Dogs use their noses almost as much as their eyes to check out the things around them, which can be dangerous to their muzzle if a bee or wasp is what has aroused their curiosity. If the insect doesn't get your pup's nose, it could inadvertently sting a paw if the puppy decides to pounce. The following tips will help you handle a sting and prevent it from occurring a second time.
Tip #1: Get to the Stinger
Bees leave their stinger in the victim where a small venom sack continues to deliver venom to the sting site. If possible, get the stinger out of your pup using a credit card or spoon – simply scrape the edge of the card over the sting site to pop out the stinger. You won't need to worry about that bee coming back for more because bees sting only once before dying. Wasps, however, can sting multiple times, so you may need to watch out for a return. Unlike bees, wasps don't shed their stingers when stinging, so if you know a wasp was the culprit, there is no need to look for a stinger to remove.
Tip #2: Bring Your Dog Indoors
Sometimes the problem is that your dog disturbed a bee or wasp nest. If this is the case, get away from that area. If you are on a walk, leave the area and go somewhere else. If the sting happens in your own yard, get inside and watch the yard from the window for a few minutes. If you notice increased bee or wasp activity, figure out the source. You can then call a professional to remove it.
Tip #3: Monitor Your Dog's Reaction
Dogs can have an allergic reaction just like humans. If the swelling becomes extreme, spreads far beyond the sting site, or if your dog shows other signs of distress, like trouble breathing or vomiting, contact your vet right away. For minor reactions, your vet may recommend a dosage of an antihistimine, based on the weight and age of your dog. Major reactions will necessitate an emergency trip to the vet to prevent anaphylactic shock, which can be a fatal allergic reaction.
Tip #4: Avoid Future Stings
Most stings happen when bees or wasps are flying near the ground, within notice of your curious dog. When out walking, avoid allowing your dog to walk in areas with flowers. Even weeds, like flowering clover, can attract these insects, so it's best to stick to grass or pavement. Check your own backyard for wasp and bee nests. Wasps, especially, like to build nests on the underside of the eaves or a patio overhang, so remove these promptly. Cordon off garden areas to keep your dog out, and keep the grass clipped so wildflowers are less likely to spring up and attract a busy bee.
If you have any further questions about what to do when your dog gets a sting, contact a company like Canal Road Animal Hospital.