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.
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
● Labored breathing
● Pale gums
If you observe any of the symptoms above, you should take your pet to your veterinarian immediately. 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.
Contact Your Veterinarian
After removing the stinger, call your veterinarian to determine what your next steps should be. You may need to administer an antihistamine, but you’ll need to consult with your vet for proper dosing. Keep an eye on your pet over the next several hours to make sure the sting site recovers. If you observe swelling that doesn’t decrease over time, you should notify your vet. You may need to take your pet for professional medical treatment.
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.