Throughout the year, your dog could be at risk of being stung by a bee or a wasp. Main areas that tend to be stung are paws, when a dog accidentally treads on an insect, or their mouth, whilst trying to catch them. Teaching a good recall will be beneficial to prevent them from ‘playing’ with the bee/wasp. In most cases, a sting will cause mild pain and irritation, but will not need any veterinary treatment unless they cause swelling around the mouth/throat area.
Symptoms of being stung (location dependent):
More serious symptoms associated with allergic (anaphylactic) reactions include; wobbliness, collapse, pale gums, seizures, vomiting or difficulties breathing.
What to do if your pet has been stung?
If you can see the sting (which means it was a bee), scrape the stinger out below the venom sac using a credit card. Do not use tweezers or fingers as this can squeeze the venom sac, therefore injecting more venom.
Bathe area in water or a solution of sodium bicarbonate to neutralise the acid in a bee sting, or vinegar to combat alkaline wasp venom.
Then, if your dog will allow it, apply an ice pack/bag of frozen peas to the area, this will help soothe the sting and reduce inflammation.
Monitor your dog closely for any signs of allergic reactions.
Treatment for a bee/wasp sting
We may advise that you bring your dog in to be checked over and remove any possible further stings. At this point we may give your dog some pain relief, anti-inflammatories and antihistamines.
Never treat your dog with at home medications until you have spoken with us first, to ensure that the medications are safe to be given to your dog.
When is a bee/wasp sting more dangerous?
If your dog has been stung in/around their mouth, this can cause swelling and potentially block their airway. Multiple stings can also be dangerous as they could have an allergic reaction (see symptoms above).
Contact us immediately if you think your dog is having an allergic reaction as further treatment will be required, such as adrenaline, steroids, oxygen therapy and intravenous fluids. They may also need to be hospitalised for several days for monitoring.