Bravery Award – March 2023

by | Mar 29, 2023

The happiest of boys, Zeus the 5 month old XL Bully, was due to come in recently for his post op check following a dental procedure.  His owners rang unexpectedly earlier that day to say that suddenly Zeus’ handsome muzzle had become incredibly swollen and red and they suspected that he may have been bitten by something.  Our nurses suggested bringing him straight in for a vet to examine him as severe anaphylaxis can have a rather sudden onset and is particularly life threatening for our brachycephalic (short nosed) friends.

Zeus presented to the clinic bright and alert, much to relief of the team and his owners.  It was obvious though that something nasty had bitten him and he would need an antihistamine right away.  Zeus’ owners informed us that they did not feed him that morning due to his swollen mouth.  In cases where we suspect an anaphylactic reaction, this is exactly what we would recommend as swelling can occur in the throat as well, making it difficult to swallow, cause breathing difficulties and possible aspiration of food.

Dr. Mia thoroughly examined Zeus to make sure that he was stable, and after searching his face for any evidence of a bite, miraculously managed to remove a minute bee stinger from the right hand side of his muzzle!  Often the stingers or bite marks are never found, and we treat these anaphylactic patients symptomatically.

Dog bee stings are not as common as you might expect, but they certainly can occur, with dog’s usually being bitten on their face, snout or paws.  On the whole, most dog’s will have a mild response to a bee sting like Zeus, but like any allergic reaction, it is important to always call your veterinarian for advice, and generally head straight to the closest clinic.  Most of the time, there will only be mild localised swelling, red and itchy skin, and your dog will likely be very sensitive to you touching the area.  However, anaphylactic reactions can certainly be more severe and include symptoms of; swelling around the mouth and throat, respiratory distress, vomiting, lethargy and collapse.  If a severe case is left untreated, an animal may go into anaphylactic shock and it could prove to be fatal.  Always seek veterinary advice if you suspect your dog or cat has been bitten.

Luckily for young Zeus, his owners took quick and decisive action by calling us straight away, and after an antihistamine injection and some cuddles from the team, he was feeling much more himself!  He’s promised us he will stay out of the bee’s way next time, and not try to give it a smooch! 

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