What to do if your dog is stung by a bee - Dr. Marty Becker

What to do if your dog is stung by a bee

Thursday, Jul 31st, 2014 | By Dr. Marty Becker

veterinary Do you know what to do if your dog gets stung by a bee?

One of my readers asked:

Q: My dog just got stung by a bee. He didn’t have an allergic reaction, but is there anything I can do in the future to relieve the pain? — via email

A: You were fortunate that your dog didn’t have an allergic reaction to the bee sting. That can occur when a dog has been stung previously or receives many stings at once.

Bees, ants, wasps, mosquitoes and spiders can all sting or bite, causing small swollen areas that are painful or itchy. Signs of an allergic reaction include hot and swollen areas at the site of the sting. Your dog may also bite or scratch at the area.

If a bee stings your dog again, first look to see if the stinger is still in the skin. It resembles a small black sac. You can brush it off with a finger, scrape it out with a fingernail or grasp it with tweezers and pull it out.

To soothe the painful area, apply a paste made from water and baking soda. A cold compress can also help to reduce swelling and relieve pain.

Take your dog to the veterinarian right away if you see signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as swelling of the face or neck, agitation, drooling, vomiting or difficulty breathing. Dogs can die of anaphylactic shock if they don’t receive treatment right away.

A bite from a venomous spider such as a black widow or brown recluse can cause severe pain at the bite site, fever, weakness, and muscle and joint pain. That also calls for a veterinary visit — pronto — for a shot of antivenin. Left untreated, venomous spider bites can cause seizures, send a dog into shock or even kill him, so don’t delay.

Read more in this week’s Pet Connection!