You may have seen a news story over the weekend about a swarm of bees in Concord that is suspected of killing two dachshunds and stinging multiple people. While that was an unusual case in that the swarm came from a hive owned by an amateur beekeeper, we thought it important to share what to do in the event your dog is stung.
Trying to keep your pet from chasing after bees may be a difficult task.
If you notice your pet has been stung, the first course of action is to administer Benadryl at a dosage of around 1mg per pound of the pet’s body weight. It is important to make sure that the product you buy is Benadry without any additives, such as a decongestant. Benadryl’s generic name is diphenhydramine.
If you notice swelling in the face or body, but no vomiting or diarrhea, you should still bring your pet to the veterinarian. There they might be treated with Benadryl and a quick-acting steroid. Doctors will want to keep watch for at least an hour to make sure the swelling is decreasing.
If at any time after being stung, your pet starts to vomit or have diarrhea, s/he should be brought to the vet immediately. “That is a sign of an impending anaphylactic reaction,” said Dr. April LeBlanc, a veterinarian in the emergency department at SAGE Dublin.
While anaphylaxis as a result of a sting is less common than more mild reactions, it does occur and can cause difficulty breathing and collapse.
Once brought to a veterinarian, a pet suffering an allergic reaction may be treated with IV fluids, multiple doses of steroids, epinephrine, and/or injectable gastrointestinal medications as needed. Doctors will also take blood work and monitor kidney values and other organs. A typical hospitalization for a reaction lasts 12-24 hours. More time may be required if changes in organ function have been diagnosed.
We can’t expect our pets not to stop and smell the roses, so knowing what to do in the event of an emergency is beneficial.