When a bee stings a dog or cat, the symptoms are similar to those you experience. For most pets, there is painful, localized swelling that subsides in about 24 hours. If you know what to expect and methods for treating the sting, you can help everyone remain calm and keep your pet safe and comfortable as the wound heals.
Remove the Stinger
If your pet allows you to help, remove the stinger using the edge of a credit card. The stinger has a barb at the end that sticks under the skin and remains after the sting. The pulsating stinger continues pumping venom into the victim for several minutes. Use the edge of the card scrape the barb away instead of using tweezers or your finger. Squeezing the stinger forces more venom into the wound.
Check Your Pet’s Feet and Nose
If your pet reacts to a sting, check his feet and nose for the stinger. Dogs often step on bees while romping outside, but they also experience stings when exploring with their noses. The feet and nose are also the most likely places for stings on cats. You can help reduce swelling by applying a cold compress. Consult your vet before giving your pet any over-the-counter medications, such as Benadryl.
Watch for Allergic Reactions
Some pets are more allergic to bee stings than others. Keep an eye on your pet for a severe reaction to the sting, and be prepared for a trip to the vet if one becomes necessary. With proper care, pets that experience anaphylactic shock survive the sting. If your pet begins vomiting after the sting, or if the bee sting is inside its mouth or throat, head to the vet’s office.
Prevent Stings by Keeping Pets Away From Flowering Plants
In your yard, fence off any flower beds that attract bees. When walking your dog, keep him on a leash so you can keep him away from flowering ground cover or beds where bees gather pollen.While bees cause problems for most dogs and cats, some animals seem to have a special relationship with these insects. Click to read the story of Bella-Boo, a gentle and loving cat who catches bumble bees in her mouth and brings them inside without being stung.
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