Home Healer: Treating Bee Stings and Spider Bites
Summer brings wonderful things, like warm weather, long days, and beautiful flowers. But it
also brings out bugs. Our curious feline and canine companions may happen upon a bee or spider
and want to investigate, or may even see these intriguing creatures as a new playmate. Whatever
the reason for the encounter, your dog or cat may end up wishing they had left well enough
Most dogs and cats will only suffer discomfort from a bee sting or spider bite, but some
animals may be allergic. If this is the case, bring your pet to the veterinarian immediately. And
before your pet goes anywhere near a place where he or she may encounter bees or spiders, read
up on the following tips:
Bee or Wasp Stings: Again, most dogs and cats will feel the discomfort associated with bee or
wasp stings, but, just like people, some dogs and cats are allergic and can have a much more
serious reaction, including anaphylaxis. In either case, if your pet gets stung, do not pull out the
stinger. This will cause more venom to leak out into your pet. Instead, scrape the stinger out with
your fingernail or a piece of cardboard. If your pet is not allergic to bee or wasp stings,
administer Benadryl (1mg per pound) prophylactically and apply a cool compress to the wound.
Consider giving Bach Flower Rescue Remedy to help alleviate your pet’s distress. If you know
your pet is allergic, he or she is showing symptoms of allergic reaction, such as difficulty
breathing, weakness, or swelling, or has been stung by multiple bees or wasps, get to your
veterinarian for treatment right away. Anaphylactic shock is life threatening and needs to be
treated by a veterinarian immediately.
Spider Bites: Similar to bee and wasp stings, some animals are allergic to spider bites and some
are not. Additionally, there are certain types of spiders that are poisonous. Black widow spiders
and brown recluse spiders are particularly venomous. If your pet is bitten by either of these types
of spiders, seek veterinary treatment immediately. A veterinarian can administer antivenin which
can save your pet’s life. If your pet was not bitten by a venomous spider and is not allergic, the
home treatment will be similar to that of a bee sting. Administer Benadryl orally at 1mg per
pound, apply a cold compress, and consider using Back Flower Rescue Remedy to help your pet
feel at ease.
Other Bites and Stings: While bees and spiders are most common, other critters may have a
nibble on your pet as well. Scorpions or snakes (depending on where you are), mosquitoes, ants,
and flies may also do some harm to your beloved companion. Follow the same strategies as
above if you run into any of these unfriendly fellows.
Summer Responsibly: Keep an eye on your pets when outside to avoid encounters with other
creatures that have the potential to harm your fuzzy friend, and keep in mind that bugs can live
inside your house as well. Check your pet regularly for signs of an insect bite or sting and keep
on the lookout for symptoms of allergy or anaphylaxis. Simple bites or stings can be treated at
home with regular drugstore Benadryl and cold compresses while signs of allergy or anaphylaxis
require veterinary intervention.