Last Modified on Dec 07, 2012
Do you know how you would react and what action you would take if your pet was stung by a bee? It's hard to say what you would do because if it has never happened to your pet, you would have no way of knowing exactly how they would react to the situation. But just like humans, many pets are allergic to bee stings and it's frightening to think about what could happen if you did not act quickly.
Let's go through a few options for treating that bee sting based on some different scenarios.
Your first priority should be to remove the stinger from your pet, as it will be left behind. Even though the bee has gone it is possible that the stinger is still seeping poison into your pet so you want to remove it as soon as possible. Use something with a bit of a sharper edge to scrape the stinger free from the skin.
Your next step is to ensure that your pet is breathing properly. The poison from a bee sting can cause a pet to go into anaphylactic shock and you will know the signs of it if your pet appears weak, is trembling, vomiting, has diarrhea, is breathing quickly, wheezing, has pale gums, fever or actually collapses. Hopefully this situation does not present itself, but if it does time will critical at this point and you will want to get your pet emergency help immediately. During this time make sure you keep your pet warm and help to keep him or her conscious by putting some Karo Syrup or Honey on their gums.
If the scenario we just discussed does not occur it is still likely that the sting will result in some swelling. If so, there are a number of things that you can do to help reduce the swelling and relieve your pet of its discomfort. You can use an over the counter antihistamine by administering 1 milligram for every pound of body weight, so a ten- pound animal would get about 3/4 of a teaspoon. You can also dab the antihistamine directly onto the site of the sting. You will probably need to repeat the dose every six to eight hours.
You can also sooth your pet's pain by administering a cold pack to the affected area for approximately ten to thirty minutes several times a day. Or another option is to make a Baking Soda Poultice. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste and dab the mixture onto the swelled area. This could be a little bit messy if you are treating an area with thick or long hair so you may want to trim the area a bit beforehand.
[YEA] 02/23/2009: Tamara from Tucson, AZ: "My pit bull was snapping at bees yesterday, little did I know she had eaten 9 of them. Her face swelled up, and she vomited. Unfortunately, she is allergic to benedryl. I keep prednisone on hand for her because of the allergy, and also gave her a high dose of apis mellifica homeopathic remedy .
I probably could have just used the apis, but panicked!! Don't discount apis mellifica even for bee sting allergies. I have a friend who is allergic to bee stings who decided to try it for a bee sting (keeping her epi pen at the ready) and the apis mellifica homeopathic remedy worked! No side effects! ( I read that epinephren side effects can be made worse if on maoi's) I will always have apis mellifica in the house, and I hope that the prednisone tip is useful to anyone who has pets or people allergic to benedryl.
Anyhoo, we circled the emergency vet block in the car for an hour until I was sure the swelling was down, then we went home. Everyone fine."
[YEA] 08/23/2008: Cindy from Wichita, USA: "I always keep high potency Apis Mellifica homeopathic remedy on hand. My daughter is allergic to bee stings.
Natural remedies for animals seem to fly in the face of those who claim they only work as placebos.
Shake some unprocessed sea salt into the pooch's water. Domestic animals are notoriously salt deficient. If you know of someone who has a pet with arthritis, you can see the benefits of the watercure immediately. Just shake some sea salt in their water dish. I don't know if it's the salt or if it is the fact that they seem to drink more water if it has a pinch of salt in it, but it works. The "placebo effect" claims so often used against natural remedies won't hold up against a dog that is cured of arthritis or a child cured of asthma."
05/30/2012: Heather from Tualatin, Oregon replies: "My dog is allergic to bee stings and goes into anaphalactic shock. Does anyone know if Apis mellifica will help for this???"
09/12/2012: Bjb from Dundas, Illinois replies: "I only know our Schnauzer almost died. Generic allergy medicine fir children works. Plus at the time it happened 4 years ago I shook him gently and blew in his mouth and nose. I didn't see the stinger in his nose untill several hours later. Of course we called the vet. Closed of course.. But he returned my call.. He suspected pesticide poisioning.. His symptoms we dilated eyes unresponsive head lulled back. I thought he was dead.. We live in the country no pet emergency places. But we do have a good vet. On the safe side I give him dyphenhyidrmine am and pm 1 mg per pound of weight. And I also have an injectable type of same allergy med. But thank the good LORD JESUS I have never had to use it. I was told honey bees are the only bee that leaves stinger in host? i am not familar with the drug you say you used.. Hope this helps."
07/16/2009: Health Nut from Los Angeles, Ca: "My little Yorkie got stung on one of his front paws a couple of months ago and he was hurting and unable to walk on it. I quickly got online in search of a home remedy, being that the vet's office was closed at the time. Anyway, someone suggested making a baking soda paste and to rub it on the infected/swollen area. I made the paste using 1 tsp. baking soda and 1 tsp. water (my dog is only 4lbs. so I didn't need so much). As long as you use equal parts 50/50 you should be fine. Well let me say that it worked! Within a couple of hours the swelling was not only down but gone and my little guy was able to happily trot around again."Replies
[WARNING!] 03/06/2011: Alec from Paso Robles, Ca replies: "Wanted to let everyone know that the baking soda might work well, however you must make sure that your dog can't lick it off. Our 6 month old puppy pulled the sock covering his paw off and licked all the baking soda mixture off. He vomited 4 times due to the mixture. Benedryl worked well at 1mg per pound. Be careful with the baking soda."
[YEA] 01/17/2010: Roxy from Santa Maria, Ca: "Thank you for the comments re: treatment at home for bee sting.When I saw our boxers face swollen I immediately called his vet but unfortunately they were just getting done for the day and said for me to take him to the er. I didnt think it was a life threatining situation as I am a nurse and Lu my boxer was breathing normal. When I mentioned to the staff what his status was"swollen right side of the face and some bites or stings on his right side thigh" they suggested it could possibly be that he was stung by a bee...multiple stings by the way. Im glad I researched a home remedy and gave it a shot I used the baking soda with water made it thick enough where it was more like paste. I also smashed the 25mg Benadryl (2) and placed it in his food...worked wonderfully within 20 minutes. Thanks for the website and your tips ..hopes it works for others."Replies
09/19/2012: Larry from Elkin, Nc. Usa replies: "My Pit got Stung in his left foot 2 times and I was starting to Panic from the way he was acting and I looked up home remedies on Earth Clinic and I gace him Liquid Benadryl and within 30 mins he was doing better. Thanks to everyone that post on here. My Duke is very Special to me and I would be lost without him. God Bless you all."
[YEA] 08/11/2009: Lou from Bound Brook, Nj: "I was baby sitting my daughters 1 year old Brittney Spaniel, he got stung by a bee above the eye.Your info was very helpful. I gave him half a Benadryl he weights about 25 lbs. It seemed to calm him and the golf ball size swelling around his eye went down in a couple of hours. He didn't like the baking soda paste to much but it also seemed to help.Thanks again, my daughter will be home from work any minute and all is well."Replies
01/05/2011: Elaine from Prince Albert, South Africa replies: "The breed is a Brittany Spaniel."
[YEA] 10/18/2009: Elizabeth from Bakersfield, California: "bee sting remedies for dogs
Last night my 2 yr old mixed breed (wire haired doxie and traveling salesman) stepped on a bee and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I did think about anaphylatic shock so watched for that. I googled the problem and got your web site and benadryl was suggested. I had some benadryl tabs so crushed one ( 1/2 of a 25 mg) up and mixed it with peanut butter - WA-LA it worked he slept like a log! This AM I gave him another 1/2 as his little paw was kind of swelled and he was licking and nibbling at it. I did get the stinger out last night. Thank you!"
[YEA] 08/05/2009: Lori from Scottsburg, Indiana: "My Basset Hound Jethroe was either stung or got into some fire ants he is very nosy when outside gave him Benadryl and it really worked"
06/04/2009: Sarah from Racine, Wi: "My 4 yr old black lab "Bela" was playing in the backyard when i noticed her mouth looked extra big (she always has a ball in it) and that her eyes looked a little swollen. At first it didn't seem to bother her but when she dropped the ball and shook her head i figured action was needed. In the past I've had to give my big old dog benedryl for her allergies and actually still had some. The peanut butter worked like a charm!! Thanks for the site"
[YEA] 06/01/2009: Chris from Mt. Albert, Ontario, Canada: "Dog bee/wasp sting on Springer Spaniel's eye: I Notice my dog Heidi, had a red swollen eye~upper lid, I immediately gave her 25mg Benadryl caplet, got a towel with cool water, wiped eye down sideways to ensure no stinger left behind, applied towel with ice cubes to calm down dog from scratching and panicking gave her some ice cubes to eat as to cool her throat from swelling, within 25 minutes she was calm, eye of course still swollen, but sleeping without her eye throbing anf bothering her, this is the second time its happened the first time she was a puppy, I rushed her to the emergency vets (of course after hours - regular vet was already closed and the cost was over 200.00 dollars, it was quite a shock, they said they gave her a needle to immediately effect the sting reaction to her face from swelling even more - she looked like some sort of alien dog...it was just awful (something out of the movies, the vets also at the time suggested I go out and buy - benadryl and give to the pup 1 caplet of benadryl 25 mg for the next 5 days (they wil get diareahia of course) but that is normal. Great news for anyone that wants to save the cost of around $200.00 Canadian dollars - This time, I knew what to do and believed that the benadryl is fast and good enough to calm down and get fast results - keep it handy at all times when you have pets! I am so relieved that I knew what to do this time. Thank you! Saved the dog and money that needs to go for other bills...........take care and good luck!"
[SIDE EFFECTS] 05/22/2009: Eobie01 from Collinsville, Illinois: "I took my 4 year old boxer to the emergency vet clinic, she had hives on her legs and back, she was panting a lot, her tummy was a little red, and when she walked her feet kept coming out from under her and she would just stretch it out. We told the vet all of these problems and she said that it was most likely caused by a bit or sting of some sort. Now Bailey our boxer has been stung before and was given a steroid shot and some benadryl and had no side effects. This time it is different (just to let you know they gave her 2ml of benadryl and 4 cc Dex S/P). We took her to the vet at around 9pm and we left there at 9:30pm. When we got home we let her outside and she seemed fine, then we went to bed. I was up watching tv and she just started to pant and breathe kind of funny, then she started to whine. I just laid there with her for a little bit to see if it would go away and after about 30 min I called the vet to let them know what she was doing. They said that this was a side effect of benadryl. At the time of first writing this it was 1am. Now it is 5:12am and I have been up all night with her. All night she was pacing and laying down and was trying to get comfortable but couldn't. A few times she would put her head under the bed or she would sit up and just stare. And all the while she would start to whine again. Now she is pacing from our bedroom out to the hallway and she just got sick. I am going to be calling the vet first thing in the morning. I don't like what I have seen."Replies
04/10/2011: Sierra from Ofallon , Il, Usa replies: "Hello, (I HAVE A PUPPY DOING THE SAME THING I LIVE A TOWN AWAY)
I seen you are from Collinsville IL I live in Ofallon IL. I have a 6 month old blue pit Lex, there stories are just alike she got stung by something outdoors playing in the yard. This happened a week and a half ago and as of Sunday night she got deathly ill. I took her to the vet BAC right away after her coming indoors and I noticed her face was swollen like a baloon. I never seen anything like it so I panicked, they gave her the same shot as your dog recieved. The swelling went away her breathing was irregular and she seemed restless at first, I then kept up a benadryl regimen for a few days she seemed to be okay but on Sunday evening she started having a sneezing fit at about midnight.
The next day I thought she was just tired, so I had someone watch over her while I had to run errans. By thew time I returned home at noon she could walk and looked disoriented. My first thoughts was she either got parvo or kennel cough from her vet visit, but after having her on antibiotics for 5 days, I disagree with both the above she has never had diarhea or vomitting, I am positive it wasnt parvo I have dealt with it before.
I am so clueless as to what to think or do. Today she is just still tired and really weak she eats and drinks now but me and my bf have tried everything to get her to walk. Things such as therapy and she has no interest in trying, she whines all night, if I try to move her she yelps, she had the hives as well. May I ask what ended up happening to your puppy, there stories are identical and with us living so close together I just find this really weird. Any response would help me to get closer to her recovery or diagnosis, I dont have the money for the vet to run all the test they want to. Thank you so much I would really appreciate anything you would like to share."
[YEA] 04/15/2009: Jeanie from Chesterfield, MI, USA: "I tried the Benedryl on my 6month old 3 lb Yorkie... so far she is doing well, I was so worried because she is soooo tiny!! I called the vet, and she said use Benedryl, but because of her age and size they said use liquid childrens Benedryl at only one half ml per pound. It seems to be working for her!!! Thanks!!"
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] 02/10/2009: Vic from Hong Kong, HK SAR: "Thanks for the reassurance your site has given me. After my 3 yo 25kg Husky apparently got stung by a tropical bee and the advice from an emergency vet clinic was to use antihistamines, he seems to have less irritation and anxiety. Time will tell to see if the swelling goes down and he gets back his energy. 8mg of drug have chilled him out a whole lot."
[YEA] 01/10/2009: Desiree from Portland, OR: "Benedryl has been shown to cause premature dementia (not that dementia is a normal part of aging). I wouldn't say it is not harmless. I don't recommend anyone take it on a regular basis. I read this in a report about 10 years ago. I can't believe this information is still not mainstream and so many people are still using it."
[YEA] 09/11/2008: Kay Amante from Montague, Michigan: "My husband took Jack our 2yr old Great Dane into our woods. Jack found a yellow jacket nest and was stung about 80 times in the face, neck, & back. He had really bad swelling all over. His head and mouth were the worse. He couldn't breath properly, and he was in a lot of pain. So I looked up dog bee stings on the internet and I was sent to this site. I gave Jack benadryl the dose someone on Earth clinic had recommended. It really took the swelling down on his head and made it so he could breath right again. Now Jack is sleeping like a baby and not crying anymore. Thank you for your help!"
[YEA] 08/21/2008: Dave from Lyndeborough, NH: "Our dog Trevor, a 3 year old, 80 lb Walker Hound, was stung today by bees or wasps at least 80 times all over his head, face and legs. He was in massive pain and his face and neck swelled up very very big while he rubbed his face all over the ground and then all over the rug trying to make it stop. He would not let me put ice or cold peas anywhere near him, so I dumped some ice water over his head, much to his chagrin. Fortunately, his breathing stayed pretty normal, a little fast and a little shaky but probably mostly from pain and being frightened. I had to take his collar off, the swelling of his neck was making it hard to breathe. But his airway stayed open, he did not wheeze or collapse, and I gave him 3 25mg benadryls in peanut butter to help the swelling and pain. He seems okay now, just drowsy, and the swelling is subsiding thanks to the benadryl. I think if he had been more allergic to bees, that many stings would have killed him very quickly."