When winter turns into spring, the flowers begin to bloom. These flowers attract stinging insects like bees … but bees and dogs don’t always get along. Usually your dog’s curiosity and kind nature is something wonderful. But making friends with a bee can cause problems.
Some dogs eat bees and get stung in the mouth. Sometimes dogs get stung on their paw or nose by a bee! Then you might be concerned if your dog is allergic to bee stings. What if your dog has been stung by a bee? What can you do for your dog if he is stung? How to treat a bee sting on a dog
Don’t worry … we have the answers to all of these questions for you!
Symptoms of a bee sting
Aside from bringing you a bee, the easiest way to tell if your dog has been stung by a bee is to look for signs of swelling on his face or body. Your dog could tell you that something is wrong if they scratch their face or get stabbed elsewhere on their body.
Because dogs are curious Faces are common places to get a bee sting. Pads are another likely place when dogs step on a bee. And then you will see him hold up his swollen, painful paw.
When a bee sting is serious
If your dog is stabbed in the mouth or throat, the area can swell and block his breathing, and this can be an emergency. Other dogs can have severe allergic reactions to bee stings. This type of allergic reaction can occur within minutes or hours. So watch out for some of these severe symptoms.
- Difficulty breathing (watch out for swelling of the face and neck)
- Heavy drooling
- Dizziness, agitation, or disorientation
- Weakness or difficulty walking
- Vomiting or diarrhea
Any of these serious reactions will require a visit to the veterinarian. But give your dog one of the homeopathic remedies along the way (see alternatives to Benadryl below). They can act quickly to relieve swelling … so the availability of these agents could save your dog’s life.
CONNECTED: Find out when to go to the emergency room …
Bee stings without an emergency
For less severe bee stings, do the following.
Remove the stinger
For less severe reactions, the first thing to do is to check to see if the bee has left a sting on your dog.
Unlike other stinging insects like hornets and wasps, bees leave their stings behind. Bee spines contain poison. The longer the stinger is in your dog, the more venom it will get. Also, honeybee stings are barbed, which makes them more painful.
How do you remove a bee sting from a dog?
Act quickly to remove the stinger from your dog. But you want to carefully remove the stinger without compressing more poison into your dog.
First, make sure your dog stays calm. You can scrape out the stinger with something that has a straight edge, like a credit card, key, or your fingernail. Some people say that it is best not to use tweezers as squeezing the stinger can release more venom. However, a study by the University of California found that it’s best to use tweezers to get the stinger out faster.
Speed is the main concern, so use whatever you can find quickly!
After removing the bee stinger from your dog, clean the area with soap and water. Then you can use some topical agents to make your dog as comfortable as possible.
If you have the following homeopathic remedies on hand, give them as soon as you know your dog has been stung. You will quickly relieve its symptoms while you take care of the stab site.
Natural ways to relieve discomfort from a bee sting
You hate when your dog is uncomfortable or in pain … and you will know something is wrong, it has been stung by a bee. So here are some ways to ease your discomfort … and these are all things you probably already have at home.
The easiest way to do this is to apply and remove an ice pack on the wound for 10 minutes at a time. This will reduce swelling and help with the pain.
You can mix baking soda and water to make a thick paste that will help reduce the sting where your dog has been stung. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes, then rinse it off.
Grind oatmeal to a fine powder and add water to make a paste. Place it on the bee sting site for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off.
Honey can help with pain and wound healing. Dab some raw honey on the spot.
When out with your dog, look for plantains. That calming herb that most people mistake to be a weed is everywhere! Chew a sheet in your mouth, then apply it to the stab area.
Dab some witch hazel on the area to reduce swelling, pain, and itching.
If you have an aloe vera plant, use some gel made from an aloe vera leaf to help relieve the pain of a bee sting. You can buy leaves at most grocery stores (they will last 3 days in the refrigerator).
These topical agents can help relieve your dog’s pain. Keep applying as needed. But you might be tempted to give him drugs like Benadryl, too. Try to avoid it because there is Alternatives to Benadryl that works just as well … and they are perfectly safe.
Why you should avoid Benadryl
Benadryl … that little pink pill that allergy sufferers know all too well. It’s an antihistamine that vets often recommend for allergies and anxiety … or even an allergic reaction to a bee sting. But here’s the thing … Benadryl suppresses your dog’s symptoms. While these bee sting symptoms are uncomfortable, they will help your dog heal.
Benadryl also has many side effects, and the dosage limits are narrow, making it easy to over-give. Benadryl side effects include serious problems like …
- Difficulty breathing
- Fast heart rate
- Inability to walk
- Difficulty peeing
So avoid Benadryl (even if your vet may recommend you use it) … and try the following homeopathic remedies.
CONNECTED: Why Benadryl is not as safe as you thought …
Alternatives to Benedryl
Benadryl may be simple … but there are better ways to deal with bee stings. So leave the pink pill in the medicine cabinet.
Homeopathic remedies for bee stings
The best remedies for bee stings are two homeopathic remedies. They are effective and fast acting, so they will relieve your dog’s pain and swelling in minutes. They’re great for many first aid situations, so they’re handy in the event of bee stings or other insect stings or stings.
- Ledum palustre (30C or 200C): Use for insect bites or stab wounds
- Apis mellifica (30C or 200C): Use for allergic reactions with red or swollen bites or stings
If the bite area is cold and swollen, try Ledum first. If it’s red, itchy, painful, and severely swollen, try Apis first.
The remedies come in small tubes with pellets. Give your dog 2-3 pellets as soon as possible after the bee sting and repeat the dose in 15 minutes. By then, you should see improvement. If so, no re-dose is required unless it relapses. But if the swelling and pain doesn’t go away in the first half hour, try the other remedy with the same dosage regimen.
Here are a few tips …
- Try not to touch the pellets with your hands. Tip them out of the cap straight into your dog’s mouth.
- An easier method is to put the pellets in a small glass of spring water (not tap water), stir vigorously, and use a teaspoon or pipette to put something on your dog’s gums.
- Use the same water for topping up. Make a new batch in a clean jar if you need to switch to the other remedy.
CONNECTED: Read more about the dosage of homeopathic remedies here …
Bee sting complaints shouldn’t last more than a day or two. In most cases, your dog should start feeling better within hours.
In the meantime, it’s a good excuse to pamper your dog and give him plenty of attention to distract him from his discomfort.
Visscher PK, Vetter RS, Camazine S. Removing bee stings. Lancet. August 3, 1996; 348 (9023): 301-2.
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