Spring has sprung, and for many curious animals, that means all manner of buzzing creatures are flying around the backyard. While many pets enjoy chasing bugs around the yard, there’s a few that can do some serious damage, namely stinging insects like bees or wasps.
Inquisitive cats and dogs will get a bee sting on their face which, while often looking comical, can be a painful and sometimes life-threatening. Multiple stings, getting stung in the mouth or throat, is especially dangerous.
If your pet is stung by a bee, here’s what you should do.
- Remove the stinger. Use your fingernail or a rigid piece of cardboard to force the stinger out. If it’s at all possible, avoid using tweezers or forceps because pinching the stinger can force more venom into your pup.
- Ease the pain. A weak mixture of water and baking soda applied to the affected area can help reduce pain. Applying an ice pack wrapped in a towel can also help alleviate pain and swelling. Before giving your pet any antihistamines, you should consult your vet.
- Watch for a reaction: Some animals are allergic to bee and wasp stings. Allergic reactions can be fatal, so be on the lookout for symptoms like general weakness, difficulty breathing, or swelling away from the sting site. If any of these symptoms occur, call your vet and let them know your pet’s situation and that you’re on your way.
- Go to the vet. If your pet is exhibiting symptoms of an allergic reaction, has been stung multiple times, or has been stung in the mouth or throat, you should also take them to the vet immediately.
While it’s impossible to keep bees and wasps from flying into backyards, you can help prevent future stings by doing things like keeping animals away from flower beds where bees love to collect pollen and nectar. Check the eaves around your home to ensure you are not unknowingly playing host to bee hives and wasp nests. If you install wasp traps, make sure they are hung high enough so that pets and children cannot reach them.
Finally, make sure to check your pets’ water bowls regularly. Bees and wasps can drown in the water, but their stingers can still do damage to a cat or dog that decides the bug would be a tasty snack!
A few preventative measures can make a big difference for your pet and prevent a medical emergency and big vet bills!
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