One common characteristic of dogs is that they have great reflexes. Their unmatched reflexes particularly exist around their mouths. Although these reflexes have gains, they also present risks. For instance, dogs sometimes grab bees with their mouths and eat them. Has your dog ever eaten a bee? What was your experience? Most people panic when they discover their dog ate a bee. Next time that happens, don’t tremble. Keep reading to discover what you should do after your dog has been stung or has eaten a bee.
What Happens When Your Dog Grabs a Bee?
Assume your dog has grabbed a bee with its mouth. Naturally, the bee will try to defend itself. It does so by causing painful stings on your dog’s mouth. These stings have some effects. If your dog is allergic, the stings will cause severe effects.
The only problem with eating a bee is the stings. Serious health concerns such as indigestion will not arise. Digestion for the bee will happen like any other ordinary food. In a nutshell, your dog won’t get sick because of eating a bee. In certain scenarios, the eaten bee may release its venom in the dog’s body.
Facts About Bees’ Venom and Allergic Reaction
You should appreciate that bee stings are not poisonous but only venomous. There is a distinction between venom and poison (1). For instance, the poison gets into the bloodstream passively while venom gets into the bloodstream actively. Passive means that poison gets in after digesting an organism containing it.
Actively means that venom can only get in by infusing it directly. While infusing, you may use things like syringes. Thus, when a bee releases venom into the dog’s body, it has no impact. You should not worry about a bee’s venom. Only worry if it creates allergic reaction to your dog.
You may classify a sting on your dog’s mouth as either minor or serious. The category you choose will depend on the severity of the symptom your dog exhibits. For dogs that are allergic, their stings will be serious. Whether a sting is minor or serious also depends on the dog’s immunity.
One of the clear characteristics of the minor bee and wasp stings is that they show mild symptoms. These symptoms include slight swelling. Dealing with minor stings isn’t hard.
The first step in dealing with minor bee stings is cuddling the dog. The purpose of cuddling the dog is to ensure it gets into a comfort zone. Dogs love affection. When you cuddle, you reassure them that you love them despite their pain. By cuddling, you are giving the dog some mental therapy.
Once you complete cuddling the dog, you should then remove the bees’ stinger. Stingers are present only if a honeybee is responsible for the sting. When removing the bee’s stinger, be cautious. This is to avoid causing more pain and extracting more venom from the bee stings.
To remove the stingers, you ought to use a credit card or anything with similar shape and material. Using the credit card, scrap gently on the affected area. Do not rush. If the stingers are taking time to get out, consider taking breaks. Patience is a crucial virtue when removing stingers.
Refrain by all means from using tweezers. Tweezers will end up causing a release of more venom in a dog’s body. Some people remove the stingers by pulling them out or by pinching them. Pulling the stingers out is a wrong technique as it only adds the dog more pain.
After removing the stingers, you ought to soothe the area bitten by the bee. To soothe the bee sting, apply water and baking soda. Be hundred percent sure that the sting is from a bee before applying backing soda. If you err and a wasp is responsible for the sting, that may have some serious consequences.
Bee stings work well with baking soda since they are acidic. Baking soda is alkaline. Adding baking soda to the sting neutralizes that acidity. If the sting is from a wasp, then it is alkaline. Adding alkaline baking soda will only aggravate the problem. If you aren’t sure what caused the sting, don’t use baking soda.
Lastly, consult your vet on whether you should administer oral antihistamines. Administering oral antihistamines is essential as it minimizes the probability of some allergic reactions, you can give your dog Zyrtec or Benadryl in most cases. Your veterinarian will tell you the correct Zyrtec or Benadryl dosage for dogs.
Mandatory Things You Must have to Care of Sting Bites
- Your credit card to get rid of the stings
- Water and baking soda to soothe the bitten area.
- Antihistamines for preventing allergic reactions
If your dog has a serious bee sting, you should seek immediate medical attention. Contact your veterinarian right away. You should know if a sting is serious if you observe the following symptoms.
1. Breathing Difficulties
If you observe any breathing difficulties or wheezing after your dog has been stung, contact a veterinarian immediately. Difficulties in breathing can be fatal if immediate medical attention is not sought. A vet will administer oxygen to the dog to boost its respiration.
2. Severe Swelling
If you observe abnormal swelling around your dog’s nose, head, neck, or mouth, then you should know immediately that the sting is serious. Severe swelling in these parts needs immediate medical attention. If left untreated, that swelling can cause breathing complications. Abnormal swelling around the throat area causes your dog to drool a lot. This is because the dog is having difficulties swallowing saliva.
3. Vomiting or Diarrhea
Some people ignore vomiting and diarrhea during these circumstances. However, that shouldn’t be the case as they may be warning signs that something serious is happening. If your dog is experiencing diarrhea or vomiting, it may also get dehydrated soon. In such cases, you may want to give your dog Pedialyte for the dehydration or consider giving your dog Imodium for diarrhea.
4. Depression, Lethargy, Sleepiness or Disorientation
Dogs that have abnormal reactions exhibit these signs. Check if your dog is alert. Are they stumbling as they move? Is the dog over anxious? If you see any of these symptoms, make a trip to the vet’s office immediately.
Always trust your gut feeling. If you feel that something is out of the norm, do not rush into making conclusions. Seek an expert’s opinion.
Tongue and Throat Bee Stings
Do not treat a bee sting that has occurred at the back of the dog’s tongue or throat normally. Such stings require you to seek the help of a veterinarian even if your dog is not allergic. A sting at the back of the tongue or down the throat has the potential to block the airway. Airway blockage will cause breathing difficulties which can be fatal.
For serious stings, it is paramount to take care of what you feed your dog. What you feed it can either worsen or reduce its pain. During this period, give it wet dog food. Moist food will not hurt the gastrointestinal tract. Moist food is also easy for the dog to eat. Besides, give the dog fresh water to keep it hydrated.
Never Forget to Do the Following After You Are Sure Your Dog Has Eaten a Bee
1. Take Time Observing Your Dog
Dedicating time to observing your dog is the first step you should undertake after realizing your dog has eaten a bee. Observe if any symptoms or reactions will develop. Different dogs exhibit different symptoms and reactions.
For instance, dogs that are allergic to bee stings will show adverse symptoms and reactions. It’s important to appreciate that these symptoms and reactions may not show immediately. Some take few hours or even a few days to show.
2. Seek to Gather Vital Information
You cannot know how to deal with the problem if you don’t have an in-depth understanding of what took place. It is your understanding of the problem that informs your response.
For instance, it’s crucial you know when the dog ate the bee. You should also seek to establish the number of bees that the dog ate. Also, you should find out if the dog ate other insects besides the bees. If you have correct info at your fingertips, you can estimate the magnitude of the problem.
3. Shift Your Dog to Another Place
Keeping the dog at the same place will only increase the chances for the dog to eat more bees. Keep the dog away from that place until you are sure the bees are not there. If you have a wireless dog fence, you can set it so that your dog will avoid this area. Take your dog to a place that is convenient for you to examine its symptoms and reactions. When you shift your dog to another place, also get rid of the bees around. You may purchase a bee repellent, for instance.
4. Consult a Vet
Just to be entirely sure that your dog is safe, consult your vet. You may even take your dog for examination at the vet’s office.
Prevent Your Dog from Eating Bees a Second Time
If your dog has eaten bees before, you wouldn’t want a repeat scenario. How do you ensure that your dog won’t eat bees a second time? The best strategy to prevent a repeat is to ensure you keep bees away from your dog.
To keep bees away from your dog, get rid of plants that naturally attract bees. Sunflower and roses are examples of such plants. Also, make an effort to plant plants that will naturally repel bees. Bee repelling plants include rosemary and lavender. Besides the repelling plants, you may also buy commercial bee repellents.
You may also prevent your dog from eating bees a second time by diverting its attention. The probable reason why your dog thought about the bees is idleness. You can cure the attention problem by purchasing interactive dog toys.
1. What Happens If a Dog Eats a Bee?
If your dog eats a bee, the bee will most likely sting it as it tries to defend itself. These stings can be major or serious depending on the dog’s immune response, the strength of the breed, age, and whether the dog is allergic. Serious stings can exhibit symptoms such as swelling, breathing complications, and diarrhea. If your dog eats a bee and doesn’t show these signs, then the bee didn’t sting it. Also, eating a bee won’t make your dog sick as the bee is only venomous and not poisonous.
2. Is It Dangerous for A Dog to Eat a Bee?
Your dog will not get sick after eating a bee. That is because bees have venom and not poison. Venom has no impact on a dog’s body. The danger of eating a bee is that it causes stings. Although most are minor, some dogs develop serious stings that could be fatal. If especially a dog is allergic to bee stings, eating is dangerous.
3. What to Give a Dog That Ate a Bee?
If your dog has eaten a bee, you may give it oral antihistamines after consulting a vet. Oral antihistamines prevent serious allergic reactions. Consult your vet when administering so that you know the correct dose. Also, you should give the dog some freshwater. When giving it food, try to make it moist. Moist food will not hurt the gastrointestinal tract.
4. What Happens If My Dog Eats a Bumble Bee?
If your dog eats a bumblebee, it will most likely cause an allergic reaction. It will begin exhibiting signs such as swelling, pale gums, vomiting, and diarrhea. Breathing difficulties, hives, drooling, and whizzing are the other symptoms that may develop. If you see any of these symptoms, call your vet promptly. If you fail to observe any of these signs, it means the bumblebee died during digestion and didn’t cause a sting.
Eating a bee is a painful experience for a dog. Although your dog will not get sick, it may end up getting some painful stings. These stings bring discomfort and sadness to your dog. For allergic dogs, these stings may be serious.
You may end up worsening the pain if you don’t know how to handle the situation. Responding well to the situation will protect your dog’s health. Appropriately responding to the situation may save your allergic dog from the jaws of death. Where a situation exceeds your knowledge and experience, seek immediate expert assistance.