How can I tell if my dog has been stung by a bee?
The most obvious symptoms are excessive licking, pawing of a specific area, swelling, and drooling. If your dog is digging in a flower bush and crying, it's safe to assume a bee sting is the cause.
The most common spots for a dog to be stung by a bee are on the paw pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What do I do if my dog has been stung?
After a sting, monitor your dog for an allergic reaction. In the meantime, call your regular vet to let them know what happened and ask if they’d like you to bring your dog in.
Monitoring Your Dog for an Allergic Reaction
The most important thing to do immediately following a bee sting on your dog is to watch for an allergic reaction. Dogs who have been stung before or who are stung by multiple bees at once time are more likely to have an allergic reaction.
If the sting site swells significantly, it's critical to keep an eye on your pet's breathing, especially if it's on the neck or face. If you suspect your dog isn't getting enough oxygen or is beginning to gasp or wheeze, take her to an emergency veterinarian right away.
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 an emergency vet immediately.
Other dangerous 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 veterinarian may have already recommended over-the-counter medications (antihistamines such as Benadryl) but be sure to use the recommended dosage for your dog.
The sting site will be sensitive and puffy in most dogs. If you can see the sting site and easily remove the stinger with tweezers, do so right away to relieve pain and keep the venom 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.