As dogs go rummaging around the yard, investigating interesting noises and curious sights, they are likely to get into trouble. When your pooch sticks his nose around those rosy bushes, he can easily get stung. These are from the insects buzzing near the petals—especially bees, wasps and hornets.
Insect stings are common, with dogs stepping into anthills while playing fetch, disturbing wasp nests and beehives, all through to the loner spider whose bite can be nasty. Here, we’ll focus on the bee sting, and how to deal with the situation.
Effects Of A Bee Sting
Allergic reactions range from mild and localized swelling, to all-out anaphylactic shocks. Multiple stings, such as when your pooch is attacked by a swarm of bees, can be life threatening.
While many of the symptoms are as a result of a direct sting on the pet’s paw or muzzle, they can also be caused by the pet ingesting the bee. Usually, the stinging is on the muzzle or the foot of the dog.
This is due to the body’s orientation as they run through the grass and chase the flying insects in their innate curiosity.
Signs Of A Dog Stung By A Bee
Your dog will be whining, and they may suddenly start limping, or favoring a paw as they walk. Fluffy may hold up his paw if it’s where he has been stung, and try to bite and nibble at the site of the sting as it will be painful and irritating.
Most stings usually have mild redness and swelling on the affected spot. You may find the stinger on the wound—though this will be difficult since the dog will not likely stay still and calmly wait around for you to come with a magnifying glass.
Just like humans, your dog can get unsightly hives when stung by a bee. These will be itchy and uncomfortable, and you’ll notice your furry friend scratching at his face and eyes, or running his body against the furniture.
The hives can show up as lumps or bright red streaks all over the pet’s body, or be limited to a single area.
First Aid Steps When Your Dog Gets Stung
It’s imperative that you remain calm all through. Panic won’t do you or your pet any good. Follow these steps:
- Pull out the sting below the venom sac. You can scrape it out with your credit card. Don’t squeeze the sting, as it will cause more of the poison to get into the pet’s body.
- Bathe the affected area in water.
- Apply ice to the spot and cold compress to soothe the sting.
You can also add baking soda to some water to create a paste, then apply this to the pet’s skin. This will help in neutralizing the acidic venom. Bandaging the area will prevent Fluffy from licking up this paste.
If your dog has been stung in the mouth or throat, get in touch with the vet, because there may be swelling which will interfere with the breathing. As long there aren’t issues like weakness, diarrhea, vomiting or breathing difficulties, the bee sting incidences can be successfully managed at home.
Is My Pet Allergic To Bee Stings?
This situation is more dire. Your dog will have difficulty breathing, the mouth and throat will be swollen, and collapse is possible. If you notice any of these signs after your pet has been stung, take him to the vet immediately.
Pet owners should note that dogs that develop anaphylactic choke may not necessarily have difficulty in breathing. For your pooch—and other canines in general, the shock organ is their gastrointestinal tract, as opposed to the lungs in humans and cats.
As such, a dog getting into anaphylactic shock will suddenly develop vomiting and diarrhea, which can be bloody in extreme cases. This is an emergency, requiring immediate attention of your vet. The dog will need treatment with IV fluids, epinephrine, oxygen, and in some cases steroids.
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