Blog Post

Feb 28 | Brian Heuring

What to do if Your Dog is Stung by a Bee or Wasp

If your dog is similar to mine, then he loves to chase butterflies and (unfortunately) bees! No matter how many times we try to teach our Hudson not to go after bees, it seems the temptation is just too much for our little guy. Every once in awhile, and much to his dismay, a bee bites back. 

If your dog has been stung, it might have one or more of these symptoms:

  1. Whining and anxiety 
  2. Biting or scratching near the sting
  3. Drooling
  4. Pawing at its face or mouth
  5. Holding up its paw or limping 
  6. Swelling, heat and redness of the stung area
  7. Hives

Do your best to remain calm. Bee stings most often do not require veterinary treatment. First, check to see if you need to scrape or pull out any remaining parts of the stinger. Next, wash the area in cool water or apply ice. You can apply vinegar to wasp stings; use baking soda on bee stings. Most dogs will only need this amount of treatment for the sting to heal on its own.

Dogs are often stung on the feet, nose or mouth. If your dog swallows or inhales a bee and is stung at the back of the throat, the swelling could potentially block their airway. This is a higher cause for concern. Monitor your dog to make sure they don’t have an allergic reaction. In that case, the swelling or weakness gets worse and you will need to contact your vet immediately. We will administer antihistamines and other treatment to provide relief. 

One would think once a dog gets stung by a bee, they will learn their lesson and not chase them anymore. However, our furry friends love the ‘thrill of the chase’, so your dog could actually be stung more than once in its lifetime. Again, in most cases, basic first aid I’ve described here is necessary to help your pet heal. Allergic reactions are the main cause for concern. If you ever have any questions, never hesitate to call your veterinarian’s clinic.