HELP! My pet got stung by a bee! What should I do?!

Have you ever gotten stung by a bee? It’s pretty painful, right? As ridiculously cute as some TikTok videos may show you, an insect sting can be very harmful to our pets. 

From temporary discomforts to full-blown allergic reactions, each pet will react differently. But don’t panic just yet! We’re here to tell you what to do after your friend has gotten stung.  

Identify the perpetrator 🐝

There are many insects out there that can sting and harm our friends. A bee, wasp, hornet, maybe even a spider! Be sure to look around, since certain insects can be poisonous. Identifying the cause as quickly as you can is important, it might save your best friend’s life, but if it’s too late: skip to the next step! Bees are the only insects that leave their weapon behind. If you find a stinger on your pet, follow these steps in the next section. 

⚠️ Please keep in mind that even the most well-trained pet can bite if they’re in too much pain. Proceed with caution, and make sure you are handling the situation in the safest way possible. Wear gloves if you need to like we always say: better be safe than sorry! ⚠️

First Aid steps 🩹

  • Remove the Stinger – If your pet has been stung by a bee, there’s going to be a stinger. Remove by using a flat surface (credit card, cardboard, etc.) to scrape over it and remove it. Using a pair of tweezers might squeeze more venom into your friend. 
  • Rub a mixture of baking soda and water onto the site – Use three to one part baking soda to water, creating a paste. This mixture helps to remove bee venom and soothe the area.
  • Cool down the area with an ice pack – You can use a pack of frozen peas, or if you don’t have any of that: put some ice into a plastic bag and use that instead. If it’s too cold, wrap it around paper towels or thin cloth!
  • Monitor your pet – Make sure they’re not clawing, licking, or further irritating the site of the sting. Excessive pawing or scratching can cause more discomfort for your furry friend. 

‼️ Extreme symptoms ‼️

Anaphylactic shock is when your pet is going through a severe allergic reaction to a bee sting. Immediately seek veterinary attention if your pet is experiencing any of the following symptoms: 

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Coma
  • Pale gums
  • Cold extremities
  • Seizures
  • Drooling
  • Bluish-purple tongue (Blood Stasis)

When there are excessive histamines in the body, it can cause decreased blood pressure, capillary dilation, narrowing of the airways, and difficulty breathing, which can result in blockage. An anaphylactic shock can greatly affect organs like the lungs and liver. 

There is no guaranteed way to be sure your pet will have a less severe reaction. Monitoring your pet carefully is the best way to make sure they are safe all throughout the process. After all, your pet’s health is the top priority. Contact your vet as soon as possible if you suspect that your pet is going to have a severe allergic reaction. 

This article is reviewed by the veterinarian from Small Animal Teaching Hospital, Faculty of Veterinary Science, Chulalongkorn University (CUVET)

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