Help! My dog loves to chase bees!
(Q) My Staffie has a habit of chasing after, and snapping at, bees and wasps in the summer. Obviously, this can lead to her being stung. Are bee and wasp stings dangerous?
(A) Vet Roberta Baxter says: Every summer we see dogs with bee and wasp stings, and some of these can be life-threatening, particularly those sustained in the mouth or throat by a dog who snaps at flying insects. A sting in the throat can cause sufficient swelling to occlude the airway, leading to difficulty breathing and potentially even asphyxia, especially in dogs who are allergic to stings and so swell excessively. In most cases, however, stings are little more than a painful nuisance causing pain and mild swelling, often on a paw or lip.
If your dogs gets stung, try to assess whether the sting is likely to cause swelling and problems. Any stings in the mouth or throat may necessitate emergency veterinary treatment if a dog’s breathing becomes laboured or if his gum colour becomes dull or bluish. It may be best, therefore, to try and train your dog out of her habit if that is at all possible.