If your dog's trek into the woods resulted in some bee stings, you'll need to provide some basic first aid. Bee stings can be quite painful, which means your dog is going to be looking to you for comfort and pain relief. Here are some steps you should take to help treat the stings and relieve the discomfort.
Remove the Stinger
If your dog has met the business end of a bee, the first thing you should do is remove the stinger. If your dog has short hair, you should be able to spot the stinger easily. However, if your dog has long hair, you'll need to divide the hair into sections to locate the stinger. Once you've located the stinger, carefully remove it using a pair of tweezers. If you don't have access to tweezers, you can carefully scrape it away using the edge of a credit card or fingernail file.
Put the Sting on Ice
Once the stinger has been removed, you can start working on the inflammation. In most cases, the bee venom will cause minor to moderate inflammation that can make your dog uncomfortable. Place several ice cubes in a resealable plastic baggie and place the baggie directly on the wound site. If you don't have access to ice, you can soak a cloth in cold water, wring it out well, and then place it in the freezer for several minutes. Apply the ice or cold compress to the site for 10 minute intervals until the swelling goes down.
Apply Baking Soda
Bee stings can cause pain and itching. You can help minimize the discomfort by neutralizing the bee venom. To do that, you'll need to apply a baking soda poultice to the affected area. Place 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a small bowl and add enough water to form a thick paste. Apply the paste directly to the bee sting. Repeat the application several times a day for the first 24 hours.
See the Vet
If your dog is allergic to bee venom, it may have a severe reaction to the sting. If your pet shows signs of severe reaction, you should take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Here are some signs that you should be aware of:
- Difficulty breathing
If your dog has been bitten by a bee, it's going to be uncomfortable for a while. Use the first aid tips provided here to help alleviate your dog's discomfort. And be sure to see your veterinarian or visit a local animal hospital, such as Center-Sinai Animal Hospital, if your dog's condition worsens after the bee sting.