In the vast majority of cases, a single wasp or bee sting is completely harmless to a dog. Redness, swelling or soreness is common at the sting site, however this is nothing to worry about.
Some dogs, however, may be allergic, in which case the reaction can be more serious.
Wasp sting allergies
Wasps and bees inject venom, and just like humans, some dogs are hypersensitive to it and have an allergic reaction. If a dog is stung multiple times, the risk of allergic shock increases. Even a dog who wouldn't normally react can become ill if they encounter lots of aggressive wasps.
Symptoms wasp sting allergies
If you have an allergic dog, the reaction usually appears straight after the sting. Symptoms can include:
- Breathing problems
- Lots of swelling
- Severe itching or hives
Dogs are often stung in the face or mouth after being overly curious. This can cause swelling in the airways and make breathing difficult in which case you need to contact a vet urgently.
If your dog suffers multiple stings or is stung on the neck, keep it under close observation and contact a veterinarian immediately.
What to do if your dog is stung by a wasp
A "normal" sting usually does not need to be treated. Sometimes cold, such as an ice pack or a bag of frozen peas in a towel, can relieve pain and swelling.
It can be difficult to distinguish an insect sting from a snakebite. Contact a vet for advice if you suspect it may be a snakebite, as they need to be treated.
When should I contact the vet?
- If your dog is generally affected
- If your dog has breathing problems
- Severe swelling (especially in the face or neck)
- Vomiting and diarrhoea.
- For stings in the oral cavity and throat
- If your dog has previously had an allergic reaction
- If it is a puppy or an older animal that has suffered multiple stings
- If you suspect that the dog may have been bitten by a snake