Ah, dogs. They really do get into everything, don't they? If you have a very curious dog who spends a lot of time outdoors, you might worry about them getting stung by a bee. But have you considered that they might actually swallow a bee? It's definitely possible for a dog to eat and swallow a bumblebee, especially if they are playing in some flowers and get too excited with their mouths open. We talked to a couple vets to get their advice on what dog owners should do if this happens, including how to tell if it even happened at all. Keep reading to see what they had to say.
How Can I Tell If My Dog Ate a Bumblebee?
The first course of action is figuring out if your dog even swallowed a bee, especially if you didn't see it happen. "Look closely at their lips, inside their mouth at their gums, tongue, and back of their throat as best as you can as they are at risk of being stung before swallowing the bee," Dr. Tory Waxman, DVM, a small-animal veterinarian and cofounder of human-grade dog-food brand Sundays, told POPSUGAR. If you can't spot any stings and swelling, it's possible nothing will come of this. However, the bumblebee can still sting your dog's insides, and according to Dr. Leslie Brooks, DVM, a veterinary adviser for Betterpet, that can lead to vomiting or coughing.
What Could Happen If My Dog Eats a Bumblebee?
It's possible the bee sting can produce an allergic reaction in your pup. "Signs of an allergic reaction in dogs include swelling of the eyes, face, and/or muzzle, hives, drooling, pale gums, vomiting, diarrhoea, and, in rare cases, difficulty breathing," Dr. Waxman told POPSUGAR. If you see your dog eat a bee, though, and you don't encounter any reactions, it's most likely the bee didn't sting your dog at all and died while being digested. However, if you do see any kind of reaction like this, it's a good idea to call your vet right away and let them know what's going on.
How Quickly Should I Take My Dog to the Vet If They Eat a Bumblebee?
If you see your dog eat a bee, keep a close eye on them at home to see if there are any reactions. Both Dr. Waxman and Dr. Brooks suggest monitoring your dog for a few days for any adverse reactions. If you notice vomiting, swelling, or difficulty breathing, call the vet immediately. A bee's sting can cause these reactions, but swallowing a bee can also potentially lead to gastrointestinal upset, Dr. Waxman said.
Is There Anything I Can Do at Home If My Dog Eats a Bumblebee?
Keep your dog close to you to monitor them after this happens. If you are at all concerned, call the vet and ask them for recommendations on what to do. Dr. Brooks noted that if your dog does have a mild allergic reaction, your vet may suggest giving your pup Benadryl, but ask before doing it.
If you didn't actually see your dog eat the bumblebee, it'll be hard to nail down the cause of any issues your dog may be having, so just keep in mind that bee stings can lead to swelling, vomiting, and diarrhoea. If your dog is experiencing any of these symptoms, go ahead and give the vet a call.