A dog which has been
stung from a bee occasionally may go into anaphylactic
shock and collapse. As with people, some dogs may have an allergic
reaction to the sting. In which case immediate veterinary attention
is required. Likewise if the tongue is stung it will need veterinary treatment
to help reduce the amount of swelling, as this could block the animal's
airways. More common areas (especially) where a dog might be stung is
the mouth and nose, due to the dog trying to catch the insects or the paws,
while there are playing with a drowsy bee.
Dogs explore things with their
mouths. They also defend themselves and hunt with their mouths. My own little
dog will bite a fly (or a bee) out of mid air if it comes too close. This
means that while humans often suffer bee stings on their feet and hands,
dogs will typically suffer bee stings on their face, in their mouth and occasionally
on the foot. Other locales are possible but less common.
If the bee sting is still present you may be able to try and remove it,
with a pair of tweezers by grasping the stinger itself, located below the
venom sac. If the
sting just happened, don't put pressure on the venom sac, as that would "inject"
more of the venom into the pet. Apply cool compresses to the area
for a few minutes several times a day to help with any lingering pain your
dog may experience. The cold should also help with any low grade fever your
dog may be carrying. To
help neutralize some of the acidic venom, apply a paste mixture of baking
soda and water to the sting area or apply some antihistamine cream. If
your dog is stung in the mouth bathe the area with a diluted solution
of sodium bicarbonate. If the sting came from a wasp then bathe with diluted
vinegar. (An easy way to remember is: - B for Bee for Bicarb, V for Vasp
for Vinegar.) It is extremely important to observe the area incase of
any swelling that can occur. If you need more advice contact your vet for
help and in cases where a dog is showing signs of pain or distress veterinary
treatment is recommended. Do not administer any medications without
first contacting your veterinarian. Bear in mind the veterinarian will
likely need to examine your pet before recommending medications.
The behaviour of a stung dog can be perplexing. They might bark in alarm
or rub their face with their paws or on the ground. Assume a possible bee
sting if they are suddenly behaving oddly after being in an area where they
might have been stung. Symptoms of allergy are difficulty swallowing,
difficulty breathing, asthma-like symptoms,swelling beyond the area of the
bee sting, losing consciousness, or excessive barking followed by fainting,
Diarrhea, collapse, In some cases death. Sometimes bee sting allergy in dogs
can seem like seizures.
Treating bee stings in dogs
is not much different than treating humans who have been stung. The first
priority is to to assess the dog for signs of allergic reaction. Dogs can
be as allergic to bee stings as people are, resulting in a life threatening
situation. If your
dog is showing any of the above symptoms, seek immediate medical treatment.
Treating bee stings in dogs at home will not be sufficient in the event of
an allergy - it is a medical emergency. Treating bee stings in dogs who are
having an allergic reaction includes epinephrine, steroids, and/or antihistamines.
If you think your dog is having an allergic reaction, phone the vet - they
might suggest some medicines you have on hand which can be administered
immediately and will make arrangements to treat your dog immediately.
Some First Aid
Give the animal a PURITAN
tablet. Add to a small amount of the drinking water a very large tablespoon
of honey. Adding ice cubes for the dog to chew.
Washing soda rubbed onto a sting site is also very helpful
as is neat vinegar.
I had a bitch which never learnt by her mistakes, had gone rummaging
in a wood and come out being chased by hornets. She was stung anywhere
where there was no coat.. This saved her life, and the Vet had given her
a Histamine injection which helped even more.
You can also slice a raw onion and apply to the sting as soon as possible.
Always keep antihistamine capsules in your first aid kit. It is also
available in liquid form which makes it easier to dispense. Quick
administration of antihistamine can prevent anaphlactic shock.
Check with your vet for the recommended dosage for your pet as dosage
varies depending on the size of the animal.
are acid. Remove the sting and bathe the area in bicarbonate of soda.
Wasp stings are alkali, and the sting is not left in the
skin. Bathe the area in vinegar as the sting is alkaline.
One way to treat bee stings is to give the dog Benadryl (diphenhydramine)
by mouth. Check with your veterinarian for the correct dose for your pet.
for cats and dogs under 30 pounds, give 10 mg...
dogs 30 to 50 pounds, give 25 mg...
dogs over 50 pounds, give 50 mg.
Wasp Sting Remedies
Because they have
a retractable sting, one wasp can sting an animal several times. Each
sting deliver a small amount of venom and emits a pheromone to warn other
wasps that a threat is present. This may recruit other wasps, which
may sting the same victim repeatedly. Wasp stings are alkaline but several
different chemicals cause the pain felt on being stung.
There are more than 70,000 species of wasp worldwide. Dogs and humans
are stung by a small number of these. In the UK they are usually one
of two species. There are paper wasps, which havew red-and-brown stripes,
are less aggressive and found in rural areas, and the common yelloejackets,
which have yellow-and-black stripes and are more widespread and aggressive.
Other species include the European and bald-faced hornet.
Wasp stings can be treated with vinegar to neutralise the alkaline chemicals
present in the venom but antihistamine or steroid creams are more effective
for reducing any inflammation. Other topical remedies include lavendar
oil and mint leaves. As well as reducing the pain and swelling, it is
important to check that the dog is not suffering from a more widespread reaction
to the sting.
Affected tissue may swell significantly and the airway may narrow causing
the animal distress. As well as medication for the pain and swelling a vet
will occassionally administer a sedative to calm a fearful dog. Frequently
and especially in young dogs, wasp stings occur around the muzzle, eyes and
in the mouth or throat, but an anaphylactic (hypersensitive) reaction is rare.
reprinted with kind permission from Alastair Balmain
Deputy Editor:Shooting Times &
Blue Fin Building, 110 Southwark Street SE1 0SU
Tel: 020 3148 4750