Just like humans, dogs can also be allergic to bees. But unlike humans, your dog doesn’t understand that bees shouldn’t be bothered. Humans know the more you swot and irritate a bee, you increase the likelihood of getting stung. Your playful pup doesn’t know that pawing and nipping at a bee can earn him a sting on the nose – or worse, a trip to the veterinarian. If your furry friend is lucky enough not to be allergic to bees, all he’ll endure is a few minutes of mild pain at the site of the sting. And hopefully, a lesson learned – bees are not a playmate and are meant to be left alone. For those that are allergic, the reaction can be much worse. Below you’ll find a few good pieces of information that will come in handy if your dog does get a bee sting, how to identify if he’s allergic and steps you need to take to ensure his safety.
As mentioned, yes your dog can be allergic to bees among other things such as chicken, peanut butter and other dogs. Although, it’s important to remember that not all dogs have allergies and not all dogs will be allergic to bees. So, as an owner you’ll have to be diligent in recognizing the signs and symptoms of an allergic reaction and be prepared to take action if your pet is in duress. The signs you should expect to see in your pet if stung by a bee should be mild, such as:
- Running in circles
- Itching or rubbing the area
- Slight swelling
Those symptoms typically resolve quickly and confirm that he is not having an allergic reaction, but a typical reaction – similar to that of a human who is not allergic but experiencing the annoying pain of a bee sting. If those symptoms do not fade and in some cases start to get worse, that should be a sign to you that he may be allergic and further action is needed. Additional symptoms of an allergic reaction to bee stings may include:
- Severe swelling
- Difficulty breathing
- Collapsing or convulsing
- Lack of coordination or displaying confusion
If you take notice of any of the above symptoms, your beloved dog may be experiencing an allergic reaction and should be taken to the vet as soon as possible. This can be referred to as anaphylactic shock, which is a widespread and serious allergic reaction. If left untreated an allergic reaction such as this can have serious implications and can even be deadly.
Allergies in canines can be due to various things and are caused by their immune system trying to get rid of that particular substance or allergen. Allergens can be found anywhere from your environment to the food you, and your pets, eat. Dogs with weakened immune systems can be even more susceptible to allergies, such as those in poor health or old age. But, sometimes there’s not one root problem or cause for the allergy, just something that developed within their immune system and can’t exactly be explained.
Immediately after becoming aware that your dog was stung by a bee, no matter the reaction – your first step should be to try to remove the stinger. The stinger has venom on it and if removed quickly can reduce the chances that he experiences severe symptoms. After removing the stinger, monitor your pet for the signs and symptoms. If it comes to your attention that his symptoms are elevating and becoming more severe, be sure to get to your local vet or animal hospital for treatment. The vet and team should administer IV fluids, perform a complete physical exam and make sure he’s in stable condition. Additional tests and scans may be ordered to monitor heart rate and motor function.
Recovery & Prevention
If you were able to identify the signs of an allergic reaction and bring your pet to the vet right away, recovery is very positive and he shouldn’t experience any lasting symptoms of the bee sting. Your vet may also be able to identify other possible allergens or determine steps that you can take to enhance his health and immune system.
As for prevention – now that you’re aware of this allergy and potential health hazard for your dog, you can take steps to avoid a future incident. If you notice bees hanging around in a specific area of your yard, be sure to keep your pet away as much as possible. There are even some home remedies that you can try to steer the bees away from the yard or play area and reduce the chances of him being stung again. It’s also important to note that your vet can provide you with an EpiPen to administer in the event of another allergic reaction.