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What Do I Do if My Dog Is Stung by a Bee?

A honey bee.
In general, bee stings are not serious concerns for dogs.
Tweezers can be used to remove a bee's stinger from the body.
Applying a baking soda and water paste can dilute toxins and ease pain.
Applying an ice pack may help relieve swelling around a bee sting.
The dog may scratch the area of the sting, which can help to locate the stinger.
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  • Originally Written By: Shannon Kietzman
  • Revised By: Jessica Ellis
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 10 September 2014
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If your dog is stung by a bee, there are several steps to help reduce the pain, swelling, and risk of complications. When treated promptly, pain and discomfort can often be managed at home without any drastic measures. In order to ensure your dog's safety, assess the symptoms, provide appropriate home care, and seek immediate veterinary care if the condition worsens.

Assessing the Symptoms

For the most part, a bee sting is not a serious concern for a dog. Common minor symptoms include localized swelling, redness, and tenderness around the sting site. Serious symptoms can include extensive swelling throughout the body, hives, breathing problems, diarrhea, and shock. You should also check for multiple stings, as these may increase the chances of a serious reaction. If your dog has any serious symptoms, contact your vet immediately.

Removing the Stinger

The first thing you should do if your dog is stung by a bee is to locate the stinger. Dogs will often try to bite or scratch the painful area, which can help you determine where it might have been stung. Since stingers are usually translucent, they can be difficult to see at first. The area around the stinger may become swollen or develop a raised bump, so look at the center of such areas. If you still can't find the stinger, look at the area from a side angle rather than straight on to see if you can spot it.

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Once you've found the stinger, remove it with tweezers or use a credit card to scrape it out of the wound. Opinions vary as to which method is safest; squeezing the stinger may cause it to release more toxins, so it may be best to consult with a veterinarian regarding specific cases. Be careful not to break the stinger, as this can also release additional toxins into the wound. If you can't find the stinger or it's too hard to remove, a veterinarian may be able to help.

Treating Mild Symptoms

After you have removed the stinger, apply a paste made from baking soda and water over the entire swollen area. Make sure the paste is diluted enough to stick to the skin, but not too watery, or it may not work as well. Using baking soda can help even if the stinger cannot be removed, because the paste provides pain relief and dilutes any toxins that have been injected into your dog’s skin. Once the pain is neutralized, the dog will be less likely to lick or bite at the wound, reducing the chance that it will develop open sores or an infection.

You can relieve swelling around the sting by applying an ice pack or a bag of frozen food to the area. Wrap the pack in a dishtowel or place it in a plastic bag, since applying it directly to the wound may cause more pain. Since the cold of the ice pack can be uncomfortable for your dog, remove the pack after five or ten minutes and allow a ten minute break; alternate between ice and rest until swelling is reduced. Be sure to monitor your dog carefully for 24 hours to make sure no more symptoms develop.

If there is severe swelling or an outbreak of hives after your dog is stung by a bee, ask your veterinarian if you can administer an over-the-counter antihistamine. While not suitable in all cases, these medications can often stop an allergic reaction within minutes. Symptoms that get worse or don't respond to home care should be reported to a veterinarian quickly; your dog may need to be treated with an injected antihistamine or steroid instead, which can provide faster, more effective results.

Treating Serious Symptoms

When a dog is stung by a bee on the mouth, nose, or head, it often causes more pain and swelling than on other parts of the body. In addition, a dog may experience pronounced swelling or have trouble breathing after being stung anywhere. Other symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include vomiting and diarrhea, disorientation or other behavioral changes, weakness, and pale gums. Should your animal appear to be having one or more of these dangerous reactions, a veterinarian should be consulted immediately. A dog that is stung anywhere multiple times should also be taken to the vet as a precaution.

If severe stings require veterinary care, you may want to stay with your dog as much as possible during the treatment process. Providing comfort and reassurance can help the dog relax, which may reduce stress and shock. In some cases, however, a dog may become more distressed if its owner is very worried or upset, so if you cannot remain calm, it may be best to leave the room while your dog is treated.

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anon957736
Post 69

Has anyone ever used benadryl topical? I don't have pills or medicine but I put the cream on her foot and wrapped it with gauze. She seems to be tired but not acting weird throwing up or anything weird. She was panting in the beginning but has now stopped.

anon337745
Post 68

Our very curious seven month old Aussie-doodle was exploring on his first potty walk the other morning. He met a bee who stung him on the eyelid; w e heard him yelp when he was stung. We got him inside and administered benadryl (two tabs; he's about 50 pounds) but can't find the stinger because his coat is multicolored. The first day and night he just wanted to cuddle and be held -- yes, a 50 pound lap dog!

We are now on day number three and although the swelling was down yesterday, he is still squinting but he playing with his brother and sister and eating. I cut his bangs/eyebrows back to monitor his eye, which is very bloodshot and still tearing with a creamy colored tear. He's not scratching at it. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks! -- Max, Matilda and Gomez's mom

anon333804
Post 67

This website was a great help! Thanks so much. My Cocker puppy, five months old, came in the house and looked straight at me. I could tell his left side of his face was so big it had to have been a bee. I never found the stinger, and he never cried or acted strange.

The baking soda and water paste works, along with an ice pack every 10 minutes over 2 1/2 hours helped. Thanks again. This may have saved me a big vet bill.

anon290315
Post 66

We got some flea medicine today, and decided to wash the dogs and wait two to three days before using it. My father-in-law keeps bees, and has about two or three dozen bee boxes.

Well, today was the day for feeding the bees, and my six month old bull boxer decided to run by the tank of sugar water. I pulled five stingers out of her (they were all over her body) and poured the powder out of a benadryl capsule over her food and mixed it up. She stopped crying before I could get her into the house, and her only symptoms were localized swelling, and heavy breathing. It has been an hour and she's doing fine, just a little shaken up from the attack.

anon268348
Post 65

Just wanted to say that my 6 year old female boxer was fine in the morning and afternoon. I did walk her prior to leaving to go to a barbecue for mother's day. I have three other dogs as well. The dogs are all crated when I am gone. So it is not like there was a dog fight.

When I came home a few hours later, my poor Molly had a swollen red right eye and her mouth was swollen four times its size. I can't even begin to tell you how horrible she looked. After further examination, I noticed hives all over her neck, throat, forehead and head. I immediately administered Benadryl. She weighs 80-90 pounds so I gave her three (25 mg tabs) which was 75 mgs. I could have given her half a tab more but I was paranoid about overdosing her on benadryl. She was urinating and pooping, eating and drinking and was walking around fine and jumping up and playing with her dog brothers. Her breathing was ok, she was panting a little bit heavy, but I think it was because her mouth was so swollen and when I examined her I was kind of freaking out a bit.

It's been two hours and most of the hives have gone away, her eye has gone down so much, and her mouth has gone down too but is still a little puffy. I am assuming that is where she got bite, although I never saw her get bit. I looked for a stinger and saw no sign of that.

She was a little bit feverish as well, so I also gave her children's chewable aspirin and that seemed to bring her body temperature down. I think she had a higher body temperature bc she was nervous. I also crushed ice and put cold water in a bowl and let her drink that. The ice seemed to also help her with the mouth swelling, as well as hydrate her which is good given the meds I gave her. She ate a whole bowl of dry dog food.

This never happened to her before and of course in the am if she still has any swelling at all, I am going to bring her to the vet. I didn't rush to the vet just yet only can emergency vet is so expensive and I don't have money like that. Not that I don't have the means to care or my dog, but I just tried to see if benadryl would work first.

My question is when is the next time that I can give my dog benadryl after her first dose just to make sure she is totally ok from this?

BradBkr
Post 64

Venom Cleanser is available online. Its all-natural herbs heal stings on people and pets immediately. Really!

anon264148
Post 62

Our baby Stella was stung on her paw and her leg is twitching a lot. We gave her Benadryl and she is not licking the wound, which is great. Did anyone experience the twitching?

anon243835
Post 61

Best thing to do- baking soda and water paste directly on stung area as soon as possible! Not too runny, not too thick. Can apply ice if your dog will allow it.

When my dog was stung by a bee, I called my vet and she told me to put some human steroid cream on the area if I had it (which I did luckily!). I put a sock on his paw, where the sting was, and put a lightly wound rubber band around it so that he couldn't lick the cream off- this is why baking soda is a good option as it won't hurt the dog if it licks it off!

My dog was back to normal within two hours. Vet also said to look for swelling around the mouth and eyes, vomiting, etc., and to take dog to vet if its breathing was affected.

anon223132
Post 60

My one year old english staffy decided to swallow a bee today and about five minutes later she was violently vomiting her dinner up.

We kept her calm and removed all her toys (as she's quite a playful dog) and called the vet who said to keep an eye on her for any changes (such as trouble breathing, lethargic and in pain).

She seems to be back to her usual self now (after about an hour and a half) but we'll keep a close eye on her now. I think we'll also stock up on some baking soda and benadryl - just in case for the future!

anon203737
Post 59

Our eight month old black lab, Maxi, had a large amount of facial swelling, his eyes, nose, and lips. He was not crying; he was his playful self, except the swelling and slobbering. The swelling was enough for us to call the vet and take him right in.

He was given Benadryl 50 mg IM injection. He is doing great a few hours later! The vet thinks that he was stung on the nose by a bee, possibly a wasp or hornet! Thank you for your posts!

We were recommended to give him Benadryl 50mg - human kind, tonight before bedtime. Benadryl is amazing and it is what we humans also receive for allergic reactions! Also helps with the itching. hope this helps someone!

anon179451
Post 58

My puppy got stung today. I didn't witness it but my friend's mom did recognize the symptoms and came over within about an hour. She played in the floor and screamed for five minutes. Then her stomach started to contract repeatedly. Her breathing changed back and forth rapidly from too slow to too fast. Welts appear on her face and neck. Her mouth was swollen severely. We however still can't figure out where she was stung though.

Walgreens brand cherry liquid benadryl may have saved her life. And I'm still crying over that.

anon178209
Post 57

My dog was stung this morning right on his eyelid. I can't get the stinger out because it's right on the bottom of his lid next to his eye. His eye is swollen and I called the vet they said to just give him a benadryl tab. I don't want it to get infected. Is there anything else I can do?

anon176122
Post 56

Important: Do not use tweezers to pull out bee stings. This only squeezes all the venom into the skin making things a great deal worse.

The sting should be scraped sideways using a finger nail or similar, withdrawing the sting. There are lots of remedies to try - toothpaste has worked quite well on mine.

If the animal seems in trouble [too quiet; not breathing well - you know when they aren't right] get to a vet or at least phone one.

Please note: Bees can only sting once and then they die. A wasp or hornet can sting a number of times.

anon171942
Post 55

we managed to remove the stinger from our dog's paw (After much struggling) and applied the baking soda and water paste. It worked well and after about 20 minutes the dog was relaxed and back to his usual self.

Thanks to this forum for the help, The baking soda recipe works well (it also works on humans as well apparently). - The owner of a now happier dog!

anon169574
Post 53

Benadryl seemed to work just fine for our seven month old chihuahua. She's a tough puppy but that nasty bee got the best of her. Thanks a lot for great ideas!

anon166026
Post 51

well the benadryl is now working.

anon166023
Post 50

My dog and I were outside in the backyard and i saw a bee crawling and my dog started running towards it.

i tried to stop him but he was too fast, so he got stung on his back right leg. Now he's been chewing it so much that his paw is raw in the middle and he's limping. i tried benadryl and baking soda, but it's still bugging him and i can't stand hearing him whine. it almost makes me cry. Someone help me please!

anon162784
Post 48

hint to administer Benadryl: Liquid can be mixed with peanut butter or honey. Tablets can be mixed with peanut butter (they'll lick up every bit and swallow the pill). Can also hide tablets inside a marshmallow. Dogs love those sticky, white puffs of sweetness! Used this successfully for six dogs.

anon162240
Post 47

i saw my dog limping and then i picked her up to check what it was and she had a bee stuck to her left front paw, so i took it out with the tweezers and she began to cry. i laid her down on the couch and when she tried to lie down, she kept on twitching her leg and also kept on moving. i tried putting an ice pack but she doesn't like it. i need help right now, please. immediately.

anon147384
Post 46

I have a puppy that's about 5 lbs and she just got stung on her paw last night. Her painful cry was hard to take and I contacted the Vet immediately.

They informed me to provide her with 1/2 tsp of children's liquid benedryl and watch for swelling in her eye and muzzle area. The pain subsided in a little over an hour and she is back to her normal self today. The Benedryl made her a bit sleepy, which may have been a good thing.

anon144173
Post 45

what do i do if my dog got stung by a bee on his mouth and he's not acting normal at all?

anon136647
Post 44

My dog was stung by a bee on the paw and withing minutes started to throw up and get weak. I called the vet and they told me to bring her right in.

She was in total shock by the time I arrived 5-10 minutes later. Her blood pressure was dangerously low. They treated her with steroids for the swelling and Benadryl and gave her IV fluids to flush the system. She'll be fine but I'm so glad I was around to notice the reaction.

I'm told it's pretty rare for this to happen, but it was unmistakably a dangerous situation.

anon129250
Post 43

My dog decided to eat a bee. She began to throw up. I took the bee out of her mouth and applied baking soda paste. Then I applied an ice packet. This helped the swelling go down a lot. I thank this website for helping me know what to do. -McKayla

anon124766
Post 42

My Jack Russel got stung a few days ago and screamed every time I touched her. We finally got the stinger out and ice on it but now her hair surrounding the sting is falling out. I'm told that it's normal but I'm just not sure. Is it?

anon123314
Post 41

The paste you use is literally two items: baking soda with a little water so it's not too dry and not too runny. Very simple.

anon111527
Post 40

Please be aware! Sign/symptom: If your dog is falling over he is in shock and can die. My dog threw up, refused to walk, and got weaker.

I drove 80 mph on the highway then carefully and after first stopping, calmly chose to drive through a red light.

The Vet told me my dog would have been dead in 10-15 more minutes. They had to give her epinephrine for her heart and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) I.V. (By mouth would have been too late). I got her to the doctor within 15-20 minutes of her sting.

anon110183
Post 39

Thanks to everyone who posted here. My little guy (7 1/2 lb chi/pom mix) stepped on and got stung by something. I scooped him up and rushed him back inside.

After running cold water on his paw, I then rushed to the computer to see what to. It was very comforting to know so many dog owners had shared what helped them in the same situation.

I did the baking soda paste and ice. Someone I know who is allergic to bees herself suggested using the tobacco from a cigarette mixed with water and applied like the baking soda. She has that what she has done when she was stung.

Rocky's doing much better. He's walking and doesn't seem to be in any pain. His mom is recovering nicely, too.

Thanks for all the helpful advice. I am going to keep benadryl on hand from now on too.

deanna989
Post 38

she is one funky dog lol. I hope she gets better soon. i am worried about her.

deanna989
Post 37

my dog molley just got stung and she will not stop slurping the baking soda off her face. the bees were all over her face and back and we just had to put the ice on her face.

anon104440
Post 36

My toy fox terrier just got stung by a bee on top of his eye and immediately he started to vomit and look very sick. I took him to emergency and he had diarrhea all the way to the hospital. They kept him but I was so scared. Didn't know about benadryl.

anon101602
Post 35

what is venom cleanser and where can i get it from?

anon95359
Post 34

You don't remove the stinger with tweezers, though. That will squeeze more toxins from the stinger into your dog. Use a credit card to scrape it out, our your nail. They use the same technique on humans.

anon94850
Post 33

Thank you for the help. My precious got stung and he cried and shock in pain. And i have never felt so helpless. I went online and found a lot of pay for answers when i seen your sight. And i did the baking soda and water and ice pack. Within a short time, he is back to feeling his loving self. Again thank you! Joyce

anon92257
Post 32

My 11.5 months Golden Retriever is one of life's victims. He's had so many cancer scares and bitten by his brother.

Today he decided to befriend a bee in our garden. It stung him and he was screaming in pain, then he was so quiet for a long time and just wouldn't move. We tried to look for the stinger but couldn't see it with his hair but I'm 98 percent sure it was his back paw so we applied an ice compress and bicarb soda (same as baking soda with!) and he was back to himself about 30 minutes later after he threw up last night's dinner.

anon91919
Post 31

My dog is about a year and a half and he's a lab. He came in today and his eye was swollen. I took a better look and noticed he had got stung right on his bottom eye lid, and on his snout.

How can i get the stinger out? I've looked several times and i really have not seen a stinger on either sting. I just put baking soda and water on them but very gently with his eye. Anything i should notice or look out for? I also gave him benadryl so i really don't think a vet is needed. Any suggestions?

anon91185
Post 29

Thank you for this post. I put the baking soda paste on my dog and it helped. Once the vet called me back, she told me to also give my dog (who is eight pounds) 1/2 a baby asprin for pain and 1 1/2 mg children's benadryl to take the swelling down.

anon88722
Post 28

My dog got stung by a bee. I just noticed the swelling on his upper lip right behind his nose. I guess that explains why he has not been himself. It has been about three days that i can recall. He has swelling but i can not locate the stinger. Can somebody please give me some advice on how i should treat my best friend? thank you so much, Carlos.

anon88542
Post 27

With the beginning of summer comes the blooming of trees, gardens and flowers, which in turn attracts bees and wasps of all kinds. But that is not the end of the worry of a sting. Many stings take place during the spring and fall months. Reason being, bees and wasps are cold blooded insects and they linger around people in order to absorb the body heat of humans, therefore increasing the chances of getting stung.

Last week, I witnessed a four year old girl with her hand and forearm swollen to her elbow, from a wasp sting that she received to her fingertip the day before.

The sight of her hand and arm brought tears to my eyes because I knew that if she had, had Baker's Venom Cleanser for Bee Sting Cure available at when she was stung, none of her discomfort would have elevated to that extreme point of swelling and discomfort.

anon88243
Post 26

My dog got stung by a wasp on her paw. it's swelling and she is in a lot of pain. She keeps biting at it and the wasp might have stung her more than once! Please help!

anon85913
Post 25

i need help here and quick. well, my dog got stung by a bee, maybe. I'm not too sure. i can't tell though if she's having breathing problems because she's always panting. she looks fine though, but i still need advice. oh, and if the bee did sting her then it was probably on her hip, like under her belly kind of hip. Please help! I'm only 12.

anon83157
Post 24

I am not sure if our little pup has gotten stung. But after we got back inside she was chasing a hornet and it just went off. I noticed her limping when she was inside. I hope she is okay. I don't see and swelling or anything. And she hasn't yelped, she is also playing normally but just with a limp. I'm pretty worried. From, A caring Pup owner.

anon76559
Post 23

We gave our little chihuahua (four pounds) 1/4 pill of a 25 mg generic brand Benadryl and she went straight to sleep after getting stung by a bee on her upper lip right under her nose. There was no swelling that we could notice and she only yelped once and ran away from the bee (which I had to kill in our living room).

I hope there was no problem with letting her go to sleep right away because besides that, she seemed completely unaffected by the sting. We went by the dosage of 2 mg per pound. So, a quarter of a 25 mg pill seemed to work just fine.

-Good luck

anon74871
Post 21

i tried Benadryl to help Max, my schnauzer, heal and it's working. right now he's playing with his sister Coco with a block of ice and the swelling on his mouth has gone down a lot. thanks for the help you guys!

p.s. he didn't like the taste of the benadryl though, but who would?

anon66753
Post 20

I don't think you really have to do anything, my dog got stung, we didn't treat him and he was fine after a while.

anon63316
Post 19

My little dog got stung in the mouth by a wasp. He then went mad running around the backyard and rolling in leaves etc. Shortly after he vomited a few times and then became very lethargic.

I gave him 1/4 teaspoon of children's Benadryl which he didn't think tasted too good (can't blame him there). He wouldn't open his mouth so I had to gently pry his lips apart and pour the contents of the spoon through the side of his clenched teeth, about where his molars are there is a small natural gap between his upper and lower teeth. After a short time he was back to normal.

anon60343
Post 18

my 5 month old pug got stung by a underground hornets or wasp nest and very lethargic and not herself and was having trouble walking.

I gave her 1/4 tsp children's Benadryl and 15 min later she was playing with my other pug. thank goodness. poor little dear.

anon45967
Post 17

the benadryl would work because of the histamine component. anything with "ine" at the end of it is likely to be in this group. Still be careful with what you give and how much, but it means that if you don't have any benadryl another may work. not all benadryl has an antihistamine so be careful and be careful with the other ingredients too. Since it is a first generation antihistamine in it it may cause drowsiness.

anon45918
Post 16

My schipperkee was stung by a bumble bee on his front leg. He limped around on and then he started to vomit. He was weak and shaking but he finally came out of it. What should I have done? Finding the stinger was impossible.

anon44293
Post 15

My chocolate lab (he's four months) was stung on the mouth by a bee and his whole left upper lip became swollen. He then was really lethargic and unlike his energetic self. Then he started shaking and I was scared he was going into shock. I heard about Benadryl so I rushed out and bought some and gave it to him. Within an hour he became better and after two or three hours he was back to his energetic self. It was quite a scare. I also gave him lots of ice cubes to help with any soreness. Now he's happy as can be.

anon43579
Post 14

My 13 week old Shih Tzu got stung by a bee on the mouth. I pulled the stinger out of his nose and he seemed a bit shocked at first. We made the baking soda mixture and smeared it on his nose. Then we iced his mouth. What really worked was letting him play with an ice cube on the kitchen floor. He was distracted by it slipping everywhere and kept trying to bite it. The swelling went down in about 20 minutes, and he was back to his normal self.

anon43071
Post 13

My 3pound puppy was recently stung by a bee or hornet.I fortunately saw him licking his hind foot and found the stinger in his paw. I removed it with my nails then put a baking soda paste on it. Within five minutes he was out. I mean I honestly thought he was dead. No heart beat could I hear. I didn't know what to do except give him some corn syrup and wrap him in a warm towel. I believe he went into shock and after 20 minutes he started coming around. It took two hours before he was back to normal. What do you do for an animal in shock like this? Very scared owner!

anon42165
Post 12

My puppy has just been stung by a bee. It attacked her! It wasn't stung though, it kept biting her! What do i do?

anon40749
Post 11

my pug just got stung 4 times on the forehead from an in-ground hornets nest. the baking soda paste worked really well so thank you so much for posting this article. i had no idea what to do other than give her children's benadryl right away. i would also recommend children's benadryl to help with any allergic reaction to the stings. i have a dropper that i used for her.

anon40213
Post 10

Thanks for the advice on the benadryl. my six month old lab got stung dozens of times on her face and her eyes, ears, lips, etc. were swollen up about three times normal size. I gave her a teensy bit of benadryl with peanut butter, treated her with a lot of ice cubes, and gave her a softened rawhide bone to keep her preoccupied from the agony she was probably in from the stings. I couldn't ice her face or use baking soda because wouldn't hold still but she's a lot better with the benadryl after only about an hour. thanks :)

anon27600
Post 9

Baking soda might be a great idea, but sometimes dogs are allergic to bees and they can even stop breathing. Like in my case, but I hold his tongue and gave him CPR until I got to the hospital. It's also a good idea to always have benadril and just give them a few drops!!!!

Jeana
Post 6

The baking soda recipe is simple. All you need to do is mix like a tablespoon of baking soda with some water until it makes a paste. Then just apply to the affected area. This recipe also works for people too. Good luck I hope it helps.

anon15740
Post 4

Hi, just one point, please don't use tweezers to remove stings as honey bees have a venom sag attached which gets ripped out when they sting you and if you use tweezer to remove the sting you will inject more into the wound.. i would recommend using a credit card or just scrape with a long nail to remove them. best regards, A caring beekeeper.

anon15339
Post 3

This sounds like a good way to cure bee stings. My dog got stung by a bee and now is limping and falling over when he tries to walk. I feel really bad for him. I was also wondering if on your webpage you could post the recipe for the paste you put on the dogs sting.

From,

a loving dog owner

BradBkr
Post 2

Our dog and cat uses Venom Cleanser. It worked immediately on the sting symptoms.

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