The Honest Dog
Ok, it's here. Summer's here. Seriously. There's a rumor of snow Saturday, maybe, but - dogs don't care. The smelling's good, the grass is warm, the dirt is fresh ... and the bugs are out and they can bite. What to do?
Most of the time dogs get stung on their faces from investigating a stinging insect too closely. A sting on your dog’s sensitive nose is particularly painful. Some dogs may even get stung on the tongue or inside their mouth or throat if they try to bite or catch an insect.
Watch for unusual swelling or redness. A severe reaction can be caused by a large number of stings or an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic response include:
A large amount of swelling extending away from the sting site
If your dog is having a severe reaction, you need to take the dog to a vet immediately; I hope you have your vet's contact information and hours on your phone or your fridge, someplace handy - because dogs sometimes need to go to the vet quicker rather than sooner. Don't waste precious minutes - have the information at hand.
A simple sting can be safely left alone. It should be bothersome only temporarily. What'll you see happen is how well your dog will remember the bug that stung him and will have learned instantly that it's one to stay away from. My own Zoey made the 'mistake' of sticking her nose down into a wasp hole a few summers ago and I swear, she avoids that area of the block entirely now.
Yes, she got 'stung'. And she yelped, and I was terrified. She shook her head, pawed at her nose, I kneeled down and comforted her. By the time we got home from our walk she was fine but for a bit of swelling; by the next morning, it was like nothing had happened.
If you feel like the bug bite or sting is more painful for your dog, you can administer a remedy for the pain. Applying a weak mixture of water and baking soda to the affected area will help reduce the pain. You can also wrap ice or an icepack in a towel and apply it to the wound to reduce swelling and pain if your dog or puppy will stand for it, but most will not hold still long enough and will want to go their own way, which is fine!
Maintain a watchful eye on your dog. Observe your dog closely after the sting incident to ensure an allergic reaction doesn’t develop. If several days pass and the swelling doesn't go down, let your veterinarian know and see if an appointment is needed.