BEE AND WASP STINGS IN DOGS – SYMPTOMS AND TREATMENT.
Bee and wasp stings in dogs can happen, would you know what to do? Most dogs are curious creatures and will often chase things that move including small insects. My Labrador can get quite agitated with bees and wasps during the summer months and seems to get very excited by their ‘buzzing’, especially if they dare to ‘buzz’ round his ears, in which case he will jump up and try to give chase, snapping at them as he goes.
While on one level this is an amusing spectacle it can also be quite hazardous should your dog suffer a sting from a bee or wasp. Teaching your dog the ‘leave it’ command can be a useful tip in these circumstances.
Most stings are not life threatening but, as in humans, they can cause various bodily responses, including allergic reactions of varying degrees.
If you see your dog being stung by a bee keep a close eye on him and watch out for any signs of swelling, especially if this is around the neck or face. Some dogs may break out in bumps (hives) all over their body.
More severe signs to watch for are; severe hives all over the body, difficulty in breathing, sudden diarrhoea or vomiting, drooling, weakness or pale gums. In this instance it is essential you get your dog to the vet immediately.
If possible, try and establish where on the body the dog has been stung and how many times. Stings to the face and throat can be potentially more serious and it would be advisable to take your dog to the vet to be monitored just in case.
Benadryl, which is frequently used to treat human allergies, is often used in the treatment of dogs that have been stung by insects. The vet will inject this for faster action and can be given as a precautionary measure for dogs which have been stung in the mouth, head or neck.
Additional measures may also be introduced depending on the severity of the dog’s reaction. Dogs which have gone into anaphylactic shock will receive respiratory support and intravenous fluids.
If you can still see a barbed bee sting in your dogs skin, you can try to carefully remove it by dragging a piece of card across the area to dislodge it – if using tweezers, be careful not to ‘pump’ more of the sting into the dog. Apply ice wrapped in a tea towel to help soothe the area affected and take down some of the swelling. It is not usually necessary to try and remove wasp stings.
Because bee stings are acidic you can try the application of a mild alkali such as Bicarbonate of Soda – diluted and applied to the affected area.
Generally, bee stings should not be ignored and should be closely monitored. If you witness your dog being stung you may wish to take your dog to the vet anyway as a precautionary measure and most definitely if the dog has been stung in the mouth or around the head and neck.
Further general first aid advice can be found on the following pages Click here to view
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital (OVSH) has been serving the Portland and Beaverton area community since 1979. Drs. Steven F. Skinner (Neurology, Neurosurgery) and Robert T. Franklin (Internal medicine.) We welcome referrals from veterinarians all over the Pacific Northwest. Our goal is to help your pet regain health and live a long and happy life.
Oregon Veterinary Specialty Hospital
9339 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Hwy,
Beaverton, OR 97005.