Dogs are curious and playful, which is a joy to most of us. However, to a bee or wasp, your playful pup comes across as a threat. Should your dog threaten one, there is a chance they'll get stung. A bee or wasp sting is a dangerous, potentially deadly, situation for dogs that are allergic.
Signs of an Allergic Reaction
If your dog hasn't been stung before, you won't know if they're allergic and will need to keep a very close eye on them. It would be wise to keep an eye on your pup even if this isn't the first sting because allergies may develop later in life.
Allergic reactions often occur within 20 minutes of the sting. However, they can occur later, so keep an eye on your pup for a few days.
Severe symptoms include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Increased heart rate
- Weak pulse
If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, time is of the essence. It would be best to get to your vet or emergency animal hospital and call from the road if possible so they can get prepared.
What You Should Do
Even if you don't see any of the above symptoms, you should still call your vet and let them know about the sting. They can guide you through the next steps or have you bring your dog in to be examined.
If you can locate the stinger, take it out by scraping it with your fingernail or a credit card. Don't grab it with tweezers; that may cause more of the venom to escape.
With your veterinarian's permission, administer the allergy medication Diphenhydramine. The most common form of this medication is Benedryl, and it is safe for dogs. Administer 1mg per pound of your dog's weight. Most tablets are 25mg but don't take that for granted; read the label.
What to Expect at the Vet or Emergency Clinic
If you take your dog to the veterinarian, be prepared to tell the doctor what you have already done. If you administered Benedryl, be sure to tell them the dosage.
Your dog may be given a steroid shot to help reduce current inflammation and prevent further swelling.
Depending on the severity of the allergic reaction, your dog may need IV fluids or oxygen. Your vet may want to keep the dog under observation for a few hours up to a few days.
For more tips on what to do after your dog gets stung by a bee and what symptoms to watch for, talk to a veterinarian like Robert Irelan DVM.