My Dog was Stung By a Bee in the Mouth, What Should I Do?
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My dog was stung by a bee in the mouth! Did your dog suddenly went back home with a swollen snoot? Their effort to befriend a bee probably didn’t end up well. Canines are curious and they will try to mouth, sniff, or paw anything that moves. Some would love to smell the blooms, but behind the colorful flowers are bees and wasps ready to give the pooch a sting.
Although their inflamed face may look cute, you should know that multiple stings are dangerous for your pooch. This is true, especially for small dog breeds.
Facts about bee stings among dogs
Most dogs get bee stings on their faces. This is due to the tendency of canines to inspect and get close to anything that intrigues them. There are dogs that may try to eat the insect. In this case, they may get stung on the throat or tongue. If you suspect this, the sting is an emergency situation.
The swelling of the throat my block your dog’s airway which may lead to breathing difficulties if not addressed early on.
Some dogs may get stung on their paws upon stepping on the bee or wasp. Most of these bites can be left alone, especially if it’s just a single stinger.
If your dog loves sniffing flowers and running around the neighborhood, it’s likely to get stung by a bee once in its life.
My dog got stung by a wasp in the mouth! Treatments for bee or wasp stings aren’t really complicated. Vets will use topical lidocaine to numb the affected area. Next, a corticosteroid cream will be administered to arrest the inflammation. For dogs who suffered from allergic reactions due to the sting, an antihistamine will also be used. For critical conditions, more serious treatment is needed.
What happens to a dog that got stung by a bee?
It’s quite tricky to identify if your dog really got stung by a bee/wasp or not. Some dogs may sustain the swelling from trauma and exposure to chemicals. To check if the bees are to blame, here are some of the signs:
Salivating, especially if bitten in the tongue or around the mouth
Scratching the stung area, licking, and chewing
Presence of stinger
In worst cases, the dog will have hives, throat swelling, and breathing difficulties
Not sure how serious a bee sting can be? Check this video to know more:
Should you worry about bee/wasp stings?
Usually, a single sting shouldn’t be a big problem. Most dog owners just apply a corticosteroid cream after removing the stinger. The swelling should subside days after. My dog was stung by a bee in the mouth once and it didn’t induce any harsh effects.
However, multiple stings are a different story. Getting multiple stings on the mouth, throat, or tongue should call for a trip to the vet’s clinic.
As you know, the sting of bees and wasps are poison. It’s their defense mechanism whenever they detect harm. What happens is that the bee barbs and buries its stinger to the skin of the dog. After that, the bee dies and the dog is mired with the poison.
In a single sting, this should only cause irritation and swelling. But if your pooch gets multiple stingers in him, you have to worry about the possibility of anaphylactic shock. This may take place 10 minutes after being stung while it may take hours for other dogs.
If your dog acquired a sheer amount of venom without getting immediate treatment, it may die due to poisoning or anaphylactic shock. This is called envenomation. The red blood cell count of your dog may also drop which may induce immune-mediated secondary hemolytic anemia.
Watch out for this:
My dog got stung by a wasp in the mouth! Usually, these are the following things you should worry about if your dog got stung by a bee:
Multiple stings. If you can spot multiple stingers lodged on your dog’s skin, you should take the pooch to the vet.
Anaphylactic shock. Collapsing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, and pale gums are the signs of anaphylactic shock. It’s an emergency situation and requires immediate medical attention.
Allergic reactions. If your dog starts to get hives and other similar signs of allergies, you should also ask the help of a vet to prevent the situation from escalating.
Stings are poisons. Basically, a bee or wasp sting is a small dose of poison. If your small dog got multiple stings, you should be worried.
Types of bee or wasp stings
Bee stings may range from mild irritation to deadly. There were recorded incidents when aggressive bees attacked a dog to death.
Back in 2017, a 45-pound dog in Florida was stung to death by a hive of aggressive bees. Delilah, the dog of the Leonard family, died after a swarm of bees attacked her. Although Delilah tries to open the door, the family is so scared that the hundreds of bees will target the kids if they let the dog in.
Delilah was rushed to the Lund Animal Hospital where the vet removed over 100 stings. By that time, the dog has developed neurological complications. The pooch died due to excessive toxins.
What happened to the dog is an extreme situation. If your neighbors are keeping bee hives or you’re near a bee farm, you should be careful as it’s the same thing that killed the dog in Florida.
The bee/wasp sting timeline
My dog was stung by a bee in the mouth! Your dog will undergo different bodily changes within the first two hours after getting the sting. You should always monitor the condition of your pooch so you can send it to the vet if things go worse. To give you an idea, here’s how a bee or wasp sting progresses:
First 30 minutes
During this phase, you should be prepared for the possibility of an allergic reaction. If your doggo has a history of bee stings and severe reactions, it will be the same in the second, third, or nth time. With this, it’s best to send the pooch to the vet right after you discover the condition.
On the first 30 minutes after your dog gets the sting, the swelling will ensue. If your pooch’s neck, mouth or face swells, have a close eye on its breathing.
If your pooch is starting to whimper and seems to run out of breath, don’t waste time. Go straight to the vet.
Anaphylaxis takes place on the first 5 to 10 minutes after your dog gets the sting. The hard part here is if you only discovered the sting after 15 minutes. Your dog needs an IV drip that contains drugs that will fight the poison.
30 minutes to one hour
If your dog didn’t exhibit any adverse reaction to the sting, you should do everything to make the pooch comfy. Most of the time, the reaction to the sting will be localized. The affected area gets puffy and swollen.
Once your dog is comfy, try to remove the stinger using a credit card. Be as gentle as possible to avoid burying it deeper to the skin. Push the stinger out of your dog’s skin. It’s crucial to remove all the stingers to reduce the swelling. If you can, try to remove the stinger as soon as possible. I do this also when my dog got stung by a wasp in the mouth.
When removing the stinger, avoid crushing the venom sac. This is located on the other end of the lancet or the sharp tip. Such a part may still contain venom. If you rupture it, your dog will get more poison and the swelling may get worse.
At this point, you can also call your vet for any creams or ointments that you can use. Also, don’t give antihistamines unless the vet recommends.
The second hour
After the first hour, your dog should feel better if the sting didn’t bring in complications. After removing all the stingers, apply cold compress on the swollen area. If the bag hurts your dog, soak a small towel to cold water and place it on the affected part.
Try to prevent your dog from licking the affected part as it may only worsen the swelling.
Some dog owners administer a paste of baking soda and water to ease the inflammation. Still, ask the vet first before doing this since baking soda is an abrasive substance.
The swelling should subside in two days’ time. If the affected area doesn’t go back to normal after a week, consult the vet once again.
What to do when your dog got stung by a bee
My dog was stung by a bee in the mouth! First, don’t panic. The pain and discomfort will confuse your dog and it’s your responsibility to make sure that the pooch will be fine. Here’s the drill once your pooch gets in trouble with a bee:
Monitor your pet
As much as possible, remove the stinger right away to stop the venom from getting into your dog’s system. After that, monitor your dog’s condition. If it gets worse, say the pooch has breathing difficulties or swelling on the neck, rush the dog to the vet.
Although it’s just a single sting, it will help to check your dog’s condition. If this is the first time your pooch to get bee sting, you have to be watchful. Some dogs tend to react harshly to stings than other breeds.
Apply a cold compress on the affected area
If you’re not yet sure what cream or ointment you can use, you can use cold compress or towel to ease the swelling of your dog’s face. In addition, vets will usually recommend a corticosteroid that will ease the swelling.
Consider going to the vet
Even if it’s just a single sting, nothing beats getting medical attention. This is true, especially if your dog has a lingering condition that the sting may worsen.
If your dog becomes lethargic, pale, and starts to vomit, you shouldn’t waste time. This is a harsh reaction that could be lethal in a few hours.
If the sting is manageable at home, here are some remedies you can use according to Dr. Andrew Jones:
What if my dog got stung on the paw?
If your dog stepped on the bee, there’s a chance that it will get stung on its feet. When your dog starts limping, take a look at its paw. Look for a possible stinger and remove it right away.
The problem with paw stings is that the owners think that their dog just got hurt by a nail or a sharp object. Not until the swelling had taken place that they will apply the necessary treatment.
Usually, a paw sting isn’t harmful unless your dog has a bad case of allergies. The inflammation should go away after a few days the same with mouth stings.
How not to attract bees and wasps on your garden
If your doggo is the common target of bees in your yard, you should perform steps that will drive the insects away. Flower and vegetable gardens will typically attract wasps and bees during the pollination season.
You don’t have to remove your precious blooms. Just cordon or fence the area where your plants are to keep the pooch in a distance.
If you’re nurturing a garden, it’s best to plant jasmines and zinnias as these flowers bloom in the night. It will attract butterflies than bees which is safer for your pooch. Also, bees tend to be less attracted to crimson-colored plants and flowers.
In case your pooch has the worst history of bee sting reactions, it best to plant peppermint as this tends to drive the stingers away.
Here are more items that drive bees away:
Cinnamon. You can spread cinnamon around your garden every day for a week. This will keep the bees away and will have a lasting effect.
Crushed garlic. Soak crushed garlic in water and spray it around your garden. This will discourage the bees from staying in your yard. Just make sure that you won’t get it into your doggos’ eyes.
Cucumber peel. For small areas, you can place cucumber peel to drive the stingers away. Just make sure that your dog won’t find it as a handy snack.
My dog was stung by a bee in the mouth! Don’t panic and stick to the steps I discussed above. Also, remember that if things get worse, the help of a veterinarian will be the best option.
What started out as a way of documenting what I have learned about caring for my dogs has now turned into my passion and mission to share what I discover with as many people as possible. While each dog has their own personality, increasing your knowledge can help create both a happy dog and owner!