If you're like most people, you take significant safety precautions whenever your canine companion is outdoors to help ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy. However, it's not possible to protect your pet from every possible scenario, and sometimes things happen despite preventive measures being in place. Dogs have a natural curiosity, and because they tend to explore their surroundings using their noses and their paws, these areas are particularly vulnerable to mishaps that may cause them harm. This curiosity sometimes results in bee stings in these areas. Here's what you need to know about bee stings and your dog.
You Should Remove the Stinger as Quickly as Possible
The stinger can continue to introduce venom into your dog's bodily tissues for up to three minutes after the sting has occurred, so removing it as quickly as possible should be your first priority after you become aware that your pet has been stung by a bee. Gently scrape the stinger out with a credit card — using tweezers or your fingers may result in the stinger breaking off and remaining in your pet or rupturing the venom sac itself, which will expose your furry friend to a greater amount of venom.
You Should Give Your Pet Benadryl and Apply a Cold Compress
After you get the stinger out, the next step is to give your pet an appropriate dose of Benadryl. As a general rule, a fully grown large breed dog over 50 pounds should have a whole Benadryl tablet, while those under 50 pounds should have a half. Very small dogs under 15 pounds should only be given a quarter of a tablet. If in doubt, check with your veterinarian concerning the right dosage. The area where your pet has been stung will be slightly swollen, which indicates a localized reaction to the sting. Holding a cold compress to the area will help bring the swelling down and dull any pain or discomfort that your pet may be experiencing
You Should Monitor Your Pet for Anaphylaxic Shock
A small number of dogs are allergic to bee venom and may go into anaphylaxic shock shortly after being stung. Keep a close eye on your pet for signs that the swelling is growing rather than decreasing after applying the cold compress. If your dog begins to vomit, and if its gums become noticeably pale within five to 10 minutes of being stung, it's essential to get your dog to the nearest animal hospital — your pet may not survive without treatment.
For more information, contact animal hospitals like Metzger Animal Hospital.