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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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Have to say I know how frightening it is when your dog goes through this, my old girl Jinty had an allergy to stinging insects, wasps and bees seemed to make a 'B' line for her, she would come up in lumps about the size of half an egg.

With the first she was very ill and I did not at first associate her illness/ lethargy and low blood count with the sting, the vet was puzzled, then I remembered the sting and asked if that was what was wrong with her and she was given steroids and made a full recovery she had a number of steroid injections, like you I was worried in case she had a massive reaction apart from the first attack fortunately she never did.

It was only later that I discovered that there was the alternative treatment anti histamine/ piriton it never entered my head that this would treat dogs as well as humans!  I bought it in 'bulk' from the pharmacy and carried it with me throughout the  summer in case she was stung, and found it to be a very successful alternative to the vet!

Jinty went on to almost 16 years of age, she developed 'cushings syndrome' at age eight and may or may not have been a direct effect of her having being treated with long term steroids - it couldn't be proved one way or the other, the general opinion from breeders is that it was a significant contribution and an opinion that my vet couldn't disprove!.

Have to say Rio charged in the house yesterday rubbing his head and shaking  - checked him over , no swelling but am sure he had been stung, almost went into panic mode thinking 'oh, no not again' kept an eye on him until  he settled down, no ill effects and back to his normal self very quickly!.

Will have to get in a supply of piriton just in case - better to err on the side of caution!.

Hope everything turns out well for you.


Thanks Jennifer... I will definitely start carrying piriton around...   16 years is a great age for Jinty... I hope your Rio follows in her steps...

Pitanga has a terrible reaction to a sting, but I have no idea what it is, so just to be safe I always keep a steroid injection at home for her, just in case. We also have steroids and anti-histaminic tablets at home since both me and my mom have serious allergies sometimes. It's always a stress when one of my dogs gets all "sharpei" on me, and we get at least two every summer. I have found that ice helps in my dogs. It does not take the swelling down, but it prevents it from spreading and they seem to find it very soothing.

If I'm going for a walk that is more than 15 min away from home or a vet, I'll take the steroids with me, one can never be too careful, specially in Spring and Summer months. Then I always have anti-histaminic pills - enough for either me or one of the dogs!

My youngster Steo was playing in the garden with a toy last summer (aged about 4 months) and ran down to the back door and frothed a bit and then collapsed with very shallow breathing...no swelling...I had a look around and saw a dead bee near the toy, picked it up in a tissue, phoned vet I was on my way and travelled rather quickly (but legally!). He was given a steroid injection and then anti histamine injection as he was still in trouble, but came through ok...very scary:-(. Now carry Piriton at all times....but yes he attracts bees as soon as he goes outside they appear!!
Yes! Just happened for the first time with Abbey last week! Something bit her and she started rubbing her face with her paws, but only a small lump at first, so I didnt panic! But the next morning Abbey also looked like a Shar-Pei, so off to the Vet to get a steroid injection and within a few hours she was looking like a setter again;o)) Her reaction to the bite or sting was very slow! And I now say "leave it" if I see her interested in any insect!!  I blame her mother Rua, who is my Bee Hunter, for teaching Abbey bad habits;o)) Rua always seems to escape getting stung?? Glad Charlie is fine again;o))

Sorry I am late to the discussion but I have had a weekend in Belgium via France.

I had a dog who as a puppy his eye teeth weren't quite right,he had an appointment at a veterinary dentist but before I took him he came in from the garden with a swollen muzzle.It was solid and Joan and I presumed he had been stung.I took him straight to his consultation and the vet thought it was a wasp sting ,advised piriton and gave him an injection as a precaution.He was fine but I also bought a bulk supply of piriton for future use.It works! I think you have to be careful that the dog's vital signs are all right because dogs can go into shock from a sting as we do (and I do!)

When we had Lizzie she loved catching wasps and would sit outside by the ivy, which the wasps seemed to love, and catch them.After she had been stung she learnt to beat them down with her paws then eat them.We tried to stop her but never succeeded.Oddly her arthritis always improved after eating wasps!

The same dog would also dig for England and adored eating snails.We were unaware of the risks of snails then and she never came to any harm.

My (elderly) father has arthritis... I wonder if he could be convinced to try a wasp stew!! :P


It's reassuring to hear that the Piriton works... now my main worry is him ever being stung when I'm not home to notice it...

Hamilton has a penchant for wasps!! This started when he was about 4 mths old and he managed to catch one which stung him in the throat. His face started swelling and it was straight to the vet who gave him a steroid injection. You would have thought that such an experience would have taught him a lesson but no 6 years on wasps are still fair game and in high season he can manage to catch and eat 2/3 a day, maybe it's been 'pay back' time for the one that stung him in the throat. To date we have not had any further nasty reaction to his addiction.
I am glad I am not alone! Lizzie would eat dozens in the course of a day.She would spend hours catching and eating them and she never had a bad reaction.




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