Doyalson Animal Hospital | Cat and Bee

A sting in the tail

Bees are sometimes colloquially referred to as “spicy sky raisins”, because our curious pets are often drawn to snap at or play with these buzzing insects, and can unfortunately pay a rather painful price as a result!

What will happen to my pet if they get stung by a bee?
Symptoms of a bee sting in pets can involve localised or generalised reactions, with localised being the most common.

Localised reactions involve pain at the site of the sting, with surrounding tissue redness and swelling – similar to what most of us would experience with a bee sting.

Generalised bee sting reactions can range from milder allergic-type symptoms (such as itchiness and red skin lumps around your pet’s body), or serious anaphylactic reactions. Anaphylaxis occurs if your pet has a severe allergic response to the bee venom, and can cause affected pets to develop sudden vomiting, diarrhoea, collapse or breathing difficulties, or even respiratory arrest.

What treatment will my pet require for a bee sting?
If you suspect your pet has been stung by a bee, but they seem generally OK (other than being sore at the sting site), you can start treatment at home by carefully removing any embedded stinger, placing a cold compress on the area and monitoring your pet closely for 12-24 hours. However, if your pet seems to be in a lot of pain, it’s important to seek veterinary attention as pain relief and antihistamine medication may be required.

If your pet seems generally uncomfortable or is showing any signs of unwellness, we recommend an urgent consultation so that our vets can assess them further and administer treatment as required to support their safe recovery.

For more information on bee sting prevention and treatment in pets, give our team a buzz (on the phone, that is!).