Health & Wellness

Treating Your Dog for Bee Stings and Bug Bites

Dogs are very curious animals – you’ll often see them exploring unusual places. They tend to sniff below hedges, under the trash bins, and in nooks and crannies of our sheds and porches. Many of them love to dig in the dirt. Unfortunately, these areas are home to many insects that wouldn’t hesitate to bite unsuspecting, curious visitors. Eventually, this adventuresome behavior will lead to your dog getting bitten by some type of insect. Although insect bites are normally not as alarming as many other conditions, it is important to bear in mind that some bites can cause numerous reactions and allergies to your dog. That’s why it’s critical for dog owners to understand the kinds of bites and the various symptoms they might display in our pets.

Bite Signs to Watch Out for

Insect bites on canines commonly include reactions such as eyelid, ear flap, or lip swelling. In some cases, the entire face of the animal gets puffed-up. If the dog is bitten on the mouth or nose, it may result in swelling that can cause the pet to have difficulty breathing. Another sign is urticaria, commonly known as “hives”, which are manifested as welts found on the skin. These bites are often itchy that may cause severe allergic reactions. The other indicators of insect bites are wheezing and weakness. Weak pulse, increased heart rate, and fever may also be observed. Severe bites can lead to cold extremities, trembling, diarrhea, vomiting, and even collapse.

Easy Home Remedies

Some insect bites are extremely irritating and painful to dogs. Others can be very dangerous. Below are some of the safe and effective methods you can try at home to treat insect bites.

When it comes to bee or wasp stings, you’ll first need to remove the stinger by scrapping it off with the use of a credit card or any similar stiff, flat object. Using tweezers to pull the stinger out of the skin is not recommended as it may cause the stinger to let loose of more venom, or can cause it to break. Bathe the bite site with a diluted solution made from baking soda and water to soothe and shrink the bumps and sores. Apply a cold pack for several minutes to help lessen the swelling and ease the pain. Even the application of aloe vera gel can be another option in soothing the pain as well as the burning sensation brought about by the sting.

In the case of insect bite irritation, spreading on some calamine lotion, milk of magnesia, or hydrocortisone cream can be helpful in relieving irritation. Applying regular or colloidal oatmeal on the bitten area can also be used as a natural alternative.

Another means involves mixing a teaspoon of Epsom salt in two cups of warm water, and then boiling it. Bathe the dog with this mixture to treat itchy and irritated paws and skin. Keep any unused solution in the refrigerator to preserve its freshness. And, for the hot spots on your pup’s skin, try saturating a cotton ball with witch hazel and then applying it to the affected area for several days.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Judy

    Jan 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    I had the unfortunate experience of having one of my two border collies, delighted to see me, wag his tail into the base of a friend’s beehive! Of course, hundreds of bees immediately swarmed my two dogs and myself. I got the dogs and myself into the lake (on the property) and then went about removing stingers that I could find … myself included, as I had been stung in the face around my eye and three stingers left in my brow and cheek.

    Having been told that my face was going to blow up like a basketball, I asked if the homeowner had Vitamin C, as that works as an anti-toxin and is water soluable, so quantities will flush from your system, taking the ‘bad toxins’ out, too. I dosed both my Border Collies with about 6,000 units of Vitamin C, and I took 10,000 units. (It was a Sunday and no vet clinics nearby or open, and doctor offices closed — this was back in the late ’80s.)

    Within 45 minutes of cold packs and the Vitamin C downed, I was back at the barbecue party. My dogs, I watched carefully for any signs of trauma from the stings. They showed none … but steered clear of the hives after that!

    I re-dosed the dogs with another 500 units of Vitamin C before bedding down that night and gave them plenty of water to flush the toxins out. (In layman’s terms, the Vitamin C matches up with the toxins and marches it out of the body … and it worked for the dogs, too.)

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