When we adopted puppies, we tried to prepare ourselves for being dog owners. We read books, watched television programs, and spoke with other dog owners. All in all, we thought we were prepared. And then we brought our bundles of barking, pooping, teething joy home and realized that we didn’t know squat about dogs.
I carry around a spiral notebook to make notes about You Name It. I had a puppy book the first 6 months we had our dogs. Every day I would write down questions, call the vet to ask for a good time to ask, and then rattle them off. They got a kick out of me, I got some peace of mind, and my boyfriend rolled his eyes.
I recently opened up Keep the Tail Wagging for readers to Suggest a Topic. I want my readers to help shape the direction of the site. I write for people like me – you. My first topic suggestion came from Linda McGrath-Cruz and it’s a great one and brought back memories of my meltdown when our dogs were stung and what I learned.
Bee Stings in Dogs
Just like us humans, dogs can have an allergic reaction to bee stings and we don’t know it until they’re actually stung. We live in a rural area on 5 acres of land and the first year on our property we noticed several hornets’ nests and we kept our eyes on them and the dogs. What we didn’t know about was the bees’ nest in the ground by one of the dogs’ favorite trees.
Bees in the ground? Yes. The sneaky bastards.
Sydney was playing around, got stung several times and ran to us. My boyfriend picked her up and carried her inside while I grabbed Rodrigo who was sniffing around the tree. Although I was freaking out, I knew what to do, because Bee Stings in Dogs was a question in my spiral notebook.
When one of our dogs is stung we do the following…
- Make sure they weren’t stung in or around the mouth, because the swelling can prevent them from breathing.
- We check the area to see if we can find the stinger and remove it (this is next to impossible, I’ve found, but I try anyway).
- We watch for signs of an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing, intense pain, nausea, vomiting, weakness, drooling, etc).
Bee Stings in Dogs | You Might Be Safe Treating at Home (but call your vet)
Swelling in the face, nose, mouth, muzzle – again, watch to make sure your dog’s breathing isn’t being obstructed.
Hives or large bumps on the body – Sydney experienced this in the areas where she was stung. We gave her Benedryl (1mg per body weight as prescribed by our veterinarian) to alleviate the itching.
Bee Stings in Dogs | Call the Vet and Grab Your Car Keys!
Severe symptoms include hives, difficulty breathing, intense scratching, weakness, diarrhea, crazy drooling, pale gums, mental confusion, or depression.
Your dog may be okay, but why take a chance. They can’t tell us how they’re feeling they can only show us.
Bee Sting Home Treatment We Use
We’ve been lucky to be able to treat a bee sting like it’s no big deal with our dogs, so our home treatment consists of…
- Benedryl, 1mg per the dog’s body weight (if there’s no sign of improvement within 30-45 minutes, please call the veterinarian)
- Some quiet time in the house.
- Lots of love and affection.
Each dog presents differently
Sydney developed hives in the area where she was stung. Rodrigo chased and stepped on a bee twice; he just whimpered and held his paw up each time. Lots of love and affection seemed to do him good. Blue is still a bee sting virgin and we don’t know how a bee sting will affect him.
Linda shared that all three of her dogs have been stung and each had 3 different reactions; one requiring a hospital stay. This goes to show us that bee stings in dogs need to be taken seriously.
If your dog has been stung by a bee, please share your experience with us. The more we know, the better prepared we’ll be.