Here’s what to do if your cat or dog gets stung by one of these common insects like as bee.
Cats and dogs tend to stick their noses into all sorts of nooks and crannies. It’s in their nature to be curious, and spending lots of time outdoors in the summer brings plenty of new sights, sounds, and smells to investigate.
Unfortunately, their curiosity can sometimes get them into trouble… especially if they cross paths with a tiny buzzing, stinging creature who doesn’t want to be disturbed.
A bee sting might not sound so bad to you, but it can be extremely painful for your pet—and in some cases, it could even threaten their life. Every pet owner should know what to do if their cat or dog is stung by a bee, just in case an angry wasp decides to take a stab at disrupting your summertime fun.
We all know that animals love to explore, but their curiosity can get them into trouble. Sometimes, that trouble comes in the form of something tiny… like a bee. While bee stings are no big deal to us humans, they can be excruciating for your pets. Here’s what you need to know in order to handle this situation if it arises.
The first thing to remember if your pet is ever stung by a bee is actually the same advice you’d give to a human patient: don’t panic! It’s only a bee sting. There are a variety of treatments for it, but if you panic, things will only get worse—and your pet might become distressed.
The sting will cause some pain and localized swelling, so it’s important to keep your pet calm. This is much easier said than done. Unfortunately, you can’t explain to your pet what’s happening. Holding them gently and speaking to them in a calming tone will hopefully prevent them from reacting to what they’re feeling.
For most animals, the swelling should start to decrease on its own after about 24 hours. It might be a stressful 24 hours, of course, because your pet doesn’t realize what’s happening to them. Still, relief is only one day away, so do your best to soothe them as much as possible.
Unfortunately, just like with humans, some pets may have an allergic reaction to the sting. You won’t know if they’re allergic or not until the sting actually occurs, but you need to be ready for any sort of outcome—and to act appropriately.
If your pet is allergic, you’ll be able to tell immediately because they’ll quickly develop specific symptoms in addition to swelling. These include hives, pale gums, and trouble breathing. Be on the lookout for these symptoms, because you’ll need to be prepared to make a trip to the veterinarian.
These initial symptoms could devolve into major swelling, vomiting, and anaphylactic shock. If you see any of this behavior in your cat or dog, don’t hesitate—bring them to a vet immediately! Time is not on your side, and the longer you wait, the more serious the symptoms can become.
However, if your pet only seems to be showing minor swelling, you can treat the bee sting right at home. A cold compress on the affected area will usually relieve some of the pain, though you’ll want to keep an eye on the symptoms to make sure they don’t become worse.
You most likely won’t see your pet get stung in the first place, but if they yelp or start to lick a certain area, check it out to see if a pesky insect could be the culprit. Paws and noses are the most common areas for a bee sting, since that’s what animals use to investigate curious-looking things like bee’s nests.
You can also have your pet tested for bee allergies in advance. It’s not that expensive, and it can save you a whole lot of stress. This way, you have as much information as possible if an emergency does arise.
Finally, remember that a cat or dog who’s been stung will probably be confused and scared. Do your best to remain calm—they can detect stress, after all—and try to comfort them as much as possible.
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