How to tell if your dog got stung by a bee

Was your dog stung by a bee? How to tell if your dog got stung by a bee? Read on and find out.

Summertime is wonderful for outdoor activities for your pet, but can result in exposure to bees, wasps, hornets, ants, and other biting insects. The significance of a sting depends on the type of stinging insect, the pet’s reactivity to the venom, and the location of the sting.

Where and stung by what?

Was your lovely dog just a tiny bit too curious? In most cases of bee stings, dogs are stung on their faces after being just a tad too curious by investigating a stinging insect. Stings can be very painful for your dog, especially stings in the nose area. Some dogs will even try to catch or bite the insect and risk a sting in their mouth or throat area. These stings can be dangerous as the swelling from the sting may cause the throat to swell.

Reactions – how to tell?

A reaction can be caused by a large number of stings. Your dog might have an allergic response to the chemicals in the sting. If you suspect that your dog got stung by a bee or a wasp, make sure you inspect your dog for following signs and symptoms.

  • general weakness
  • redness of stung area
  • breathing difficulties
  • swelling in face, neck, throat and head area

What to do and how to react to a bee sting

If your dog has severe reactions you should quickly take your furry friend to a nearby vet.

If the dog is swarmed by a number of bees, immediate veterinary attention should be sought. Swelling around the face and throat are particularly of concern, and professional treatment should be very prompt in these cases.

Hornet and wasp stings are more painful than bee stings, but the stinger does not become imbedded. The same guidelines for first aid and when to call the veterinarian apply as for bee stings.

If the sting is single, and a mild local reaction is present, there is no need to administer home medications. A mild self-limiting reaction is not a cause for concern.

Severe reactions, as described above require therapy at a veterinary facility since fast-acting injectable forms of medications are indicated (antihistamine, steroid, adrenaline etc.). Oral preparations of medications do not absorb quickly enough through the stomach to provide the prompt activity that is required in progressive sting reactions. Oral medications may be prescribed as a follow up therapy when the reaction is not resolving quickly, but for management of acute, severe reactions, the oral forms are not an adequate primary therapy. The progressive reactions also benefit from professional care because if the throat swells, respiratory support may be needed, and in these cases, or those of multiple sting injury, intravenous fluids and other intensive support may be required.


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