Birds and the..... BEES!

March 29, 2020 | 1:34 PM

We all know pets are curious! As the weather heats up and you and your slobbering buddy spend more time outside, keep in mind that it’s common for dogs to run and chase anything from tennis balls to insects!  Being aware of the signs and knowing the proper precautions to take if your pet is stung may be lifesaving.

While all stings are dangerous and may be painful and irritating, the occurrence of multiple stings, or a sting from a wasp, may be poisonous. Commonly, pets are stung in the face, ranging from their mouth after ingesting an insect or their snout from exploring their surroundings. The canine’s face is a particularly sensitive area and contains many vessels and nerves, making this sight particularly painful.


1. Remove stinger

If the stinger is still present, try to remove it gently. Using a credit card or flat piece of cardboard may work to gently remove it. Avoid tools like tweezers or forceps (for all the medical personnel out there) as this may inject more venom from the stinger.   

2. Pain relief

Simple use of a warm compress or a weak mixture of water and baking soda to form a paste will help reduce pain. Additionally, an ice pack or damp cool cloth may help decrease swelling.

3. Keep a watchful eye

Closely observe your pet for any signs of significant swelling, respiratory distress or general systemic illness such as vomiting or lethargy. If any signs of an allergic reaction develop or if swelling does not subside within 24 hours, medical attention by your veterinarian may be needed.


For pets that are stung within their mouths or stung multiple times, these stings are the most dangerous. Significant swelling within the mouth may compromise your pet’s airway and risk of significant respiratory distress is possible.  Additionally, much like humans with bee stings, a more intense allergic reaction is also possible and is subject to individual variation. Severe reactions can include any signs of generalized anaphylaxis including weakness, difficulty breathing, lethargy, vomiting, and increased swelling. If your pet experiences a severe reaction or anaphylaxis, immediate medical attention is warranted and please seek out emergency veterinary attention.