Can I give my dog Benadryl for insect stings? As many of us know only too well, insect stings are not only painful—they can also cause a severe allergic reaction in some unfortunate pets. So what is the best form of treatment for your dog if you have been out walking on a hot summer afternoon and your inquisitive pet has been stung by a bee?
Whilst some dogs can be stung by an insect and show no signs of any reaction, in other dogs, the site of the sting can swell up to alarming proportions and the dog is obviously in severe discomfort as a result.
How should I treat an insect sting and can I give my dog Benadryl for insect stings?
If your dog is stung by a bee or wasp while you are out and about, the first thing you need to do is remove the stinger. You must be careful when doing this or you risk squeezing even more venom into the wound. The best way to remove a stinger is to scrape it away using a fingernail or blunt object. A cool ice pack can help to sooth the area if the dog is showing signs of discomfort, but if you have any Benadryl handy, this can be administered immediately to help alleviate the painful symptoms of the sting.
In most cases, an allergic reaction occurs within twenty minutes of the animal being stung. Insect stings usually affect the nose and face of the dog since most dogs explore the world around them with their snout, so it is a good idea to keep an eye on your pet during the summer months so you can act quickly if the unthinkable happens and your dog is stung by a wasp or bee. Benadryl will also be effective for spider bites, although it will have no effect on snake bites, so if your dog has been bitten by a snake, seek medical advice immediately.
What happens if my dog shows the symptoms of anaphylactic shock?
Anaphylactic shock is a very serious allergic reaction to an insect sting, and whilst relatively rare, it can and does happen. A dog that suffers a severe reaction to an insect sting is always in danger of going into anaphylactic shock, so it is very important to be aware of the symptoms since this condition is capable of killing a dog within twenty minutes.
The symptoms of anaphylactic shock include difficulty breathing with wheezing and panting, pale gums, low body temperature, trembling, vomiting and diarrhoea, and eventually coma and death. If your dog shows any of these signs immediately following an insect sting, you need to go to a veterinarian as quickly as possible. Should the dog be conscious, you can give it a dose of Benadryl to help reduce the severity of the allergic reaction.
Thankfully, such a severe reaction is rare, and in most cases a dose of Benadryl either orally or in the form of a topical ointment will soon reduce the pain and swelling of an insect sting and your dog can continue playing and bouncing around as usual.