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What to do when your dog is stung by a bee/wasp?

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It’s a beautiful day outside and you decide to grab the lead and take your dog for a walk outside to burn off some energy. Sounds normal, right?

“In the summertime when the weather is fine…” most of us like to venture out and enjoy the great outdoors.

I mean, what better way to soak up the sun rays and take in the subtle summer breeze then to take your beloved dog and companion on a walk.

Out in the forest, to the park, via the beach.

Rather than rush the process, why not stop and smell the roses.

Stop and smell the roses they said. It will relax your mind and relieve your stress they said.

Well, they forgot to mention the bee and wasp season.

They also left out the part about a dogs curious nature.

Nose in first. Sniffs. Tail wags. Bee sting. OUCH!!

Now don’t be fooled, this doesn’t just happen out on summer walks.

Your gardens at home could be the most happening community centre or party scene for all the bees and/or wasps – which can make your garden a danger zone for your dog!

So what does one do? Eradicate all the bees and the wasps?

NO! Of course not, that would just be silly.

OK, so maybe we can start by informing our friendly dog lovers of the nature of a bee or wasp sting and what to do if you find your dog the newest and coolest party destination for our buzzing friends.

WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENS WHEN YOUR DOG IS STUNG BY A BEE OR WASP?

So, it turns out bee and wasp stings, well, STING! It’s the not the stinger that causes the pain but rather the poison or venom inside the stinger that causes the pain.

Bee stingers are barbed with the intention of lodging into the skin. Once they have been lodged and the bee detaches itself from the stinger, the bee dies but the venom is still active and will continue to seep into the skin.

Wasp stingers are different in that they are not barbed and they do not stay lodged in the skin. This often makes them more dangerous because they are able to sting repeatedly (especially if agitated by the cheeky pooch who keeps snapping at the wasp).

WHERE IS MY POOCH MOST LIKELY TO BE STUNG?

Dogs have a curious nature and no concept of the dangers of stingers. More often than not they get stung on the face, nose, lips, inside the mouth, tongue, throat and occasionally on the paws.

Inside the mouth and throat you say?

Yep, as much as we love our pups and deem them the most intelligent pooch this side of venus, they will always go snapping at a bee or wasp in the name of confusion and/or world domination.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG HAS BEEN STUNG BY A BEE OR WASP?

Great question!

It’s really important to know that above all else, a bee or wasp sting should never be taken lightly. We never know how our dog is going to react to the venom of our buzzing friends and it’s crucial that we maintain a watchful eye on the furry pooch to make sure there are no severe or delayed symptoms. And yes, anaphylactic shock is a very real concern when it comes to your dog being stung by a bee or wasp.

Here are some common signs and/or symptoms:

  • Mild itching
  • Mild swelling
  • Pawing at the mouth
  • Pain at the site of the sting
  • Biting and licking their affected area

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG IS HAVING A SEVERE ALLERGIC REACTION TO THE BEE OR WASP STING?

Signs that your dog may be having a more severe or extremely severe allergic reaction to a bee or wasp sting are:

  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Itchiness at the site of the bite or over the whole body
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Severe swelling from the wound that extends out
  • Closed airways that cause your dog to asphyxiate
  • Weakness
  • Hives and/or welts
  • Digestive problems
  • Collapsing
  • Pale gums
  • Whining
  • Pawing at the face and eyes
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Seizures

If your dog shows any of these signs, don’t hesitate or delay, take them to the nearest vet or animal hospital immediately for medical treatment and observation.  Your vet will often use treatments including heavy doses of Benadryl and steroids to address the allergic reaction as quickly as possible.

If it’s known that your dog is more inclined to have a severe allergic reaction, check out this article on what preventatives you can look into HERE.

WHAT DO I DO IF MY DOG GETS STUNG BY A BEE OR WASP?

If your dog is not showing any signs of a severe allergic reaction, it can be quite simple and easy to treat the patient at home.

First things first, if it was a bee sting you need to remove the stinger by scraping it out with a fingernail or credit card and flicking it off.  It’s important to avoid the handy tweezers if you can as they can actually cause the stingers venom sack to ooze out more poison into your already injured dog.

If it’s a basic bee or wasp sting you’ll find the pain and irritation will only be temporary and to make your dog more comfortable you can:

  • Apply a thick mixture of Bi-Carb Soda and water to the affected area (Bicarb generally works best for bee stings because bee stings are very acidic and require something that’s alkaline to neutralise the venom)
  • Apply ice or an ice pack to the wound – 5 minutes on, 5 minutes off for 1 to 2 hours (make sure the ice is wrapped in a cloth or tea towel)
  • Apply a cool face washer or a small wet towel to a larger area that may be agitated
  • Wash the affected area with cool water
  • Apply Apple Cider to a cotton ball, pad or Q-tip and place it directly on the affected area (Vinegar products work best for wasp stings as a wasp sting is alkaline and is best neutralised by using a diluted acid solution – such as vinegar)
  • Apply PURE Aloe Vera Gel directly to the sting to soothe and ease the discomfort caused by the venom
  • You can also try one of Frank and Jellys natural and powerful healers; Leucillin: because it mimics your dog’s immune system making it quicker for your dog to fight infections and it can be sprayed anywhere (including the eyes) because it is incredibly safe and natural
  • AND you can use Colloidal Silver Gel by itself or in conjunction with Leucillin as it IS nature’s antibiotics and perfect for cleaning up the venomous poison

If your dog is suffering with multiple stings, then a nice, soothing oatmeal bath will help to treat the stings all over.

You also really want to do everything you can to deter your dog from itching and scratching their stings as this delays the healing process.

As always, if you have been through the experience of having your dog stung by a bee or wasp, share your story! And if you have alternative remedies or suggestions for treating a bee or wasp sting, SHARE! Information shared is a potential life spared. Leave a comment or email us at [email protected]

Paws of Love,

Sarah (fur mum to Frank) xo

P.S. Are you in the Frank and Jellys ‘Doggy Detectives’ Facebook group? It’s a place where fur mums and dads go to make friends, test doggy products and share stories on best products. PLUS we always share tips and tricks as well as offering advice and sharing experiences when one of our furry friends is not well or not behaving! It’s great fun and it’s absolutely FREE to join! Come join the fun HERE xo.

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