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Sting/bite ... Charlie gave us a fright!!!

As many people here seem to have had dogs for a long time, I thought I'd share this and ask for people's tips and experiences.
Charlie was happily playing in the garden and house today, and while tidying the lunch table, I noticed he was lying on the floor rubbing his muzzle on the floor boards. He looked a bit odd, and I vaguely wondered if he was having some kind of fit, but the moment I called him he happily jumped up to play and run around again. After ten minutes or so, he was still rubbing his face on the ground regularly, and his nose appeared swollen. I started looking to see what he could have put his nose in that made him itchy, but couldn't think of anything around that isn't around all the time and has not caused problems in the past. We wondered what to do, and thought we'd wait a few minutes and see if the swelling went down. Five minutes later my daughter shouted that his left eye was swelling too. So we got on the phone to the vet, who talked us through the symptoms and asked us to take him to the clinic so they could check him.
We took him there (one of the longest 30mins drive in my life, with my teen daughter sat near him and me asking every minute whether he was breathing), and he was okie and got a steroid injection. The vet said he was an Irish setter looking like a sharpei!! They assume he got bitten or stung.
I asked what I could carry around with me in case it happened again, worried he might be more sensitive another time (at leat this time the swelling didn't spread too much and he isn't have breathing difficulties). They said the piriton I have for people allergies is fine for him (they wrote dosage down for me).
Has anyone ever had their dog swelling up from a bite or sting, and if so do you carry anything around with you in case of emergency?
He is fine now, the swelling is going down.... But gosh he gave me quite a fright!!!

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Wanted to add that Charlie is our first dog and is 20 months old.
hi Ziggy, my old girl's face-eye-head swell up once (never before and never after) after the annual jab, she had an allergic reaction to one of the additional components. and yes, she looked like a shar-pei. another swelling happening last year to one of my other dogs was after - most likely - a spider bite. i could never figure it out what caused it as she was sleeping next to me on the couch. in her case also the tongue was really swollen and i was in panic that she wouldn't be able to breath. she attempted to vomit, i assume it was the tongue swollen that caused her to believe to have something in her throat. in both cases they rubbed their faces to the ground as you describe. we rushed to the vet and they got calcium and some shot, might have been steroids but i cannot remember. i was told to have calcium at home which i have now. no idea though if i would be able to administer it in a stressful situation :)
I haven't had this happen but I sure would have reacted just like you had.  Glad your dog is okay now.

Over the years most of my Irish Setters have at some point in their lives had a swelling or swellings caused by stings or bites and sometimes there has not been a known reason.  Most bites or stings are in or around the mouth as the dogs are playing with or trying to eat an insect, wasp or bee.  Usually the swelling does not last too long but it is scary when you are not sure if the swelling is going to extend to the back of the tongue or throat area and cause breathing difficulties.  When this has happened by day I would normally get them to the vet as soon as possible for a jab which I always assumed is an anti inflammatory but it may have been a steroid (I will ask the next time I go) and the swelling has gone down very quickly.  If it is out of vets hours then I administer Piraton and always keep some of them in the cupboard.  I also had one dog who kept coming up in what Sue describes as hives, he used to get small swellings come up around his face, muzzle and front legs but taking him to the vets would have been a waste of time as they would disappear as quickly as they came up, however he grew out of this completely when he got to 2 years old and we thought it was due to the pollen from the stinging nettles flowers and were always careful to get rid of them from the fields where he ran before they flowered when we realised it could be them causing it.

Hi Ziggy, scary isn't it!! Am so glad your dog is ok though, last year all three of mine disturbed a wasps nest at  a local beauty spot, all got stung, including poor husband who was brushing wasps off the dogs in an effort to reduce the damage!! they all came up in awful lumps but fortunately husband phoned me and we got them treated straight away, initially with injections, always thought anti inflammatory but not sure, and then piriton tablets. Only today one of mine was fascinated by a bee!! A few years ago i had a jack russell cross who had anaphalaxis after a  bee sting, that was really scary as we were in the middle of a field quite a walk from our house, we had no car, and my ex husband had to scoop the dog up and run back to a neighbours house to get a lift to the vet!! Fortunately the dog was ok and was very wary of anything flying ever afterwards!! I, on the other hand, was a nervous wreck!!

The very same thing happended to me. We had our walk in the woods - Georgie jumped into the car all was well and we were home in 3 minutes. She got out of the car and my neice screamed for me to look at georgie and she too looked like a Sharpei. The vet is literally just around the corner - I asked for a vet immediately and I felt a total lack of urgency from the reception staff  - so I repeated my request for a vet and one came, Unfortunately for me she did not give me confidence. She insisted on weighing Georgie and I thought she would collapse walking to the scales - I told the vet her weight but she insisted. She explained that it was a reaction to an insect, how she was going to treat it and that she would need to be fed on chicken and rice once she got home!!!!!! I interupted the conversation and said - 'I do not want to stand here listening to you talking about a menu whilst my dog dies from an allergic reaction'. The vet shut up and gave a steriod and said I could take her home! No way - I insisted we stayed until the swelling had gone down. My neice and I sat on the floor in the consulting room for an hour untill the vet returned to check her over.! Both my neice and I work in Intensive Care and deal with emergencies all the time  - but we were both in shock simply because the vet seemed not to appreciate the urgency of the situation. I can not get over the chicken and rice advice that came before the steriod!

I made sure I saw another vet for a check up and asked if I should have some medication to administer imediately but the answer was no because she did not collapse and the airway was clear. 

Thankfully Georgie runs from bees ect ever since that day!  When ever I leave them in the house I always make sure there arent any bees or wasps in the house and the windows are closed. 


I am glad that Charlie is on the mend. My advice to anyone is get to the vet as soon as you can

Yep, I have two here who are allergic.  The last time our Lab got stung, his whole head ballooned, and he lost all the hair around his eyes, plus a few patches on his head.  When we took him into the vet for an injection, the Receptionist thought he was a SharPei.



Tiz had her face swell up after being stung by a bee.  My Vet told us we can give her Benadryl if we are not able to get to the vet right away. I always have Benadryl in the house.



I keep Benadryl here at home...and anytime we are out where we might encounter bees etc there is some in first aid kit in my car...useful for humans also!  I had one dog follow the bee right into the nest and what a swollen mess he was!  Gave Benadryl, scraped the bites with my nail to remove stingers (do not squeeze them) while husband drove us to the vet....damage control done pretty much by time we got there but never wanted to go thru that one again,  Benadryl did make mine sleepy so he was not pawing at his face which I am sure was very uncomfortable.
Thanks everyone, seems I'm not alone in this. For those who have used piriton or benadryl, how quickly does it normally help? I'm going to keep some in my car, and with the poo bags I always carry on walks, in case if another incident. Would a dose of that usually be enough, or do you usually administer it and then take the dog to a vet? I was given dosage for piriton, how much benadryl do you give? Sorry for all the questions, I just want to be prepared next time this happens...
Can't believe a vet talked about chicken and rice before treating a swelling dog... Surely the diet talk could have waited till after assistance was given....
that is a shocking story. Glad all is o.k. I personally have not had anything like that with my IS.... just granddaughter and that was awful.
My kids have all been stung at various times (usually when running around half dressed in the garden in the summer playing with the paddling pool) and thankfully none of them seem to have allergies... but we have friends whose kids do react to stings, as well as friends with nut/cat allergies, so piriton is always in our house, it was frightening enough seeing Charlie swell, I hope I never to go through it with a child... It makes me shudder to think what you must have gone through when it happened to your granddaughter...




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