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What to do if your pet is stung by a bee

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

All pets react differently to bee and wasp stings - some have severe allergic reactions, others may just be uncomfortable. Would you know what to do if your pet was stung?

Bee or wasp sting?

First of all you need to work out if it was a bee or a wasp sting.

Bees will often leave their stinger behind, whereas a wasp will just 'sting and go'.

If you find a stinger on your pet, be sure NOT to squeeze it out or remove it with tweezers. Doing this runs the risk of injecting more venom into your pet, causing it to be more painful.

To remove a stinger safely try and scrape it off, using something with a flat edge such as a credit card.

How to ease the stinging sensation

The most effective way of easing the irritation of a bee or wasp sting is to bathe the area with cold water. Using a cold compress will also help to reduce swelling and itching.

Allergic Reactions

If your pet has a nasty reaction to a sting, you will more than likely notice the area will swell very quickly.  In this instance it is best to contact your vet immediately to discuss the correct course of action, such as administering an antihistamine.

Please DO NOT give your pet an antihistamine without first discussing this with your veterinary surgeon.  Animals require different doses than humans and it could prove to be more dangerous to them than the reaction itself.

If the sting is in any way impairing your pet's airway* seek veterinary advice immediately as this is considered an emergency.

* Swallowing a bee/wasp or being stung on the mouth or throat.

If you are in any doubt, please contact your local surgery and they will be happy to help.


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