Bee Stings in Dogs: Be Prepared
By Nancy Crist, Editor
The return of petunias in flower boxes and long hours of daylight also mean the bees and wasps are back.
Traffic statistics for this web site indicate that many folks are looking for information on treating bee stings in dogs this time of year. The best way to ensure that your dog has a successful recovery from a sting is to be prepared.
Whichever means of treatment you choose, buy it today. You want to have it in your home before you need it. If you take your dog hiking or to the dog park, take the treatment along too.
Symptoms of a bee, wasp or hornet sting include swelling in the face, muzzle or nose and hives (bumps) anywhere on the body. In severe cases, the dog may also have trouble breathing, diarrhea or sudden defecation, drooling, depression or weakness. If the dog is having trouble breathing or is in danger of collapse or a coma, better get to a vet quickly. Minor problems, if treated quickly, however, typically resolve with home remedies, often aborting a crisis.
Many conventional veterinarians, including Dr. Mike Anderson, DVM, recommend Benadryl, a human antihistamine, given to counter the reaction. It should be dosed at 1 mg per 1 lb. of dog body weight. Tablets are 25 mg each, which would be the dosage for a 25 lb. dog. A 50 lb. dog would need two tablets; a 12 lb. dog would need half a tablet, etc.
According to Dr. De Haan, homeopathic medicine helps the body respond to a disease by stimulating the body’s own healing substances. In homeopathy, a very small amount of the offending culprit—toxin, bee venom, etc.—is greatly diluted to form the treatment, known as a nosode (when made from pathogen, herbal or mineral sources) or iosode (made from organ, tissue or gland).
He offers the following directions for administering apis miel: Give your dog several of the homeopathic pellets by mouth immediately after seeing the dog stung or when symptoms appear and repeat every 5-15 minutes as needed. If your dog does not take pills easily, dissolve 6 pills in two tablespoons (1 oz.) of water and squirt 12-20 drops on the lips frequently or have him lap it from a saucer with a bit of broth for flavor.
If you choose, you can use both the Benadryl as well as a homeopathic remedy. If you decide to take this route, Dr. De Haan advises using a homeopathic remedy at least 5 minutes or more separated from a drug; meaning there is no contraindication using both, but they must be given separately to be effective.
Most health food stores and some drug stores that sell homeopathics sometimes carry remedies for bee/wasp stings, either as apis miel or similar combination homeopathic products.
Dr. Roger De Haan, DVM, a holistic veterinarian in North Carolina, offers a natural homeopathic “remedy” called apis miel, the homeopathic (non-toxic) venom from the honey bee. He sells this treatment in a 2-oz. bottle for $16. More complex bee/wasp/hornet/insect bite homeopathic remedies are also available. You can order these remedies by calling his office at 704-734-0061.
Another option is to use activated charcoal as a wet external poultice placed over any sting/bite to draw out and help inactivate the poison.
Directions for making a poultice:
- Mix 2 Tbls. charcoal with a small amount of water to form a wet paste. It should be moist but not runny.
- Spread the paste on half of a folded paper towel or cloth towel. The towel should be moist and covered with the paste.
- Cover the paste by folding over the other half of the paper towel.
- Place the charcoal poultice on the area that has been stung.
- Cover the poultice with plastic, such as Saran wrap, cut to overlap the poultice on each side so that it does not dry out.
- Bandage or tape the poultice securely in place and leave it on for several hours.
The poultice can be applied in conjunction with any of the above remedies as added protection. According to Dr. De Haan, activated charcoal is rated by the F.D.A. as effective in adsorbing (adsorbing rather than absorbing is the correct scientific/medical term in this case) many drugs, poisons and gases. It is one of the most powerful adsorbent materials known to medical science and it is 100% natural. Watch for Dr. De Haan’s future article on “Activated Charcoal for Emergencies” on the Library page of my web site.
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