tried to dislodge the stinger. He wined briefly, but looked OK. Several hours later he is looking like I beat him, with his tail down and not wanting to eat or drink. Just not perky. His breathing is OK. I'm watching for other signs.

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    1. Oh no! Sounds like they were some not-so-nice bees like the ones that we had here. You can try giving him some Benadryl to help with swelling. Hope he feels better. (Also, don't worry if you can't see your comment as soon as you post it. I did get all 7 comments you left :) It does say "comment will appear after moderation". They are all emailed to me so that I can review them because I get hundreds of spam comments a day, unfortunately.)

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