Little explorerIt’s no secret that pets are curious about their surroundings. Dogs and cats love to investigate practically anything, from the contents of a box left out to the goings-on of the critters found in your backyard or along your favorite walking route. This natural curiosity can put our furry friends at risk of a variety of troubles during the spring and summer months, including the risk of bee stings.

Bee stings in pets have the potential for serious health consequences. Learning how to tell if your pet has been stung, how to treat a sting, and what symptoms to watch out for are crucial in protecting your pet.

What To Do If Your Pet Has Been Stung

Since it’s unlikely that you will witness your pet being stung by a bee or wasp, it’s important to know the signs:

  • Yelping, howling, or other vocalization
  • Running in circles
  • Excessive salivating and panting
  • Slight swelling of the affected area
  • Licking, scratching at, or biting the affected area

A severe reaction can be caused by a large number of stings or by an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction should be considered a medical emergency.

Call us or bring your pet in right away if you observe any of the following symptoms:

  • Profound swelling of the face, throat, or neck
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Hives
  • Overall weakness
  • Vomiting within 5 to 10 minutes
  • Pale gums

Treating Bee Stings In Pets

Even if your pet does not appear to be experiencing an allergic reaction to the sting, it’s important that you call your veterinarian for advice as soon as you realize your pet has been stung. Other things you can do to treat a bee sting include:

  • If you see the stinger, use a credit card to scrape it away from the skin. Never attempt to pinch or pull the stinger, as that can cause more venom to be injected.
  • Apply a weak mixture of water and baking soda to the wound to help with pain relief.
  • Apply an icepack wrapped in a towel to the site of the sting to reduce swelling.
  • Do not administer any medications without first checking with your veterinarian.
  • Observe your pet closely in the hours following the sting for signs of allergic reaction. Let your veterinarian know if the swelling has not gone down in several days.

Preventing Bee Stings In Pets

While there is no way to keep your pet from exploring the world using his or her nose and paws, you can minimize the exposure to stinging insects in the following ways:

  • Assess your property for wasp and hornet nests each spring and summer, and have any that you find removed professionally.
  • Do what you can to keep your pet away from flowers, as this is where bees spend most of their time.
  • Bees and wasps are most active during the hottest time of the day, so limit your pet’s outdoor activity to morning and evening hours.
  • Because bees are attracted to sweet smells, it’s best to keep your perfume, body wash, and deodorant to a minimum when you’re out and about with your pet.

If you have any questions or concerns about bee stings and pets, please don’t hesitate to contact us.