This week Gabby accompanied me on one of my doggy photo shoots. It was a gorgeous afternoon and the sun was shining. We went to Burton Chase Park and Gabby sat patiently on the grass as I worked. All of a sudden, I heard her yelp. A bee had stung her and the offender was still on her paw.
According to PetWellbeing.com, “While most bee stings are innocuous, with some irritation and swelling accompanied by redness, others can cause severe problems for your dog. This is especially true if the sting is in the head and neck area or if the bee sting is causing swelling which can block airways.”
In the most extreme cases, bee stings in dogs can be fatal. Severely allergic dogs could go into anaphylactic shock. The first stage of symptoms may include sudden diarrhea or defecation, urination, severe itchiness and development of hives.
The symptoms rapidly progress to the second stage of symptoms, which include weakness, drooling, difficulty breathing, pale gums, cold limbs and mental confusion or depression. Bee stings in dogs should not be ignored; especially if this is the first time your pup has encountered a bee. If your dog is having a severe allergic reaction, seek immediate veterinary attention.
If you’ve determined that your dog is not having any sort of allergic reaction, then you can treat the sting at home. First locate the stinger and carefully remove it. Vetinfo.com says, “The stinger will be a black barb in the middle of the sting. To remove it, scrape a credit card or fingernail along the surface of the skin. Avoid squeezing the stinger; it will release more toxins.”
After you have removed the stinger, you should next apply a paste made from baking soda and water over the entire area. Applying this paste after a bee stings your dog will help draw out any toxins that have been injected into your dog’s skin.
Be sure to monitor your friend and to provide comfort until the pain seems to subside. If several bees sting your pup or if the sting is on the dog’s mouth, nose, or head, your dog may experience some breathing difficulties. If this occurs or if the swelling around the area is very large, you should see your veterinarian immediately.
Luckily, Gabby was back to her normal self the next day. The big, bad bee was apparently forgotten as she trotted over to a bed of flowers on our walk the next day. I’m just glad I now know what to do if it happens again.
Lori Fusaro has been voted the best portrait photographer by FoxTV three years in a row. She lives in Culver City with her husband, four cats and dog. Contact: Lori@FusaroPhotography.com, www.FusaroPhotography.com.