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Our curious pets love to sniff and explore everything around them. But sometimes, their inquisitive natures can land them in a prickly situation – like getting stung by a bee or wasp!

If you suspect your furry friend has been stung, check areas like their nose, face, and paws first. Your pet may be pawing at or licking the affected spot. Look around for any bees, wasps, or spiders nearby, too. Knowing the culprit can help your vet provide the best treatment. And if it was a bee, you may even spot the stinger still lodged in your pet’s skin. See instructions for scrapping it out at the end of this article.

Most of the time, a sting isn’t an emergency, unless . It will likely cause your pet some pain and irritation. However, monitoring them closely for at least 30-60 minutes is crucial, especially if the sting is on their face. You’ll want to ensure any swelling doesn’t obstruct their breathing.

To provide relief, bathe or wipe the sting area, then apply an ice pack to reduce swelling. Remember to take breaks from the ice every 10 minutes or so to prevent skin damage. Some pet owners recommend giving an antihistamine, but dosages can vary, so it’s best to consult your vet first.

In rare cases, pets can have an allergic reaction to a sting. Watch for signs like difficulty breathing, swelling of the mouth/throat/eyes/ears, vomiting, weakness, drooling, pale gums, seizures, or collapsing. Call your vet immediately and head to the emergency clinic if you notice any of these symptoms. It’s also wise to call your vet if your pet sustains multiple stings, even if they seem fine initially.

If your pet has had a previous reaction to a sting, ask your vet about keeping an epinephrine auto-injector (like an EpiPen) on hand. This can help stop a severe reaction until you get veterinary care. But be sure to call your vet after using it for further instructions.

Remember, even if your pet handled a previous sting well, their reaction could be different the next time. Stings are an unfortunate part of summer, but most only cause temporary discomfort. When in doubt, it’s always best to consult your veterinarian.

We hope your furry pal stays sting-free this summer! But if they do get stung, now you know what to do. Here’s to a happy, healthy season for all our pets!

This video shows how to remove a bee stinger with a credit card (don’t use tweezers).