How to deal with a wasp/bee sting

How to tell the difference between them

How to tell the difference between them

This time of the year, we often get calls about animals and bee or wasp stings. Most cases can be treated at home easily without need to see the vet. Most stings are seen on their paws or in the mouth. You might see swellings, pawing at the mouth, excessive salivation, discomfort and occasionally difficulty breathing( if this occurs the animal should be seen immediately). It is important to note if the sting was a wasp or a bee as these are treated differently.

Bee – Make sure the sting has been removed. Bathe the area in a bicarbonate solution (1 teaspoon in 250ml of water) eg baking soda. An ice pack can then be applied.

Wasp – Bathe the area in diluted vinegar ( 1:1 vinegar and water). An ice pack can then be applied.  

Some animals will require an antihistamine with or without corticosteroids if they are having an allergic reaction.

Rarely will animals go into anaphylactic shock after an insect sting. However, this would be seen as

  • Huge swellings
  • Vomiting
  • Urination/defecation
  • Weakness/collapse
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Seizures

The animal MUST receive immediate medical attention in this case.


Leave a Reply