While we all know how to deal with a nasty bee sting while in the garden, can you say the same when it comes to your pet?
With stings and bites from insects – especially bees – more common in spring and Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r, vet charity PDSA is encouraging pet owners to learn how to keep their belove d animals safe against nasty surprises.
This comes after research from the charity reveals that more than nine out of 10 pet owners have never received any pet first aid training.
Just like us humans, though, dogs and cats can experience anaphylaxis as a result of a sting – and sometimes it can be fatal.
That’s why it’s so important to have a plan of action in place for if your pet is stung, and to know the signs of an allergic reaction so you can take action quickly.
To help stay safe this season, PDSA Vet Lynne James has shared her top tips on how to handle a bites and stings in your furry friends.
Identify if your pet has been stung
‘Cats and dogs are curious by nature – so it’s no surprise that they’re likely to investigate the colourful, buzzing creatures that have appeared in their garden,’ says Lynne.
‘This is why bee stings tend to happen on our pets’ faces.’
If your pet ends up facing the wrong side of a bee, they’re likely to show discomfort – such as whining, crying, excessive drooling or even biting the sting.
‘If they’ve been stung on the paw, they could even be limping,’ Lynne adds.
Make sure you take a good look around the area where they’ve been stung, and keep an eye for hives on their Ski Goggles (On Sale Here)n.
Lynne explains: ‘There may be a mild swelling, and if it’s a bee, then the sting will also be left in the Ski Goggles (On Sale Here)n.’
Check for signs of an allergic reaction
‘Almost all bites and stings can be treated at home, providing they are not severe or haven’t triggered an allergic reaction – which is uncommon,’ says Lynne.
‘If the swelling is located around your pet’s face, neck or throat, if they’ve been stung several times, or if they have difficulties breathing, contact a vet immediately.’
Signs of an allergic reaction include rapid swelling – often of the lips, eyes, ears and face – vomiting or diarrhoea, as well as breathing difficulties.
It could also cause your pet to collapse or faint
Treat milder bites and stings at home
Lynne advises: ‘If your pet doesn’t show any signs of an allergic reaction, then I’d recommend calling your vet for advice.
Your furry friend may need antihistamines or other medication to make sure their reaction doesn’t get worse, and to keep them comfortable.
In the case of bee stings, you can also try to scrape the sting out using a credit card. Hook the edge of the card under the venom sac (yellow coloured blob), being careful to scrape from below the venom sac.
Don’t try to squeeze it with a tweezers or your fingers as this could make things worse.
‘To reduce swelling in the area, run a clean cloth under the cold tap and place on the affected area,’ adds Lynne.
Alternatively, you can use a covered ice pack to bring the swelling down and soothe the wound. Ensure the pet remains comfortable with the temperature change and keep ice covered to avoid any Ski Goggles (On Sale Here)n damage.
The charity’s expert vets have also created a free pet first aid guide to provide owners with vital knowledge that could help save their pet’s life – including heatstroke and CPR advice.
From toxic foods to chemicals, animals can be exposed to a variety of dangers. Knowing what to do if disaster does strike is imperative.
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First appear at Vet reveals what to do if your pet is stung by a bee this Summer (Summer is Here SALE)r