Meet Charlie, one of our very cute patients! Earlier this month, Charlie’s face suddenly became very swollen after an unfortunate run-in with a bee.
Insect bite reactions are very common in dogs, especially puppies, who tend to put their noses into everything! The most common reaction to an insect bite is swelling at the site of the sting. In Charlie’s case his muzzle and eyelids became swollen, and he developed some red welts on his tummy. Although he was otherwise fine, his concerned owner decided to seek our advice.
If you do notice that your dog has been stung, there are a few things that may help:
- If you can find the sting, carefully remove it (try not to squeeze), and bathe the area in cool water
- Keep your dog calm and quiet to minimise the blood flow to the area and reduce the degree of pain and swelling
- Observe your pet carefully, especially for signs of breathing difficulties or excessive swelling or collapse. In rare cases a dog can have a severe allergic reaction to an insect bite. Treat this situation as a medical emergency, and visit your veterinarian immediately.
In most cases, the swelling will resolve with time and without any treatment. But we can help reduce the swelling by administering an anti-histamine and/or an anti-inflammatory via injection. These treatments had Charlie’s face back to normal by the afternoon, leaving him to explore the garden again for more insects to chase!