When Nature Stings

Bee and wasp stings can sometimes be an unpleasant outcome for anyone enjoying the great outdoors. But what happens when the sting occurs to our canine friends? Just like with people, most dogs experience localized swelling, redness, and discomfort at the site of the sting. If this occurs with your pet, and you can see a stinger, you may remove it with tweezers, your fingernails, or scrape it out with a credit card. But do not dig at the wound as this would introduce bacteria and may result in infection. A gently applied cool compress or wrapped ice pack may provide pain relief, and topical antihistamine cream may also reduce inflammation. Do not give any oral pain relievers without approval by a veterinarian. Diphenydramine (Benadryl) can safely be given to most dogs at the dose of 1mg per pound of body weight, but check with a veterinarian if you are unsure. If your pet is one of the occasional dogs with an allergy to bee stings, then more serious consequences can arise. Monitor closely during the next 12 to 24 hours for swelling of the face or ears, hives, vomiting, diarrhea, trouble breathing, weakness or collapse. Seek medical attention immediately if any of these signs occur.