These little insects, particularly wasps, can be quite dozy this time of year, so it’s important to know what to do if your pet is stung.
You may see the insect landing and see from your pet’s reaction that it has just been stung. If you don’t see the sting, you may notice changes in your pet’s behaviour including signs of pain, itching or licking the area.
So what is the difference between a bee sting and a wasp sting?
A bee will leave its sting in your pet. Check and remove the sting with a blunt object such as a bank card (not tweezers as these will squeeze out more poison into your pet) and then bathe in a bicarbonate of soda solution (1tsp of bicarb to 300ml of warm water) to neutralize the acidic poison. You can then use an ice pack to help your pet deal with the pain.
A wasp will not leave a sting, so bathe the area with malt vinegar (diluted 50:50 with water) to neutralize the alkaline poison and use an ice pack to help with the pain.
Remember, pets can suffer allergic reactions to these types of stings in the same way that humans can. Keep a close eye on your pet for 24 hours and watch out for signs of swelling, distress and breathing difficulties.
Stings in the mouth can be particularly concerning because the inflammation could obstruct the airway leaving your pet unable to breathe. If your pet is stung in the mouth it may start to paw at that area indicating discomfort. Always contact your vet if you think that your pet has been stung in the mouth.
We hope this is helpful, but remember, if in doubt, always contact your vet!