Our 25 lb schnauzer was stung about 6:30 this evening while my husband was walking him. We do not know if he was stung by a bee or a wasp. Although he is not having any breathing problems and was able to eat a treat, he seems sleepy and uncomfortable. Should we give him benedryl? Apply ice? The sting appears to have been on the rib cage and there is swelling. Do we still need to be concerned about a possible allergic reaction?Thank you for your kind assistance!
Name of Dog: ColbyWhat have you tried so far?: My husband watched him carefully for about an hour until I came home. I think I located the sting site. I have been holding him to comfort him. Walking seems difficult for him. I don't know if it is because of the swelling or the soreness.
From what you've told me an allergic reaction seems to be the most likely cause of what you are seeing with Colby.
It's hard to tell what he's reacting to (bee or wasp sting) but allergic reactions are usually treated similarily and given that he's breathing fine we can try some things at home tonight and have him checked tomorrow by his veterinarian if he's not significantly better.
Today you can use a combination of antihistamines and high doses of omega-3 fatty acids to help with the symptoms. In combination fatty acids and antihistamines work synergistically, much better than either one alone. If you don't have any omega 3's available tonight start with antihistamines tonight and you can add the omega 3's tomorrow. I would recommend Benedryl first but if you don't have it I will give you other options.
You can try:
1)Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combo products as they can be toxic) at 1mg to 2mg per pound or one 25mg capsule per 25 pounds of dog orally every 8 hours.
OR 2)Claritin (loratidine) at 5mg per 25 pound dog once or twice daily.
OR 3)Hydroxyzine at 1mg per pound orally every 8 hours.
OR 4) Chlorpheniramine at 4mg to 8mg per dog once or twice daily. Be aware antihistamines can cause sleepiness or hyperactivity in some dogs. These side effects do wear off with repeated use.
Omega-3 fatty acids are fish oil products. 3V by DVM or Derm Caps ES are good brand name products. Use the high end of the dosing schedule for your pup's weight.
If he's comfortable enough with it apply an ice pack (ice in a baggie covered with a washcloth) to the swollen area several times tonight for 5 to 10 minutes at a time will reduce swelling and decrease systemic absorption of the venom. If it hurts him though skip that step as we don't want to upset him.
Cortisone ointment (like cortaid) applied to the swollen area twice daily may help as well if needed.
If he starts vomiting, has diarrhea or difficulty breathing it is time to seek emergency care immediately as he will require a steroid injection at that point.
For now let him rest as I'm sure he is sore.
Best of luck with your boy. Now that you know he's allergic keep Benedryl on hand at all times.
May I use zyrtec instead of benedryl.
You can try Zyrtec (certirizine). Do not use the formulation with a decongestant as dogs don't handle decongestants well at all. Zyrtec is an antihistamine but it's in a different family then Benedryl and it seems much less effective for most dogs. But if it's all you have then you can try it. The dose is 5mg to 10mg per dog once daily.
It can lead to nausea or drooling in some dogs.
19 years of experience treating dogs, cats, mice, rats, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, & iguanas
Hi Vickie,I'm just following up on our conversation about Colby. How is everything going?Dr Kara