Spending time outdoors is a natural part of being a dog and having access to fresh air, exercise and mental stimulation is vital to a dog’s happiness and well-being. While regular time outside is great for your dog, it also means they have to share the same space as insects, bees and other critters who live outside. Dogs are curious creatures and they investigate the outside world using their noses and paws, which also happen to be the two prime targets of insect stings. Dogs also love to run and chase things including insects which in some cases, protect themselves by stinging the dog.
How to identify if your dog’s been stung
If your dog has been stung, it’s important be aware of the signs so you can get them to the vet as soon as possible. The most common signs to look for are excessive licking or pawing of a particular spot. Other tell-tale signs include swelling, drooling, crying out or running in circles. If you notice your dog exploring a flower, plant or native bush and yelps in pain, they may have experienced a sting. The most common spots for bee stings on dogs include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face area.
Mild signs include swelling, scratching rubbing, licking or chewing at the sting. Severe signs include profound swilling, hives, vomiting and difficulty breathing.
If in doubt, take your dog to the vet immediately.
Multiple stings are dangerous. Dogs who have been stung by multiple bees at once are more likely to have a reaction and may experience anaphylactic shock. If you suspect your dog has encountered multiple stings or has been stung inside the mouth or throat, take them to the veterinarian.
Bee and wasp stings are poisons. The two most common types of stinging insects are bees and wasps. The main cause of pain for the dog is the poison that is injected by the bee or wasp, not the small puncture wound created
Most of the time dogs get stung on their faces from getting too close to a stinging insect. They are also more likely to get bee stings than people as they tend to chase or play with things that move. A sting on your dog’s sensitive nose is particularly painful and they can get stung by several kinds of insects including bees, wasps and hornets. Some dogs may even get stung on the tongue or inside their mouth or throat if they try to bite or catch an insect. These stings can be dangerous as the subsequent swelling can close your dog’s throat and block his airway.
It’s important to note that not all stings are the same. Bees have a barbed stinger that detaches from the bee and will remain in your dog’s skin. For several minutes after the sting, the venom sack on the stinger will continue to pulsate and inject more venom into the area. Wasps and hornets on the other hand don’t have barbed stingers, instead they retain their and can sting multiple times.
Watch out for allergic reactions
Signs of allergic reactions include:
- A flurry of yelping
- Pawing at the muzzle or affected areas
- General weakness
- Difficulty breathing
- A large amount of swelling extending away from the sting site
- A pained yelp or limp
If you notice your dog experiencing any kind of reaction, take your dog to the vet immediately.
What you can do to help
While seeing your pup being in pain may make you anxious and nervous, it will help your pup if try to remain calm while you make your way to the vet. Bee stings, though uncomfortable are rarely fatal with the proper precautions.
Keep an eye on your pup
Keep a close eye on your pup to see if the problem worsens. Signs could include significant swelling, hives, increased pain or signs of anaphylactic shock, like having trouble breathing. You should take your dog to the vet if you notice any of these signs. Once you arrive at the veterinary clinic, if the pet has symptoms consistent with a worsening allergic reaction, injectable therapy such as antihistamines, steroids and/or epinephrine may be administered. Do not give your dog any medication without consulting your veterinarian first.
Do your best to remain calm and give her all the love and support she needs until she feels better.
These pups learnt their lesson and know they need to bee more careful next time!
Please note that any advice is general. For further advice and information, you should consult your veterinarian.