If you're worried that your dog has been stung by a bee, it's important to keep an eye on them for any allergic reactions requiring immediate veterinary care. Usually, dogs should begin to feel better a few hours after a bee sting, and your focus can be on keeping them comfortable.
How do I know if my dog has been stung by a bee?
The most common signs of a dog that's been stung by a bee are excessive licking, pawing of a particular area of the face or body, swelling and drooling. If your dog is digging around in a flower bush and yelps or cries out - it may also be safe to assume a bee sting is the culprit.
The most common spots for bee stings on dogs include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What should I do if my dog has been stung?
After a sting, watch your dog for any sign of an allergic reaction. In the meantime, call your veterinarian to let them know what happened and find out whether you should bring your dog in.
Monitoring Your Dog for an Allergic Reaction
The most important thing to do immediately following a bee sting is to watch for an allergic reaction. Dogs who have experienced bee stings before, or who were stung by multiple bees at once are more likely to have an allergic reaction.
If the site of the sting swells significantly it’s important to monitor your pet’s breathing, especially if the beesting is located on the neck or face. If you are concerned that your dog isn't getting enough air or if they start to gasp or wheeze, take them to an emergency vet 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 your routine vet clinic or emergency vet immediately.
Other critical signs of an allergic reaction include significant drooling, agitation, or sudden aggression.
Making Your Dog More Comfortable
If 30 minutes to an hour have passed and your dog is showing no signs of an allergic reaction, you can focus on making them more comfortable.
In this case, your vet may have already recommended over-the-counter medications (antihistamines such as Benadryl), but be sure to use the recommended dosage for your dog.
For most dogs, the area of the sting will be sensitive and puffy. If you can see the sting site and easily remove the stinger with tweezers, 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. In the meantime, you can apply a dampened towel to the sting site to reduce inflammation and swelling.