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Your assessment results for:

Bee or wasp sting

Urgency level: Low priority

Monitor your dog at home and contact your family veterinary practice if the situation doesn’t improve

What to do next

Try home management and monitor your dog for any changes or allergic reactions

  • Monitor your dog carefully for development or any new symptoms or changes in behavior. If they develop any of the following signs, contact your family veterinary practice ASAP:
    • Difficulty breathing
    • Excessive swelling (especially if their face is swelling)
    • Lethargic or weak
    • Distressed or in pain
  • If you can still see the stinger on your dog, carefully remove it with tweezers.

 

Why it’s lower priority

Dogs will usually recover from bee/wasp stings on their own if there is no allergic reaction

  • Bee and wasp stings usually result in mild-moderate local swelling at the site, and tend to resolve on its own within 12-24 hours.
  • Anaphylactic reactions are possible from any insect bite or sting, including bee stings. These usually happen within a few minutes of being bitten or stung – if any of these signs develop, bring your dog to an emergency veterinarian immediately:
    • Pronounced facial swelling
    • Difficulty breathing (or coughing, gagging, wheezing)
    • Collapse
  • Epinephrine, steroids and, or antihistamines are the treatments most commonly used to treat anaphylactic reactions in dogs.

 

Home care tips

Put an ice pack on the site and prevent them from irritating the site

  • To help with the swelling, wrap an ice pack with a towel and apply gentle pressure on the site of the sting.
  • If your dog is scratching or licking at the area, put a cone around their neck or socks/booties over their paws to prevent them from traumatizing their skin.
  • Make sure they have access to clean water.
  • Antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) can be effective for alleviating itching in some dogs (but contact your vet first for the correct dose, and some dogs with underlying conditions should not be given Benadryl). The dose for Benadryl in dogs is higher than for people.

 

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Disclaimer

Please note that our Symptoms Assessments and Results are intended for informational purposes only, and not a medical diagnosis. Our goal is to help pet owners make an informed decision about if, when and how urgently they need to seek veterinary care. Using our site should not and does not replace a consultation with a veterinarian.

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