Dog Bee Stings
What To Do & Everything You Need To Know
Table of Contents
Anyone who has had a dog will know exactly how curious they are.
They eat and sniff everything they can, and stick their noses in places they don’t belong.
Unfortunately, this can get them in serious trouble with venomous insects like bees, wasps, etc., if a dog happens to find a nest.
Dog bee sting swelling and redness can usually be treated easily, but allergic reactions can present a challenge. A dog stung by bee or a dog stung by wasp can suffer a mild or severe allergic reaction, resulting in several painful and irritating symptoms which might need veterinary attention.
If you have ever experienced such a situation and were at a loss about what to do, this complete guide is for you.
And if you are a new pet owner who has never been in such a situation before but would like to be prepared, this article has got you covered as well.
What Happens if a Dog Gets Stung By a Bee?
A dog stung by bees shows signs and symptoms of bee sting like redness, mild pain, and irritation.
Symptoms vary between dogs based on location and severity of the reaction:
Bee Sting on Paw:
A dog stung by a bee on paw usually starts limping and may try to lick the sting (licking their paws).
Dog Bee Sting in Mouth:
A dog stung by bee in or on mouth may show more drastic symptoms like a swollen throat and difficulty breathing.
In case of any breathing difficulty, a vet needs to be consulted immediately. Visit an emergency veterinary clinic right away.
The main dog bee sting symptoms for any location are as follows:
Dog Bee Sting Symptoms
Some symptoms of a bee sting on a dog can be very serious, while others are mild and don’t need any veterinary attention.
Some dogs might be in pain but recover quickly, while others may exhibit a life-threatening condition.
Every dog’s body handles bee venom differently, so watch out for signs of a serious allergic reaction and be ready to take your dog to an emergency vet if necessary.
If you aren’t sure, here’s how to tell if your dog has been stung by a bee:
Swollen or puffy face, pain in the swollen area, and redness around the swollen area are some common clinical symptoms of bee stings in dogs.
Swelling from the sting can either increase over 48 hours, or subside quickly in case of a mild reaction.
• Redness and Rash
Redness and skin rash is common around the bite area.
It can be soothed easily with ice in a mild case, but redness may last for up to 7 days, depending on the reaction of the dog.
• Weakness and Dizziness
Lethargy is also a symptom of a bee sting in dogs.
Bee stings are venomous, and if not contained in a small area on the body, the venom can spread, causing pain and irritation, which can lead to weakness.
This weakness can then cause dizziness, and the dog may even experience a sudden collapse.
• Nausea and Vomiting
In severe cases of dog allergy to bee stings, the sting can cause vomiting and nausea in the dog, further contributing to weakness and lethargy.
Diarrhea also occurs frequently in such cases.
• Difficulty Breathing
Heavy breathing and panting are common sights in allergic reactions.
If the breathing gets too difficult and immediate treatment is not given, the dog may even lose consciousness.
In the case of any difficulty breathing, take your dog to an emergency vet clinic immediately.
A bee sting can cause itchy round welts on your dog’s skin, known as hives.
Other than hives, skin rash, itching, and pale skin are also common symptoms of allergic reactions to bee stings in dogs.
Paws are one of the most common places that dogs get stung, so you may notice limping.
• Other Symptoms / Pale Gums / Drooling
Every dog is different, but some other symptoms of dog bee stings in case of a potentially serious allergic reaction include pale gums and drooling.
What Does a Dog Bee Sting Look Like?
What a bee sting looks like depends heavily on the location of the sting. The most common places for an insect to sting your dog are the face and feet.
In case of a bee sting on a dog’s eye, the area around the eye becomes red and swollen. Both eyes might become teary or watery. In other parts of the face, a bee sting can cause a swollen or puffy face and swelling around the mouth, neck, and nose.
A sting might also be present elsewhere in the form of severe itching and redness, and a bump or lump may also be found.
In case of an allergic reaction, you might notice your dog breathing heavily, wheezing, coughing, licking their lips, and shaking their head.
How to Tell if a Dog is Allergic to Bee Stings?
Some dogs are allergic to bee stings, but it is difficult to tell ahead of time if a dog will suffer an allergic reaction to a bee sting or not.
If a dog is allergic, the symptoms for such a reaction will show up within 10 minutes to a few hours after getting stung and include diarrhea, breathing difficulties, sudden collapse, wheezing, disorientation, swelling around the throat, weakness, etc.
Based on the severity of the reaction, your vet might require you to admit the dog into the hospital, and medicines like antihistamines and steroids might be administered.
You should also get a prescription for an EpiPen for your pet if your dog has a history of suffering from anaphylactic reactions.
How to Treat Bee Sting on Dog?
Most of the time, a dog stung by bee does not need any treatment from a vet.
Dog bee sting treatment in mild cases is not much, but can be very extensive in severe allergic reactions.
1. Treatment for Mild Cases of Bee Sting
In case of a bee sting, the honeybee only stings once and leaves the stinger, a fleshy-looking tissue, behind.
- Remove this stinger by carefully scraping it with a credit card or fingernail. Be gentle, as this area is sensitive and painful for your dog after the sting.
Note: Never use tweezers, as they can cause the venom sac in the stinger to burst and all the venom to spread inside the dog’s skin. This can cause more issues.
- How to Soothe The Bee Sting Area:
You can also apply
1. a mixture of baking soda and water,
2. some ice,
or 3. a cool compress
on the affected area to soothe the swelling, puffiness, and redness.
- How to Soothe The Bee Sting Area:
2. Treatment for Extreme or Allergic Cases of Bee Sting
Although you should not make it a habit to give your dog any medication without first consulting your vet, you can safely use Benadryl for dog bee stings in case of an emergency.
Give your dog one milligram of Benadryl for each pound of body weight, but keep in mind that this is not a substitute for a vet.
The dog should be taken to a hospital as soon as possible, as early treatment and care can prevent many complications down the road.
Get to an emergency vet immediately.
How Long Does a Bee Sting Last on a Dog?
Dog bee sting recovery time is significantly lower for mild reactions compared to severe ones.
Mild reactions usually go away on their own within a day or two, and don’t need heavy doses of medications.
On the other hand, severe allergic reactions require several medicines and take a few days to a couple of weeks for your dog to fully recover.
The recovery process for bee stings with allergic reactions can also include hospitalization, regular vet visits, and regular treatment.
Bee Stings vs. Hornet Stings vs. Wasp Sting on Dog
A dog may get stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet. It is best to wait for your vet’s diagnosis, but you can also try to tell these stings apart using local and regional symptoms.
Hornet sting on dog usually hurt more than wasp stings on dogs, but a hornet sting is about 50% less toxic than a dog stung by bee.
These insects usually sting in the summer season when they are most active.
Wasp Vs. Bee:
The clearest distinction between a dog stung by a bee and a wasp sting on dog is the barbed stinger of the bee, in comparison to the smooth wasp stinger.
Dog wasp sting recovery time is usually only a day or two for mild reactions, but you should keep checking on your dog after the sting to ensure a severe reaction doesn’t develop.
These stings are otherwise not fatal or dangerous to dogs who show no signs of allergic reaction.
How Much Benadryl Can I Give My Dog For Bee Sting?
You can usually give your dog one milligram of Benadryl per pound of weight in case of a harsh bee sting reaction (for example: 40 milligrams of Benadryl for a 40-pound dog).
Benadryl is a safe antihistamine.
What To Do if a Dog Gets Stung By a Bee?
First, try to make your dog feel as comfortable as possible. For example, wrap a cool towel around the stung paw or press it against the place where the bee has stung.
Make the dog feel loved and place the dog in a soft, comfy place. The bee sting will fade away by itself in a few hours if your dog is not allergic.
If your dog shows signs of allergy or difficulty breathing, take them to an emergency vet right away.
Are Dogs Allergic to Bees?
Some dogs are allergic to the venom of the bee stinger and can have potentially fatal consequences if stung.
An allergic reaction usually presents itself in a few minutes but may take hours in some very rare cases.
In a severe allergic reaction, the dog may have difficulty breathing, get dizzy, show extreme weakness, collapse suddenly, and may also experience vomiting and diarrhea.
Take your dog to the emergency vet immediately if this happens.
Can a Bee Sting Hurt a Dog?
Even a simple bee sting can be quite painful to your dog.
In addition, mild allergic reactions to bee stings can result in redness, itching, irritation, pain, and swelling, which can further hurt your dog.
When you are walking or playing with your dog near bee-friendly flowers, supervise your dog at all times. Bees will leave your dog alone as long as they don’t feel threatened by your dog.
Keep your dog’s attention on you and your dog toys, and away from flowers with bees or potential insect nests.
If you think your dog has been stung by a bee, keep an eye out for signs of allergic reaction such as weakness, tiredness, and difficulty breathing. When you notice these signs, emergency vet immediately.
If your dog doesn’t exhibit signs of allergy, you can apply ice or a cold compress to the site of the sting, and comfort your dog as necessary until the swelling and pain goes away on its own.