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Being outdoors and frolicking in the grass is fun and refreshing until you get a bee sting. Bees are wonderful creatures that do so much for our environment. Nonetheless, bee stings can be painful, especially when it happens to your dog! When it happens to your dog, often times you will be left wondering what has happened as your dog is unable to verbally convey the message of course. Bee stings happen to dogs more often than you think! We’ve all seen funny pictures of dogs who’ve been stung by bees with their swollen cheeks that are cute to look at but can be extremely painful for your pet!
Dogs are of a curious nature and they often hunt down everything that moves. A bee sting is irritating and painful for your dog and multiple stings and the area which they get stung should be paid attention to as more severe stings will require a trip to the vet! Dogs usually get stung on the nose due to their curious nature and close inspection of the bee, but they sometimes also get stung on the inside of their mouth and throat, which are extremely painful. This can also be dangerous as the swelling might block airways and make it hard for your pet to breathe.
Here are some tips on what to do when your dog is stung by a bee:
1. Examine whether there is an allergic reaction
An allergic reaction caused by a bee sting is severe and can be identified by swelling in areas away from the sting, general weakness and difficulty breathing. Other sides include vomiting or pale gums within 5 to 10 minutes of the bee sting. If an allergic reaction is evident, your pet might go into anaphylactic shock and even die if they do not receive medical attention. Take your dog to the vet immediately if a reaction is identified.
2. Remove the stinger
If there is no allergic reaction, gently remove the stinger with your fingernail or a rigid piece of plastic such as a debit or credit card. Using forceps or tweezers is not advised as it might force more venom out of the stinger.
3. Ease the pain
To ease the swelling and pain, prepare a weak mixture of water and baking soda. You can also wrap an ice pack for 20 minutes to reduce swelling and pain.
To further reduce the swelling or prevent it from spreading, you can buy over the counter topical medications such as Benadryl (diphenhydramine), which is an antihistamine. Make sure you confirm the correct dosage based on your pets’ weight either with the pharmacist or by calling your vet.
Your dog will require some good TLC as it will be in pain and confusion as to what has happened. You can constantly apply the ice pack as needed to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. If the swelling still persists after several days, it is advised to bring them to the vet in case an allergic reaction is triggered.