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What are Bee Sting Allergies?

There are over 3,000 species of bees in the United States, so determining what kind of bee stung your dog may be important. However, if you do not see a dead body of a bee nearby, do not spend time looking for it. Unfortunately, some bees can send out an SOS to their other bee friends, so you need to take your dog and yourself to a safe place right away. After you are in a safe place, do your best to find the stinger and remove it because the stinger has venom on it. A bee sting allergy is much more serious than other types, like with food or inhaled allergens because it is more commonly associated with anaphylactic shock, which is a life-threatening emergency.

If your dog gets stung by a bee while you are around, you will likely hear a yelp of pain and your dog may go and hide somewhere. Since there are many kinds of bees and your dog cannot talk, you may want to get a look at the insect and call your veterinarian for advice on what to do. While bee stings are usually not dangerous on their own, if your dog is allergic to bees, it can be deadly. The signs will show up right away if your dog is allergic. Some of these signs are severe itching, swelling of the sting area, redness, hives, diarrhea, and even vomiting, collapse and difficulty breathing. If your dog has any signs of anaphylactic shock, you need to go to the animal hospital right away. Some of the signs of anaphylactic shock include breathing trouble, wheezing, blue tint to skin and mucous membranes, and collapse. You do not want to wait around trying to get an appointment if your dog cannot breathe. Whether your dog shows symptoms or not, you should take your dog to a veterinary professional as soon as you can just in case.

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Bee Sting Allergies Average Cost

From 482 quotes ranging from $350 - $800

Average Cost

$500

Symptoms of Bee Sting Allergies in Dogs

The symptoms of bee stings in dogs are usually mild unless they are allergic. If so, then your dog’s condition will quickly progress to an emergency and medical help is needed immediately. These symptoms are reported in dogs with allergy to bee stings:

  • Circulatory collapse
  • Cold limbs
  • Collapse
  • Convulsions
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Drooling
  • Excessive licking
  • Excitement
  • Facial swelling
  • Hives
  • Incoordination
  • Itching in areas like groin, ears, and muzzle
  • Mental confusion
  • Nausea
  • Pale gums
  • Paw biting
  • Restlessness
  • Runny nose
  • Salivation
  • Shock
  • Skin rash
  • Sudden defecation or urination
  • Vomiting
  • Watery eyes
  • Weakness

 Types

There are close to 3,500 bee species in North America and it is hard to tell the difference unless you are a professional. However, there are two main types of bees and wasps:

  • Solitary bees live on their own and do not associate with other bees. They do not usually sting anyone.
  • Social Bees are the most common and they include honey bees and bumble bees. They are the kind that build a nest together and will defend themselves, their colony, and their nests.
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Causes of Bee Sting Allergies in Dogs

The cause of bee stings is because dogs are naturally curious and playful. They like to chase and eat bugs, and when they catch a bee in their mouth they usually get stung. Some other causes are:

  • Stepping on a bee or wasp
  • Walking into a digger wasp nest (which is on the ground)
  • Owner “swatting away” a bee
  • Wasps that are aggressive (yellow jackets) will go after food or trash cans, and if your dog is in that area, they will attack
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Diagnosis of Bee Sting Allergies in Dogs

If your dog is having an allergic reaction, the veterinarian will not perform an examination or do laboratory tests until your pet is stable. The first course of action will be to administer injectable epinephrine, corticosteroids, and/or antihistamines. An intravenous line will be started for fluids, and oxygen will be provided but if your dog cannot breathe on his own, the veterinarian will insert a breathing tube.

Once your dog is stable, a physical examination will be done to check your dog’s general condition. The veterinarian will check skin condition, reflexes, condition of the eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, temperature, blood pressure, body weight, breath sounds, pulse, and respiration rate.  

Some laboratory tests that will be performed are urinalysis, fecal examination, glucose levels, and a complete blood count. The veterinarian will also want to do a chemistry profile to check the levels of liver enzymes, proteins, albumen, amylase and other substances that help determine the health of your dog’s internal organs. If any of these tests show an abnormality, the veterinarian may need x-rays, CT scan, MRI, or an ultrasound to get a closer look at the problem. An electrograph (ECG) or echocardiogram (echo) will be used to monitor your dog’s heart rate and muscle function.

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Treatment of Bee Sting Allergies in Dogs

The veterinarian will take a look at the injection site and make sure that you were able to remove the stinger and to check for more than one sting site. Along with the epinephrine, antihistamines, and steroids, the veterinarian will continue the IV fluids and oxygen therapy for about 24 to 48 hours. The length of treatment depends on your dog’s symptoms, test results, and reaction to treatment. While in the hospital, the staff will continue to monitor your dog’s heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen levels, and vital organ activity. The team will provide supportive measures if necessary, such as additional steroids, antihistamines, and administer antibiotics if the veterinarian thinks it may be necessary in order to prevent infection.

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Recovery of Bee Sting Allergies in Dogs

Recovery is excellent if you were able to get treatment for your dog right away. Now that you know your dog is allergic to bee stings you will have to take extra precautions when outside. To reduce the chances of bee stings in the future, be sure to keep your lawn cut short and watch out for bees. Your veterinarian will probably advise you to keep liquid antihistamine or an epinephrine pen (epi-pen) for your dog in case of another episode. Call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns as you learn about owning a pet with an allergy to bee stings.

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Bee Sting Allergies Average Cost

From 482 quotes ranging from $350 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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Bee Sting Allergies Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Mutt

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Six Years

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Unknown severity

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2 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Back Left Leg Muscle Swelling

Started Friday with him babying his back left leg then by Friday afternoon was acting fine. Was ok all Saturday until 1030 pm when he wouldn’t walk cause of the pain on his back left leg he will not limp he try’s to use it. Only place he is indicating pain is in the muscle on the back leg. Went to move his bed and found a bee with no stinger in his bed don’t know if this is the cause. This morning he will yelp when he walks but when he lays he will lay directly in the leg that is hurting him

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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2 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. It is possible that he has a strain or sprain, a muscle or ligament injury, or the bee sting. Unfortunately, without being able to see him, it isn't possible for me to localize what might be that cause. If he is still having trouble, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment.

Oct. 12, 2020

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Dachshund

dog-age-icon

Four Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Redness Itching

I think my doxie was stung by a wasp last night. His snout swelled a bit. I've given him benadryl, and have done so every 6 hours. He is now very red and itchy on his chest, and belly. He's warm to the touch. Temp is 103. He's developed a hot spot. I do have 5mg prednisone tablets that I can give him. He has had a medicated bath. We have been out of work due to COVID19, and afford a hefty vet bill. What else should I be doing for him?

Aug. 21, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question, I'm sorry your dog is having these problems. Unfortunately, I think he needs to be seen by your veterinarian. I do not think it will be a large bill, I think he just needs an examination and see what's going on with his skin. You have tried Benadryl, and it does not seem to be working, and he may need something stronger. I cannot advise giving any medication without seeing him I hope that all goes well for him and he feels better soon.

Aug. 21, 2020

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Bee Sting Allergies Average Cost

From 482 quotes ranging from $350 - $800

Average Cost

$500

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