Dogs and bee stings don't always mix.There are so many things about the great outdoors that, if we really stopped to seriously fret over them, we might never leave the house again. While the endless possibility of outcomes shouldn’t inhibit our adventures, it is important to proceed with caution. That’s why we recommend parasite prevention, microchipping, vaccinations, and more. When it comes to dogs and bee stings, there are not only ways to prevent this potentially painful situation, but also options for treating allergic reactions.

Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

Bees are really cool insects, and we owe them a lot for pollinating our plants and crops. Dogs don’t know that, of course, and just cannot resist their buzzing, flying coolness. Their curiosity and playfulness can truly get the best of dogs who have serious or even life-threatening allergic reactions to bee venom.

What to Look For

Common sting sites include the muzzle or mouth, nose, ears, face, and paws. The collision of dogs and bee stings also typically involves the feet, as bees are known to land on the ground.

While severe allergic reactions aren’t common, general symptoms regarding dogs and bee stings include:

  • Swelling at the site of the sting
  • Scratching, rubbing, or licking
  • Drooling
  • Vomiting
  • Running in circles
  • Painful vocalization
  • Respiratory distress
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Collapse

Anaphylactic shock (i.e., the sudden adverse reaction to an allergen) requires emergency care. Unfortunately, many owners don’t realize their dog is suffering from an intense allergic reaction, but early intervention is critical for a positive outcome.

Dogs and Bee Stings

Please contact us right away if you know or suspect your dog has been stung by a bee. If you can find the stinger, remove it gently, but be careful not to burst the venom sac. Leaving the stinger in place until your dog receives veterinary care won’t exacerbate symptoms.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s reaction, we may prescribe antihistamines, fluids, or steroid injections. Epinephrine may also be discussed to prevent future severe reactions.

Prevention is Key

When out and about with your dog (or even just in the backyard), try to avoid flowering plants, bushes, trees, and other areas that bees enjoy. Also keep the following tips in mind:

  • Check your property for hives, and have professionals remove them, if necessary.
  • Watch your dog’s behavior closely; be mindful that swatting at bees isn’t always the answer to prevent a sting.
  • Reduce any floral perfumes or sprays.
  • Minimize the use of floral prints in clothing, lawn furniture, flags, etc.
  • Keep your dog’s food and water bowls covered.

We’re always here to help, and we hope you and your dog can continue to enjoy the great outdoors and remain healthy. If you have further questions or concerns about dogs and bee stings, we welcome your call!