The sting of a bee, wasp or other insect releases chemicals like histamine and serotonin. Whether your pup got stung by accident or because of his own "Curiosity", you need to remove the sting ASAP. This article will give you some ideas for how to do just that from home.
Contents of this article
Symptoms your dog has been stung by a bee or wasp
Some common symptoms of a dog being stung by a bee or wasp include:
Swelling & redness or hives
Licking, biting or nibbling of the area around the sting.
Holding up a paw if that's where they were stung.
Pawing at the face or mouth
These symptoms are usually mild and can be treated at home. However, you should watch for any changes in the symptoms that might make them worse.
If your pup is having an anaphylactic reaction to the sting, he may experience:
If you notice any of the symptoms of an anaphylactic reaction, this is an emergency. Take your dog to the vet immediately.
What to do if your dog has been stung
If your dog has been stung, there are a few things you can do to help him feel better:
1. Stay Calm!
If you start to panic then your dog will pick up on it.
2. Remove the sting if you can see it
Use a credit card or something similar to scrape it away. Be careful not to squeeze any venom sac that may still be attached to the stinger.
3. Rinse the area with water
This will help to wash away any toxins or venom that's been left on the surface by the stinger.
4. Use a cold compress to soothe the area
Do not apply ice directly to your dog, but you can use ice wrapped in a tea towel in the same way you would for a human. Make sure you don't keep it on for too long, just short periods of cooling will help relieve the pain.
5. Monitor for worsening symptoms or signs of an allergic reaction
If your dog starts having trouble breathing, go to the vet immediately.
When is a bee or wasp sting more dangerous?
A bee or wasp sting can be dangerous under certain circumstances. For example, if your dog is allergic to the venom, he might experience anaphylactic shock which can be dangerous. If the sting occurs in or near the mouth, it can cause swelling of the throat and difficulty breathing. If you see or suspect either of these issues, get your pup to the vet immediately.
Should I give my dog antihistamines?
Many people choose to give their dogs antihistamines after they've been stung by a bee or wasp. This can help to reduce swelling, itching and other symptoms.
However, you should always consult with your vet before giving your dog medication. Some antihistamines can be dangerous if given in the wrong dosage or if your dog is allergic to them.
This First Aid and Ache Balm by Be:Loved is made of natural ingredients and can help relieve the itch from insect bites.
This great video by Vets Now talks more about how to treat bee and wasp stings, and when you need to seek help from a vet.
Other insect stings and bites
In addition to bee and wasp stings, dogs can also be bitten or stung by other types of insects. Some common culprits include:
Most insect bites are not harmful, but just like humans, dogs may have a bad reaction to being bitten.
If you notice any symptoms of an allergic reaction, get your pup to the vet immediately.
If you are unsure of what insect bit or stung your dog, watch for any reaction. If you see any severe symptoms, take him to the vet.
Dogs can get into all sorts of trouble, especially when they're stung by a bee or wasp.
If your pup gets stung, you should rinse the area with water and use a cold compress. You should also watch for any worsening symptoms.
If your dog has a reaction to something or has difficulty breathing, take them to the vet as soon as possible.
Have you ever had to treat your dog for a bee or wasp sting? Share your experience with us here in the comments section below.