Our Boulder and Westminster vets discuss below what you need to do if your dog is stung by a bee.
Signs of a Dog's Bee Sting
The most obvious symptoms to watch out for are drooling, swelling, excessive licking, and pawing at a specific area. It may also be safe to assume a bee sting is a cause if your dog is digging around in a flower bush and crying out.
The most common spots for bee stings on dogs include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What to Do if Your Dog Has Been Stung By a Bee
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.
Watch Your Dog for an Allergic Reaction
The most important thing to do immediately following a bee sting 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.
It's crucial to keep an eye on your pet's breathing if the sting site swells noticeably, especially if it's on the neck or face. Take your dog to an emergency vet right away if you suspect that she isn't breathing enough or that she is beginning to gasp or wheeze.
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.
How to Comfort Your Dog After a Bee Sting
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.
For most dogs, the area of the sting will be sensitive and puffy. If you can see the sting site and easily remove the stinger with tweezers, do so immediately to ease pain and prevent the venom from the stinger from spreading.
After a sting, the majority of dogs should start to feel better within a few hours and should be back to normal within a day or two. To lessen swelling and inflammation, you can apply a damp towel to the sting site in the interim.