If you see a bee sting your dog then you may immediately be concerned with the pain your dog is experiencing, but you should also keep in mind that bee allergies are possible. Our Lacey vets talk about how to recognize bee stings in dogs, what the signs of an allergic reaction are and the steps you should take.
Signs of Bee Stings in Dogs
The most obvious signs to look for are excessive licking, pawing of a particular spot, swelling and drooling. It is a likely scenario if your dog is out on an adventure.
If you see your pup rummaging around in trees and flower bushes then they suddenly cry out and show signs of discomfort then it is likely that your dog was stung by a bee.
If your dog has experienced a sting from a bee, the most common areas include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What steps should you take if your dog was stung by bees?
After a sting, monitor your dog for an allergic reaction. In the meantime, call your regular vet to let them know what happened and ask if they’d like you to bring your dog in.
The Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction
Watching for an allergic reaction is crucial in the moments after your dog is stung by a bee. If your dog has been stung previously or if they are swarmed and stung by multiple bees at once time they are more likely to have an allergic reaction.
If you notice excessive swelling begin then you should monitor your dog's breathing very closely, especially if the sting occurred near the neck or face. If you feel like your dog isn’t getting enough air or is starting to gasp or wheeze, you should bring them to the nearest emergency veterinarian immediately.
If your dog starts vomiting within 5-10 minutes after being stung or has increasingly pale gums, this could be a sign of anaphylactic shock. If your dog shows either of these symptoms, head to an emergency vet immediately.
Other dangerous signs of an allergic reaction include significant drooling, agitation, or sudden aggression.
Managing Your Dog's Pain After a Bee Sting
If it has been more than 30 minutes after the bee sting and your dog is showing no severe, concerning symptoms then you can focus on your dog's comfort.
In this case, your veterinarian has likely already recommended over-the-counter pain or allergy medications (antihistamines such as Benadryl) but be sure to use the suggested dosage for your dog.
Generally, the area surrounding the bee sting will be red, swollen and painful. If the stinger from the bee is still lodged in your dog and you can safely use tweezers to remove it, do so immediately to ease pain and prevent the venom from the stinger from spreading.
Most dogs should begin to feel better within a few hours after a sting and likely return to normal after a day or two. By applying a cool damp towel you can help relieve the pain and bring down the swelling to help them get back to normal sooner.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.