Has your dog been stung by a bee? Is your dog babying a leg or an area of its body? If so, you’ll want to identify the insect that bit or stung your dog and then treat the sting with proper care. We’ll explain what you need to know about dealing with a bee sting on your dog.
What Happens if a Dog Gets Stung by a Bee?
Depending on where your dog is stung, you’ll want to look for the stinger because it may still be in the skin. The dog’s coat will swell, itch, burn and feel painful until you remove the stinger. Once you remove the bee stinger, it may be a few hours until your dog feels normal again.
The most common areas for your dog to be stung are:
- On the pads of their feet
- Around their face
- In their mouth
This is because dogs may not see a bee on the ground, or they may try to catch a bee with their mouth. Either way, bee stings are common for dogs.
If your dog tends to chase or snap at bees, you may want to prevent them from harassing the bees. You can do this by putting them on leash when outside or restricting where they can play if the area has a lot of bees.
While the venom can be toxic, most dogs will be fine healing on their own if they don’t have an allergic reaction.
Signs Your Dog May Have a Bee Sting
If your dog has had a run-in with a bee and has possibly been stung, you will notice these signs and symptoms of a bee sting:
- Babying an area of the body
- Biting or chewing where the sting occurred
- Hives (swollen, itchy skin)
If your dog shows one or multiple signs, you may need to call your vet to ensure your dog will be okay.When a Bee Sting is More Dangerous to Your Dog
You’ll want to contact your vet immediately if your dog:
- Gets multiple stings.
- Has a severe allergic reaction to the bee sting.
- Gets stung inside your dog’s mouth.
Unfortunately, a bee sting can be fatal for some dogs, so it is critical to observe your dog until your vet assesses it.
What to Do When Your Dog Gets Stung By a Bee
If you saw your dog get stung, or if your dog shows signs that they have a bee sting, you’ll need to:
- Stay calm. You don’t have to run to the vet yet.
- Look for a stinger and the insect that stung your dog.
- Use a credit card or business card to scrape out the stinger. Be careful to get all of the stingers out of the skin. This also may prove difficult because your dog will not want you to touch the swollen area of their skin.
- Once you’ve removed the bee stinger, keep the area of skin cold by using an ice pack.
- Give your dog lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Watch your dog for an allergic reaction.
If your dog cannot stop scratching the area where they were stung, you may want to put a cone on them to discourage biting and scratching.
Signs of an Allergic Reaction
If your dog has an allergic reaction, then you may notice your dog showing several of these signs:
- Labored breathing
- Swelling in the mouth, throat, eyes, and ears
These signs can be warnings of a much more severe reaction that will need the immediate care of your vet. If your dog is showing these signs, contact your vet as soon as possible.
Are Bee Stings Bad for Dogs?
Bee stings are painful but should be okay as long as the dog hasn’t had an allergic reaction. If your dog is allergic, watch for signs that may close her breathing or swell and be painful.
Should I Take My Dog to the Vet if Stung by a Bee?
If your dog is allergic to the bee stinger, call your vet to see what you should do next. You don’t need to run to a vet until your dog shows signs of pain or trouble breathing.
What Can You Give a Dog for a Bee Sting?
There are a couple of home remedies for a bee sting:
- Apply water and baking soda mixture to reduce the pain and swelling where your dog was stung.
- Give your dog an antihistamine like Benadryl to reduce swelling, pain, and inflammation.
- Use an ice pack to reduce any swelling.
- A CBD oil treat or drops to reduce the pain from the sting.
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Related Link: Chamomile for Dogs: The Ultimate Guide
Bee Stings Are Painful But Your Dog Will Survive
While very painful for your dog, a bee sting won’t kill your dog as long as they don’t have an allergic reaction or sustain several stings around the neck and face. For most dogs, a single sting will be painful but shouldn’t cause too many problems. So if your dog is stung, be calm, help your dog manage the pain, and watch for any signs of a reaction.
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How Long After a Bee Sting Does an Allergic Reaction Occur in Dogs?
This depends on the dog, but most dogs will show signs of an allergic reaction within ten minutes to a few hours after the sting. If you suspect your dog has been stung, you should observe your dog for a couple of hours to rule out a severe allergic reaction. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any signs of an allergic reaction.
How Long Does a Bee Sting Last on a Dog?
A bee sting will last about 12-24 hours. As long as new symptoms of a more severe nature don’t develop, your dog will be right as rain within a day. If you notice that your dog gets worse, you may want to call your veterinarian.
Should I Give My Dog Benadryl for a Bee Sting?
Before giving your dog any medication, you should contact your vet for their advice and dosage for your dog’s weight. Benadryl is an effective antihistamine that can reduce the symptoms of a bee sting. But properly dosing your dog can be tricky, especially for small dogs, because they need a small dose.
Dogs generally can take 1 mg of Benadryl per pound of weight. But Benadryl tablets are too big for most dogs and may be challenging to split into an accurate dosage. You may be better off using Children’s Benadryl or Liquid Benadryl for more precise dosage. Talk to your vet first for proper dosing.
Can My Dog Die From a Bee Sting?
It is possible for a dog to die from a bee sting, but it isn’t common. Your dog would need to have high venom levels in its bloodstream. This can happen from a bad reaction to a more toxic bee or hornet or if your dog is stung multiple times.
But it would take about 20 stings per kilogram of weight to be considered a deadly dose of venom. So unless your dog was swarmed and stung repeatedly, you don’t need to worry too much. It’s more critical to monitor your dog and watch for bad reaction signs. An allergic reaction may be more threatening than the bee’s venom.
What Should You Do If Your Dog Eats a Bee
Some dogs love to chomp bees. Unfortunately, if they eat a bee, your dog may be stung in the mouth. You’ll want to watch your dog for signs like swelling, redness, or pain inside your dog’s mouth. Eating the bee isn’t necessarily a problem unless the dog is stung.
If you think your dog was stung inside their mouth, you may want to call the vet. Your veterinarian may want to check to ensure the dog wasn’t stung near the throat, where it can develop breathing issues.
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Related Link: Why Won’t My Dog Eat? What You Need to Know