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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 17916
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My dog has been stung on the shoulder by a bee/wasp and refused

Customer Question

My dog has been stung on the shoulder by a bee/wasp and refused to walk, 3 hours later her paw is swollen and she can't stand on it and is acting really subdued. I have just given her a piriton, will thus do or should I seek more advice?
Thanks in advance
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 3 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dr. Kara and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that Bella was stung. Her subdued manner is likely due to pain.

Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benedryl and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.
Is her breathing normal?
Does she have any facial or neck swelling that could compromise breathing?
No vomiting or diarrhea?

Piriton (chlorpheniramine) is an antihistamine, but not my first choice with bee stings. The usual dose is 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily. Since you've already given it we'll start with it now, but switch to the best one for stings later. If you only gave 4mg give another 4mg now as she is a bigger dog.
In 6 to 8 hours you can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 2mg to 4mg per kilogram of body weight or two 25mg capsule per 22 kilograms of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur.
Dogs take a really high dose compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more than we do.
This may make her a little sleepy.
Antihistamines do not change the swelling that has already occurred, that will go away with time, but they do stop further reaction. The swelling you see now should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours.

And then you'll need to watch her closely for any progression of symptoms. That includes difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.
In extreme allergic reactions they can get shocky and collapse but you should see difficulty breathing and vomiting/diarrhea first.
And that is very rare.
Most reactions are managed just fine with antihistamines alone.

Because you know now that she has these types of reactions you should keep Benadryl (diphenhydramine) on hand at all times.

If you notice progression of her symptoms don't wait, have her checked on an emergency basis.

If you'd like you can have her regular veterinarian check her. They can give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster. That will reduce the swelling and make her more comfortable.
But if she seems to be doing well then I would just call them and let them know so it is on her record for future reference.

I recommend icing the area stung to decrease the venom from circulating further. It may help to soak the affected paw/leg in an epsom salt bath to help reduce swelling and inflammation.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.