The sun is out, the birds are singing, and the bees have arrived. You know how curious your pet can be when exploring outside, and you also know that it doesn’t take much to stir up an angry bee. Just as some humans are allergic to bees, your pet can have a severe allergic reaction, too.


At Normandale Veterinary Hospital, we know how much your pet means to you, and we also know that a bee sting can present a serious problem for your furry friend. If you find that your pet has been stung, here are the steps you need to take.

Veterinary Care Steps for Bee Stings

Below are expertly curated veterinary steps to take when your pet gets stung by a bee.

Watch for an Allergic Reaction

Wasp, yellow jacket, hornet, and bee stingers all contain a small amount of venom. When they sting, this venom is deposited in your pet’s skin and can cause an allergic reaction. One sting usually won’t present a problem, but multiple stings may result in worrisome symptoms, including:


●          Excessive swelling that spreads around the sting site

●          Weakness

●          Labored breathing

●          Vomiting

●          Pale gums


If you observe any of the symptoms above, you should immediately take your pet to your veterinarian. In addition, your pet may be going into anaphylactic shock and will need medical attention. Sometimes, your pet may also try to bite a stinging insect, resulting in a sting inside the mouth or throat. These stings can be very dangerous for your pet and may cause swelling of the throat and mouth, thereby blocking your pet’s airway. If your pet has a sting in one of these areas, you should take it to your local veterinary clinic immediately.

Remove the Stinger and Reduce Swelling

If you notice the site is slightly swollen or puffy, this is a normal, localized reaction to the sting. After your pet suffers a sting, the stinger can continue to pulsate venom into your pet’s skin. To avoid extended exposure to the bee venom, remove the stinger by using a credit card to scrape it away. Do not pull on the stinger or attempt to squeeze it out with your fingers. Doing so may cause the venom sac to rupture and may expose your pet to additional venom. After removing the stinger, apply ice or a cool towel to reduce the swelling.

Try to Relieve Discomfort

Bee stings, no doubt, come with an excruciating pain that can keep your pet in utter discomfort. Hence, apart from removing the stinger, efforts must be made to relieve the discomfort. You can start by placing an ice pack wrapped in a cloth on the sting point. Do this in 5 minutes intervals. An alternative to this is baking soda. You can apply this gently to the sting site every few hours to reduce discomfort.

Keep a Close Eye on Your Pet

While some bee stings could get mild after a few hours, others could worsen. As a result, you need to closely monitor your pet after a bee sting to know if the reaction is mild or acute.

If the reaction worsens after 24 hours, you should contact a reliable veterinarian for professional support.


Your pet could be hospitalized for two days for quality and quicker recovery after a bee sting. During this period, the veterinary doctor could, depending on diagnosis, administer corticosteroids, epinephrine, and intravenous fluids.

Contact Your Veterinarian

After removing the stinger, call your veterinarian to determine your next steps. You may need to administer an antihistamine, but you’ll need to consult your vet for proper dosing. Keep an eye on your pet over the next several hours to ensure the sting site recovers. If you observe swelling that doesn’t decrease over time, notify your vet. You may need to take your pet for professional medical treatment.

Some Common Pests That Can Bite or Sting Your Pets

The pests highlighted below are capable of stinging your pet.

1. Bees, Hornets, & Wasps

Common stinging insects such as bees, hornets, and wasps will not seek out your pet but will sting them if they feel threatened. Your dog may suddenly jolt, yip, chew, lick, or scratch in response to a sting. The sting can cause considerable pain, inflammation, and disease in your dog, depending on the type of sting and the area affected.

2. Fleas

Fleas are probably the most well-known pet pest. Fleas are blood-sucking insects that range in color from light brown to black. Fleas will feed on your dog or cat and will bite humans as well. The head, throat, base of the tail, and crotch are common places for fleas to cluster on your pet.

3. Ticks

Ticks are another common insect that will attach to you or your pet for a blood meal. A tick bite is harmless; however, many ticks contain germs and other bacterial infections that can be detrimental to the host; thus, they should be removed as soon as possible.

Emergency Veterinary Care in Edina, Minnesota

If your pet suffers a bee sting and needs immediate medical attention, Normandale Veterinary Hospital is here to serve you. We know your pet is part of your family and we are dedicated to providing the best care possible. Even if you simply need to call us for advice, we are happy to help. When you need compassionate inpatient or outpatient care for your pet, give us a call. You can reach us at (952) 831-8272, or you can message us on our contact page.