Bee, wasp, hornet and yellow jacket stings and your dog

By June 25, 2012Uncategorized

These insects inject their venom when the unsuspecting dog either steps on them or disturbs or frightens them.  Bees lose their barbed stinger after stinging and die where wasps, hornets and yellow jackets may sting many times.  Most dogs that are stung will suffer from mild local reactions which may include redness, pain, and local swelling at the sting site.  Diagnosis is based on the observation of the sting and the appropriate clinical signs. Treatment may include cool compresses, antihistamines; corticosteroid lotions… consult your veterinarian.  Rarely a sting may cause a regional reaction (swelling, rash) which may require systemic antihistamines and anti-inflammatory.  Very, very rarely a severe life threatening anaphylactic reaction (collapse, severe hypotension, breathing difficulty, pale mucous membranes…) may be caused within 10 minutes of the sting which requires immediate veterinary intervention.  Treatment for anaphylaxis will include IV fluids, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory, and epinephrine.   Owners of dogs with a known history of anaphylaxis to insect bites should set up a bee sting kit with their veterinarian’s guidance which would include an epi pen of suitable size for their pet.  Immediate veterinary intervention should always be sought in the case of anaphylaxis; however the kit may enable a dog in crisis to survive especially if veterinary assistance is not locally available. (Camping, after hours…)

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