Bees and Wasps
Q. My dog loves chasing wasps and bees. Do these pose any risk to him?
A. As in people, some dogs can develop a severe allergic response to stings called Anaphylaxis, which can result in collapse and a state of shock, necessitating emergency treatment. Fortunately, these cases are rare.
Far more commonly the sting itself will be painful and the area will swell up shortly afterwards. Some dogs can erupt in “hives” (small bumps) all over their body, despite only being stung in one place. Wasp stings are alkaline so can be neutralised with vinegar, whilst bee stings area acidic, so sodium bicarbonate can be applied at the site.
Two areas are of special concern – around the eyes and the mouth and throat. Swellings in or around these areas are much more serious and can result in loss of vision or obstruction of the windpipe – again you must call your vet straightaway if you suspect that this has happened.
In extreme cases, emergency intravenous medication could be necessary to save your dog’s life.
It should be stressed, however, that most dogs will make much less fuss over a sting than any human!