Not too long ago Billie the Border Collie X had a bee sting during her walk in Schuster Park. Her owners noticed that she was bothered by something, but didn’t realise that she had been stung while she was playing.
Billie ate her dinner as usually and went out into the backyard to explore, but by the time she came back into the house she was so swollen she looked more like a Sharpei than a Border Collie!
She had been stung on the leg, but due to an allergic reaction, her whole body had swollen up and her eyes had nearly swollen shut. Her owners were worried her throat might close and she would asphyxiate as well!
Her owners rushed her in to Pet Doctors Palm Beach, calling while they were on the way, and we were able to see Billie straight away. Shortly after arriving she was administered with a Histamil (antihistamine) and Dexamethasone (steroid) injection to counteract the allergy and the swelling.
The medications start working almost immediately and within an hour there was already a big difference in the size of Billie’s swollen body. Finally getting relief meant that Billie was also able to calm down after such a stressful situation. In fact, it is common that after such an episode and the effect of medication that most dogs will become very lethargic and will possibly be quite thirsty. Make sure you provide plenty of fresh water to the patient.
Swelling in dogs from bee stings is fairly common. Recognising the signs of a bee sting allergy will make a lot of difference in how you can handle the situation.
Key signs include:
• Excessive drooling
• Swollen eyes
• Swelling of the face, muzzle, and other body parts
• Noisy breathing (stridor)
NOTE: In the case of severe allergies we may suggest giving your dog Benadryl, but it is always important to talk to us before you administer any human medication to your dog or cat as we can advise you on what is safe and what quantity will be required.
In most cases, dogs will not go into anaphylaxis, but for those that do we require that they have a stay in our hospital ward where they can be monitored and given an IV drip and medication if needed. Most patients are able to go home with their families once steroids and antihistamine reduces their symptoms. We advise that all owners keep a good eye on their pet following their recovery and give them plenty of rest.
If your dog has been stung by a bee, keep an eye out for any swelling. If you start to notice any of the signs above contact your vet immediately.