dog With Paw On Nose

Wasps Stings To Pets

Many pets, like some children, are all to curious about flying insects such as wasps.  Some will have a desire to play with a small buzzing creature.

Are Wasp Stings Likely To Kill My Pet?

Most ‘one-off’ stings to pets’ bodies don’t cause serious symptoms.  They will cause discomfort, as you would expect, but no need for serious alarm.

However you won’t know until they have been stung if they are allergic to wasp or bee stings.

If your pet is fortunate, it’s fur or thick skin pads will provide some protection, although this can by no means be depended upon.


cat And WaspCommon Areas To Be Stung

Unfortunately, it is usual for pets, particularly dogs, to be stung on their faces as they investigate or nip at an interesting wasp.  A sting to the nose will be excruciatingly painful for your dog as it such a sensitive organ.  Worse though is a sting to the tongue, inside of the mouth or throat.  These cause swelling which can close your pet’s throat or block it’s airways and quickly cause asphyxiation.

Dogs and cats may learn quickly from their first sting.  Unfortunately , multiple stings are not uncommon, as the pets may not be able to get away from the wasp, especially if they put it in their mouth or it enters their throat.  The first sting could cause a very extreme reaction in some pets, but multiple stings, especially around the face, mouth or throat are especially dangerous.

Keep Them Away From Wasps

Pets should be kept away from wasp nests and entrances and exits to infestations which may be in the ground or suspended in bushes in your garden.  Of course, wasps don’t stay in their nests and even having a nest near your home will cause an increased risk as wasps use your premises and routes past it to find food.

What To Watch Out For

If your pet is stung by a wasp pay particular attention to see if allergic reaction occurs.  If your pet shows signs of the following, take it to the vet without undue delay:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Weakness or faintness
  • Extensive swelling even away from the sting

What To Do About A Stung Pet

pet dog At Vets After Wasp StingDespite the discomfort and upset it causes, in most cases sting to your pets requires no further action apart from sympathy and basic care.  You may not even realise a wasp has stung your dog as unlike bees, the sting is very rarely left behind.

If a sting remains in your pet, try to remove it by scraping with the fingernail or using a rigid piece of cardboard, but not tweezers or forceps, which may force venom out of the sting and into your pet.

You may try the traditional remedy of a small amount of baking soda in water applied to the affected wound which might reduce the pain sting.  Like a human, injured pets also seem to suffer less pain if an ice pack is applied to the wound.  This might reduce swelling as well as pain.

Even if your dog or other pet seems well after a sting, please keep an eye on them.   If swelling doesn’t decrease visit your vet for further advice.  Infection can set in if the site of the sting fails to heal or causes excessive swelling.

Cats & Smaller Animals

Although usually as hardy as dogs, cats, guinea pigs and smaller animals are just as prone to injury after a sting.  Despite their size, they don’t necessarily suffer more extreme reaction, but any creature stung in the mouth or throat can suffer swollen airways which may become blocked, which is a serious problem.

steroid Injection administered to a catWhat Will The Vet Do About A Wasp Sting?

If the vet thinks your pets symptoms are serious then they will treat them without delay.  It is often difficult to discern if the wasp sting has occurred in an animal because of fur coverings and a sting will often not remain in your pet.  If you didn’t see it happen, there is little definitive evidence of causality.  Often a bee-sting will remain in the animal and is easier to diagnose, but the vet’s prime concern will be to treat the critical symptoms as quickly as possible.

While the vet may administer an antihistamine injection to your animal to reduce the risk of further swelling, the most likely course is an injection of a steroid (such as dexamethasone) to help reduce damage and swelling and quickly bring the animal out of danger.

With a bit of luck your pet will be back to perfect health in no time.

What Should I Do To Keep My Pet Safe?

The only way to reduce the risk to your pet is to have any wasp infestation/wasp nest treated as soon as it is found to prevent the problem and the nest growing and causing more problems for you, your family, your premises and your pets.

AMES Wasp Control proudly offer one of the most efficient and competitively priced services in the West Midlands and surrounding counties.

Give us a call today: 0121 443 1111.

 Or send us a message online here.