Bee Stings

By: Terri Heck, CVT Warmer weather brings much pleasure and has us and our pets enjoying the outdoors. But the warmer weather brings us some hazards as well. Bee and wasp stings can be a painful experience and in some cases a true emergency. Redness, mild localized swelling, and discomfort are common after a bee sting. Cold compresses on the site are recommended without putting too much pressure on the area. Baking soda can neutralize venom from bees but can make wasp stings more uncomfortable. If a stinger can be seen it can be pulled out with tweezers. Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) at the dose of 1mg/pound is safe for most dogs and cats but not always effective in cats. Check with your veterinarian first to be sure there is not a contraindication before giving. Watch your pet closely for 12-24 hours after getting stung. If swelling continues to escalate, hives develop, or you notice any trouble breathing or vomiting then a bee sting becomes an emergency. Seek veterinary care immediately if any of those signs are seen. Still want to know more? Take a look at this Bee Stings 101 article.