Steps on How to Treat a Bee Sting on a Dog’s Paws or Muzzle

Most dogs love the outdoor, but unfortunately, there are insects such as bees which can attack them and endanger the lives of your fur babies. In reality, dogs stung by bees may result in fatality.

Spring is a great time to go out and enjoy the perfect outdoor weather. But it is also the season of pollination. Bees are pollinators,they are out there in force at springtime. Your dogs do not know that chasing these insects is dangerous to their health.

The Hymenoptera species include hornets, fire ants, wasps, and bees. If your dog is stung by bees, the most common symptoms range from mild swelling and pain to anaphylactic shock. The symptoms are due to a direct sting on your dog’s paw or muzzle. But in some cases, dogs eat bees.

Typically, a dog can be stung by a bee on its paws or muzzle. This is because of the innate nature of a dog to smell anything new. If this happens, let me teach you how to handle bee sting on a dog.

Has my dog been stung by a bee? (Signs)

  • The first manifestation of a bee sting is swelling and redness. On the face of your pooch could be some red spots. If the paw is affected, your dog may show signs of limping.
  • Your dog will begin to scratch incessantly and will chew the affected area.
  • Some dogs may cry as a sign of distress.
  • Dogs will find it hard to breathe in severe cases, and vomiting may occur.

The moment you see some of these physical manifestations, take your dog to the Vet right away to avoid complications brought about by bee-stung.

How can you treat bee sting on your dog? (Steps to do)

  1. If the insect that bit your dog is identifiable, it is possible to have the proper therapy instantly. The possible “predators” can be found in the field.
  2. It is quite easy to identify if the cause of the discomforts of your dog are bees because, bees leave some stingers on their victims.
  3. Once you are sure that your dog is stung by a bee, remove the stingers right away. These stingers keep on releasing venoms on your dog’s body. By removing the stingers, you decrease the toxins that are injected in your dog’s body.
  4. In case you find it hard to remove the stingers, you can use your credit card. Scrape the stingers off from your dog’s coat using your credit card. It is not advisable to use a tweezer as it can squeeze in more venom to your dog’s body.
  5. Now the next step is to make a soothing paste out of baking soda mixed with water. Apply this paste on the affected area and leave for about 30 minutes or longer.
  6. However, if your dog has been stung in more than one area, I suggest that you bathe your dog with an oatmeal bath to reduce swelling. Just grind some oatmeal and add it on a tub filled with water.
  7. If asking soda or oatmeal is not available in your pantry, get an icepack, and place it on top of the affected areas for ten minutes. You can also soak a towel in ice-cold water and then wrap the towel around the body of your dog.
  8. Take your dog to a Vet for a prescription for anti-histamine medicines.
  9. It is also important that you refrain your dog from scratching the affected area for faster healing. If you cannot stop your dog from doing so, buy a head cone.
  10. Staying hydrated and eating the right food is essential for recovery from a bee sting. Freshwater must be available at all times. If your dog is in a dry food diet, shift to canned food. Dogs stung by a bee may find it difficult to chew, so it is recommended to change to a moist diet.

When is a bee sting serious?

Not all dogs are hypersensitive to a bee sting. The severity of the dog’s reaction depends on the immune system of the dogs. Reactions like allergy usually manifest 20 minutes after getting stung by a bee, but in some cases, manifestations are seen an hour after. So vigilance is of importance to save lives.

A single bee sting may not be a life-threatening condition. It is the multiple bee stings that require hospitalization.

Some dogs may show a severe reaction to bee sting like anaphylaxis, which is a form of a severe allergic reaction. Here are some of the manifestations of an anaphylaxis shock:

  • Itching and redness of the affected area/s- an inflammation in the head and neck area can lead to respiratory problems.
  • Hives- red bumps that can be found in the skin. Hives can irritate skin and cause a skin disease
  • Diarrhea- can lead to dehydration and if not treated, can result to death
  • Vomiting- dehydration can also be a complication
  • Too much drooling-there could be an inflammation in the throat area and this lead to loss of appetite
  • Rapid heart rate- can lead to cardiac arrest
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Agitation- the venom can cause problems in the nervous system
  • Seizure-can lead to death
  • Coma

If any of the above are manifested by your dog, do not delay a visit to your Vet. These are serious complications brought about by a bee sting.

In case your dog is suffering from anaphylaxis shock, your dog will be given doses of adrenaline and antihistamine through an injection. You will have to leave your dog in the Veterinary hospital as it is needed to prevent dehydration and drop in its blood pressure. This can be a terrifying situation, but with immediate medical attention, your dog should be able to survive an anaphylaxis shock as caused by a bee sting.

What to do with multiple bee stings on your dog?

Here are the usual signs of multiple bee stings on your dog: numerous bites, swelling and pain, heavy panting, hyperthermia in which the dog’s body temperature reaches up to 107 degrees, and muscle tremor.

No medicine can counteract the toxins from numerous bee stings. Thus, treatment revolves around supportive care for the dogs. This can be life-threatening as the kidneys can get affected. The kidneys can go into complete renal failure as a result of hyperthermia and trauma from the muscles.

If the muscles get damaged, a muscle enzyme called myoglobin is released to the bloodstream. The kidneys metabolize this enzyme, but too much of it results in kidney damage. The most common symptom is dark brown urine colors and high levels of creatinine.

Your dog will be hospitalized for a few days as various procedures need to be done. For instance, hydration through intravenous fluids, pain medication, and continuous blood examinations.

In some cases, a dog’s tongue or mouth can also be stung by bees. This is also life-threatening as it can cause severe pain and discomfort to your dog. Your dog won’t be able to eat, and the breathing is affected. If this happens again, do not delay a trip to your Vet!

Other results of a bee sting on a dog

There are cases wherein dogs die due to multiple instances that they have been stung by bees. This is referred to as envenomation. It is an immune-mediated secondary hemolytic anemia or IMHA. This happens when dogs are stung on numerous occasions, and as a result, there is a significant decrease in the levels of their red blood cells. If diagnosed, a blood transfusion may be necessary.

Killer Bees

These are not the common bees that you normally see in your backyard. These killer bees are referred to as Africanized killer bees – a crossbreed between the western honeybee and the Iberian honeybee. It is first bred in Brazil to increase the production of honey. However, swarms managed to flee from quarantine and migrated as far as Central American, Southwest and in Florida.

These killer bees are hostile and can chase dogs that run around. If they are annoyed, they can attack the victim in swarms. Thus, in most cases, the dog can have multiple bee stings, which are very dangerous.

How to prevent bee sting on a dog?

If you want to take out your dog for a walk, check the surroundings first. Check for hives in trees as well in secluded ground areas. In case you found one, do not take out your dog. If you found the hive in your backyard, call a professional insect terminator. If you will go out in public parks, make sure also that there is no history of dogs being stung by bees in that area.

As they say, a pound of prevention takes a long, long way!


Dogs, by nature, are very playful. They love to run around outdoors. But as a fur parent, take extra care when you see bees which are prevalent at springtime. Though a single sting from a bee may not pose any danger, but multiple bee stings can risk the life of your dog. Always consult a Vet regardless if it is just a single sting. Each dog has different reactions, and because of this, a trip to a Vet will save the life of your fur baby.

Related tip: Scorpion Stings to Your Dog? Symptoms Treatment and Prevention

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