Dog got stung by a wasp: what to do?
The barbecue season is open! The warm months of the year lure you out into the fresh air. Extensive walks with your dog in fragrant flower meadows, sunbathing in the home garden and evening barbecues on the terrace are just some of the many possibilities in summer. A typical scenario: Your four-legged friend is frolicking in the garden, rolling happily and contentedly in the grass and sniffing the exciting flowers in the adjacent flower bed. Suddenly he yelps loudly in pain and runs frantically from side to side: Diagnosis insect bite! We explain to you the consequences of the painful stings on different parts of the body, how to act correctly and how you can prevent them.
Wasp sting in the dog paw: the symptoms
Especially when carelessly romping on natural fields, there is a high probability that a wasp, bee or hornet will sting your dog in the torso or in a paw. The undersides of the paws and the thin membranes between the toes are particularly sensitive, but an insect bite in the back or flank is also extremely painful for your furry nose. In addition to initial signs such as limping, sparing the affected paw, sudden laying down or hectic, consistent shaking, a wasp or bee sting leads to the following symptoms:
- Swelling at the puncture site
- Isolated wheals near the puncture wound
Our tip: To prevent insect bites in the paws, we recommend that you put a paw protector on your dog. This way he can romp on the lawn protected. It also helps if you take a closer look at the surroundings and, at best, prevent your dog from playing or rolling around near wasps' nests and beehives.
Wasp sting in mouth
Many dogs like to snap at insects and hunt playfully. If a bee feels strongly threatened or the wasp perceives this behavior as a provocation, they sting. The sting site can be on the nose, the outer lips or, in the worst case, in the mouth. If the insect stings the inside of the mouth, check immediately whether the wasp is still in the muzzle of your dog. Your dog will perceive the sting as a painful foreign body and may try to get rid of it by shaking his head vigorously. Common symptoms of a wasp sting or bee sting in the mouth are:
- Swelling of the injection site
- Swelling of the mucous membranes
- Shortness of breath
How you can best react in such an emergency situation, you will learn below in the section "First aid for dogs in case of wasp sting".
Dog swallowed a wasp or bee: what now?
It can be particularly dangerous if the sting is in the throat, respiratory tract or esophagus. It is essential to examine the throat and check whether the insect is still in the front part of the respiratory tract. In the case of a bee sting, you should remove not only the insect, but also the stinger from the sting site if possible. The following symptoms are usually very severe in your four-legged friend and can be life-threatening:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Shortness of breath
- Circulatory problems
Our tip: If you want to prevent your dog from chasing insects, start training early. As soon as your dog targets a wasp, bee, hornet or other insect, redirect his attention and reward your pet's correct reaction. Treats for reward should always be fed from the flat of your hand. Throwing the treats is more likely to encourage the fun of catching flying objects.
Allergy to insect venom: recognizing symptoms in dogs
Some dogs are allergic to wasp venom and bee venom. If your dog has never been stung by a wasp or bee, this may not be impossible for him. In addition to the symptoms already mentioned, the following changes in body functions, among others, indicate an allergic reaction:
- extensive swelling on the body,
In case of anaphylactic shock:
- Panic and fear
- Respiratory arrest
First aid on the dog for wasp sting
If your pet was stung by an insect, first check what kind of insect it is. In the case of stings in the mouth and throat, the insect is usually still at the spot of the sting and should be removed immediately. In the case of a bee sting, remove the stinger from the wound, as it may still contain bee venom. Now you can use the following simple home remedies for first aid:
- Place the cut half of an onion on the affected puncture site. If your dog is nervous and does not lie still, you can alternatively drip onion juice on the puncture wound.
- Apple cider vinegar or a mixture of vinegar and water are especially good for treating stitches on sensitive dog paws,
- With a cooling pad you create pain relief. Alternatively, a cooling quark poultice can also help.
Attention: In case of symptoms that go beyond a swelling of the puncture wound, contact your veterinarian. In the worst case, there is a danger of death!
Our tip: Before you start with the first aid measures, leash your dog at best, and go with him into a fenced area or into a closed room, because he may run away in case of shock or panic.
5 Tips for Emergencies: Taking the Dog to the Vet
If your four-legged friend's symptoms are severe or if you notice a sudden deterioration in your pet's health, drive to a veterinarian or animal hospital immediately. These are our 5 tips to make the trip as stress-free and safe as possible:
- Stay calm: Your excitement may transfer to your dog and, in the worst case, lead to additional stress. Therefore, try to act as calmly as possible.
- Call the vet: Make sure that there is no waiting time and that your dog can be treated immediately by calling the vet.
- Get a helper: A second person can monitor your dog while you drive or take the wheel if you are too nervous to drive.
- Keep airways clear: Put your dog in a stable lateral position and place the head in an open position to stretch the throat and keep the trachea straight.
- Warm body: In the event of anaphylactic shock and severe shaking, it is helpful to wrap your dog in a warming blanket, such as the aluminum foil from your first aid kit.
Conclusion: Insect bites are painful, but do not always pose a great danger to your four-legged friend. With the best possible prevention, sufficient know-how about the symptoms of a sting and the right initial treatment, you can enjoy the warm season with your dog.