Ask Dr. Chopper: Can You Tell Me About Bee Stings and Dogs


Do you know how you would react and what action you would take if your pet was stung by a bee? But just like humans, many pets are allergic to bee stings and it’s frightening to think about what could happen if you did not act quickly.

A few options for treating that bee sting:

Your first priority should be to remove the stinger from your pet, as it will be left behind. Even though the bee has gone it is possible that the stinger is still seeping poison into your pet so you want to remove it as soon as possible. Use something with a bit of a sharper edge to scrape the stinger free from the skin.

Your next step is to ensure that your pet is breathing properly. The poison from a bee sting can cause a pet to go into anaphylactic shock and you will know the signs of it if your pet appears weak, is trembling, vomiting, has diarrhea, is breathing quickly, wheezing, has pale gums, fever or actually collapses. Hopefully this situation does not present itself, but if it does time will critical at this point and you will want to get your pet emergency help immediately. During this time make sure you keep your pet warm and help to keep him or her conscious by putting some Karo Syrup or Honey on their gums.

If you pet has not had an allergic reaction there are a number of things that you can do to help reduce the swelling and relieve your pet of its discomfort. You can use an over the counter Benadryl (diphenhydramine) by mouth. Typical dosages: for cats and dogs under 30 pounds, give 10 mg…dogs 30 to 50 pounds, give 25 mg…dogs over 50 pounds, give 50 mg. Use only the plain Benadryl formula. You can also dab the antihistamine directly onto the site of the sting. You will probably need to repeat the dose every six to eight hours.

You can also sooth your pet’s pain by administering a cold pack to the affected area for approximately ten to thirty minutes several times a day. Or another option is to make a Baking Soda Poultice. Mix 1 tablespoon of baking soda with enough water to create a thick paste and dab the mixture onto the swelled area. This could be a little bit messy if you are treating an area with thick or long hair so you may want to trim the area a bit beforehand.

If a dog gets stung by bees, wasps and hornets, or bites from mosquitoes or other insects, these can not only be irritating and itchy, but painful as well. Although most stings or bites are not considered dangerous, you should keep an eye on it and if it doesn’t seem to get better in a reasonable time frame, or starts getting worse, please consult your Veterinarian as soon as possible.

Here are some suggestions you can use:

1. Benadryl – Benadryl for swelling and itching from the bee strings, etc.

2. Baking Soda – Make a “paste” using baking soda and a little water, and applied it on the swollen area. It helped soothe the pain and discomfort from the itching.

3. Ammonia – Dabbing the ammonia on the affected area, using a tissue or cotton ball, would help relieve the pain.

4. Milk of magnesia – Try applying a thin coat to the affected area several times a day. This medication contains magnesium hydroxide, which will ease the irritation and itch.

5. Meat tenderizer – meat tenderizer has enzymes that aid in breaking down the poison in insect stings. It also reduces the irritation. Make a paste using a little water and apply immediately to the sting, and keep re-applying as needed.

6. A leaf from the Aloe Vera plant – This is good for minor skin irritation. Break off a leaf and apply a thin coat of its gel to the affected area. This soothes the discomfort and relieves the irritation.

7. Apply a cold compress- If your dog will hold still long enough, try applying a cold compress. This helps with the swelling and eases pain. Try holding it on the affected area as long as you can.

8. Hydrocortisone cream – Hydrocortisone cream is recommended for bites, stings, and hot spots. Hydrocortisone Cream with Aloe is even better because Aloe soothes the pain.

9. Find the culprit – If stung by a bee, try to find where the stinger went in and remove it with tweezers. Getting the stinger out will prevent any added venom to enter the wound.


2 responses to “Ask Dr. Chopper: Can You Tell Me About Bee Stings and Dogs



  2. Thank you so much! My dog got stung by a bee on his paw and I had no idea what to do-then I looked it up and saw that cold compress remedy!

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