The Wokingham Paper

PETS & VETS: Helping your curious creatures with bee stings

What should you do if your cat gets stung by a bee?
Michael Morrow Mugshot
Michael Morrow

Cats and Dogs are curious creatures. Unfortunately, they will often decide that playing with a wasp or bee seems like fun and are commonly stung.

Bee and wasp stings are painful for cats and dogs.

I often get phone calls from worried owners explaining that their dog has suddenly gone crazy in the garden and now seems to be distressed.

On further questioning, and sometimes examination, the culprit of these episodes is often a sting.

If an animal is stung you may find them vocalising, licking or chewing at the affected area and if the sting is on a leg they may be limping.

Animals can also have allergic reactions and the area around the sting can start to swell or come up in hives.

If there is any reaction around the head or throat please call your vet as soon as possible.

Some animals can also go into anaphylactic shock after a sting and may even collapse. If your pet is struggling to breath or collapses then phone your vet immediately.

Equally if you are concerned at all or your pet is distressed it is always best to phone us.

If your animal is not in distress and does not need to come in then there are a few things you can do at home to make them more comfortable.

 First of all examine the area making sure your pet is restrained as this can be sore.

If there is a sting present then remove it without squeezing the sting. You can then sooth the area by holding a covered ice pack or bag of frozen vegetables to the area for up to 10 minutes.

Also if you know it was a bee you can apply a mixture of bicarbonate of soda and water using a cotton wool pad.

Do not do this if the affected area is near the eyes or mouth. If it was a wasp then you can apply a small amount of vinegar using a cotton pad.

 Again, do not do this if it is near the eyes or mouth.
If there is a sting present then it will be from a bee however no sting can be from either.

Finally monitor them for signs of an allergic reaction and phone your vet if you are concerned. Please do not give antihistamines unless instructed to by your vet. There are many different antihistamines, all needing different doses.


Nancy and Michael Morrow own and run St Vincents Veterinary Surgery, an independent practice providing personal care to pets in and around Wokingham. For more information call the practice on 0118 979 3200 or visit

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