Bee Sting Treatment
Summer is near, which means your dog will be spending more time playing outdoors. As enjoyable as it is for your dog to romp around outside, there is potential for him to get a bee sting.
Bee and wasp stings not only cause pain and swelling, but they can also be deadly if your dog experiences an allergic reaction to the venom. Dogs often get stung by bees and wasps when they play with them. They usually get stung on the head, face or inside their mouth. If your dog gets stung by a bee, treat it with the tips below.
How to Treat Bee Stings
Remove the Stinger
The first step to treating bee stings is removing the stinger if you can see it. Stingers in the skin can pump venom into the body. Wipe or scrape it off using your fingernail, knife or even a credit card. Never use tweezers, as it could force more venom into your dog.
Assess Your Dog
The next step is to assess your dog. A single sting generally won’t pose much of a concern. The severity of the reaction will depend on the type of allergic reaction your dog may be experiencing.
The most severe signs, such as rapid breathing, wheezing, vomiting and/or having pale gums, may indicate an anaphylactic shock. Anaphylactic shock is a condition caused when there is insufficient blood circulation. It is vital to get your dog under the care of a veterinarian if symptoms such as these are apparent. Death from shock can occur if not treated immediately.
Apply an Ice Pack or Cold Washcloth
As long as your dog’s breathing is normal, there are several remedies to alleviate the pain and swelling. Applying an ice pack or a cold washcloth against the swollen area may help reduce inflammation and soothe the pain.
Another option may be to treat with an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl. Benadryl can decrease swelling and should be noticeable within 20 minutes. For the dosage, please check with the veterinary assistant at your local vet office.
Flush the Stinged Area
If the sting is inside the mouth, try offering ice cubes. You can also try flushing the area with a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in a pint of water. A turkey baster works well for this, but make sure your dog doesn’t inhale the liquid. With stings in the mouth, your dog’s appetite may be affected. It may hurt your dog to chew so softening the food may help. By day two, his regular diet should resume. If it does not, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
There’s a chance your dog may have a hive-like reaction where he experiences itching all over his body. Cold water soaks or oatmeal baths can help relieve the itching. The hives should be gone within 24 hours, and sooner if treated with an antihistamine.
Enjoy your summer!