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What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid

 
By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. May 23, 2017
What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid

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What dog does not like to play outdoors? Dogs are perfectly suited to family life; they enjoy running wild as much as they enjoy going out with us in our leisure time. However, going out in the warmer seasons requires special attention. We must be very careful to keep our pet hydrated, but we must also monitor other risks such as insect bites.

Surely you have wondered what to do if your dog is stung by a bee. In this AnimalWised article we will explain the best reaction and give some first aid tips so that you are ready in case it happens.

You may also be interested in: Pine Processionary - First Aid for Dogs

Normal and allergic reactions to bee stings

First of all, we recommend taking a look at our article on the differences between wasps, hornets and bees. Only female bees can sting, leaving the sting nailed to the skin and subsequently dying. If your dog is stung by a bee, the first thing to do is check whether their reaction is normal or allergic. Allergic reactions to bee stings involve great danger that must seen to as soon as possible by a veterinarian.

In a normal reaction to a bee sting, you will notice inflammation of the skin, with an increase in temperature and a whitish tone. The inflamed area will have a circular form with a more reddish shade surrounding it, and will always be accompanied by signs of pain.

On the other hand, an allergic reaction to a bee sting is perfectly distinguishable because it does not present only local symptoms but also systemic symptoms that affect the entire organism. A dog with an allergic reaction to a bee sting may experience disproportionate inflammation, lethargy, fever and shortness of breath.

Depending on the area where the bee sting occurred, the inflammatory reaction can obstruct the airway and cause choking. You will notice the lack of oxygen in the color of the mucous, which can turn pale or bluish. This is why you must take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid - Normal and allergic reactions to bee stings

First aid: Remove the stinger

If your dog is stung by a bee but their reaction seems normal, the first thing to do is to remove the stinger. The sooner you do it, the better for the recovery of area.

You must remove the stinger quickly but very carefully, as it contains most of the poison. If not done correctly, you could make it release the poison and make the inflammatory reaction worse. Bee stingers must not be removed with tweezers. Instead, use rigid paper or even a card.

Move the dog's fur out of the way to have good visibility of the affected area. With the card, drag the stinger carefully until it is completely out of the skin.

What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid - First aid: Remove the stinger

Wash and calm the zone

Once the stinger is out, wash the area with warm water and neutral soap suitable for dogs. Do not rub the area, as this could make the inflammation worse. Instead, cleaning should be as gentle as possible. Rinse the dog's coat to ensure that there is no remaining soap.

Next, there is a very effective first aid remedy to quickly reduce the inflammation and pain from the bee sting: local application of cold.

Wrap some ice cubes, a bag of cold gel for freezing or a cold compress on a towel and apply it to the affected area for about 15 minutes. Cold has vasoconstrictor action and therefore reduces inflammation and associated pain.

What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid - Wash and calm the zone

Baking soda and aloe vera

Another home remedy that you can use as first aid if your dog is stung by a bee is based on baking soda. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water and apply the resulting lotion on the affected area. This must be done immediately after applying cold.

After that, we recommend applying pure aloe vera juice to the affected area. It has a great cooling and calming effect, and it's great for the dog's skin. Aloe vera can also be used for dermatitis in dogs and to treat their paw pads.

What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid - Baking soda and aloe vera

What to do if your dog is stung by a bee: Follow up

After applying first aid, it is important to treat the sting regularly until the inflammation and related lesions have completely subsided. If by the next day you can't see any improvement, take your dog to the vet.

The veterinarian will advise you about the possibility of applying antihistamines or topical anti-inflammatory drugs through ointments or lotions. In severe cases, the topical treatment can be performed with cortisone. Now you know what to do if your dog gets stung by a bee!

What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid - What to do if your dog is stung by a bee: Follow up

This article is purely informative. AnimalWised does not have the authority to prescribe any veterinary treatment or create a diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian if they are suffering from any condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to What to Do if your Dog is Stung by a Bee: First Aid, we recommend you visit our First aid category.

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