If you think your dog has been stung by a bee it is important to monitor them for an allergic reaction, which would require immediate veterinary care. In most cases, dogs should begin to feel better within a few hours after a bee sting, and you can focus on making them more comfortable.
How can I tell if my dog has been stung by a bee?
The most obvious signs to look for are excessive licking, pawing of a particular spot (like the paw for example), swelling, and drooling. If your dog is digging around in a flower bush and cries out - it may also be safe to assume a bee sting is the culprit.
The most common spots for bee stings on dogs include the pads of the feet, the mouth, and the face.
What do I do if my dog has been stung?
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.
Monitoring 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.
If the sting site swells significantly, it's critical to keep an eye on your pet's breathing, especially if it's on the neck or face. If you suspect your dog isn't getting enough oxygen or is beginning to gasp or wheeze, take her to an emergency veterinarian right away.
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.
Making Your Dog More Comfortable
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.
Most dogs should feel better within a few hours of being stung and should be back to normal within a day or two. In the meantime, you can reduce inflammation and swelling by applying a dampened towel to the sting site.