Her parents returned home from work one day to find that Nala had a very swollen face. They did the right thing by bringing her straight to our veterinary clinic for an examination. In consult, she was still her usual bright and playful self but had a very swollen and painful mouth. A thorough examination found a bee stinger in her lip. This was removed in consult and Nala was provided with injectable antihistamines and corticosteroids to control the swelling. She recovered well and has, so far, not tried to eat any more bees!
Nala was a very lucky pup! Bee stings in dogs can present in many different ways. Some signs you might see at home include vomiting, lethargy, pain at the site of the sting, dramatic swelling of the area (this is often around the face, lips and tongue in dogs as they tend to be trying to eat bees when they are stung), and finally airway obstruction and collapse/shock in severe cases. For this reason, bee stings can be a life-threatening emergency. It is important to see a vet immediately if you suspect your dog may have been stung. A vet can give injections to reduce swelling, plus monitor and treat signs of acute shock if they occur. A vet can also continue to monitor your dog until the swelling has reduced and they are out of immediate danger.