Saturday, June 10, 2017

When your dog gets stung by a bee

It is often because your dog snapped at the bee or wasp as it was buzzing around them.

Being stung on the nose, lip or inside of their mouth can cause swelling that makes it hard for them to breath or swallow.  The problems are amplified if your dog has been stung by multiple insects.  Wasps like Yellow Jackets lay down scent markers to identify "aggressive" animals.  Any Yellow Jackets that are nearby will home in on, and attack, your pet if it was stung by a Yellow Jacket.

According to the Preventive Vet site

Dose your dog with Diphenhydramine (aka, Benadryl). They recommend that your dog receive between 1mg and 2mg per pound of body weight.  Diphenhydramine typically comes in 25mg tablets or liquid formulations intended for children.  The liquid formulations vary in the concentration of Diphenhydramine so you will need to do some math.

Our dogs come in two sizes:  German Shepherd at about 80 pounds and Boston Terrier at 15 pounds.  Consequently, the German Shepherds would receive between three tablets (75mg) and 6 tablets (150mg) in the event they tried to eat a bee.  The Boston Terrier would receive between a half tablet (12.5mg) and one full tablet.

If the dog appears likely to encounter difficulty breathing, go to the vet.  Be aware that getting the Diphenhydramine into your dog sooner gives it more time to work AND your dog may have difficulty swallowing as his face swells up more.  So dose him before you take off for the vet.

If you choose to keep your dog at home
Stay calm.  Our dogs are very empathetic.  They will freak out if you freak out.

Ice packs can reduce swelling. 

Some people swear by home remedies like Adolf's Meat Tenderizer, vinegar or baking soda.  Make a paste and apply to the site of the sting.

H/T to Belladonna for this topic.


  1. The best poultice I have found for bee / wasp stings is good old chewing tobacco (Red Man) that is liberally dosed with spit, i.e. chewed until it's fully moistened. Not sure why it works, but it extracts the stinger and relieves pain and swelling, even if it is a little messy, Tobacco, covered by cellophane wrap, held in place with medical tape.

  2. (Meant to add) obviously this doesn't work as smoothly with furry critters, and most dogs get bit on their face as they normally are leading with their nose! I guess maybe you could try topical benadryl with a driver to get it past the skin and into the bloodstream?

  3. Good post, and I'd try feeding it with peanut butter.

  4. When we were camping last summer, our dog - a Labrador was stung by a bee! It was horrible and the kids were really panicking when they saw their pet's snout grow bigger. It swelled quite a lot and it's a good thing we had ice pack and first aid kit for our dog. It can be scary but being prepared at all times is key to address these kinds of emergencies. For more help on what to do if your dog got bitten by a wasp or a bee, see this resource site:

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  7. Really good article. Having some knowledge on stuff like this as a pet owner can be really crucial specially when there are no nearby emergency animal hospital.


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