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What to do if a cat gets stung by a bee?

As a cat owner it is important to ask yourself if you know what to do if your cat swallows or gets stung by a bee. Will you be prepared if this happens while on a family camping trip, or in the wee hours of the morning? Cats and bee stings can result in a serious situation depending on how many times your cat got stung and on what part of your cat’s body. Cats are curious animal, so when they get stung by bees it’s usually on the face, nose, or paw. The old adage, “curiosity killed the cat”, actually has an element of truth. Cats are nosy creatures, sniffing at anything of interest. Since felines find insects interesting, they sniff at them, and if they stick their nose where it doesn’t belong, that could turn out to be fatal. So, let’s take a comprehensive look at what happens if a cat got stung by a bee. Cats and bees Since their bodies are small, a bee sting can have a greater, faster effect on cats than it does on humans . Cats react to bee stings a lot like people do. You can expe

What to do if a cat gets stung by a bee?


As a cat owner it is important to ask yourself if you know what to do if your cat swallows or gets stung by a bee.





Will you be prepared if this happens while on a family camping trip, or in the wee hours of the morning? Cats and bee stings can result in a serious situation depending on how many times your cat got stung and on what part of your cat’s body. Cats are curious animal, so when they get stung by bees it’s usually on the face, nose, or paw.





The old adage, “curiosity killed the cat”, actually has an element of truth. Cats are nosy creatures, sniffing at anything of interest. Since felines find insects interesting, they sniff at them, and if they stick their nose where it doesn’t belong, that could turn out to be fatal.





So, let’s take a comprehensive look at what happens if a cat got stung by a bee.





Cats and bees





Since their bodies are small, a bee sting can have a greater, faster effect on cats than it does on humans.





Cats react to bee stings a lot like people do. You can expect her to jump or meow when stung (it hurts!) and even to lick or paw at the sting site for a while afterwards. Wasps and hornets have a painful sting, but do not leave their stinger in the tissue of the cat. Although they do not leave their stinger unattached, they still inject venom the same way as the female honeybee does. The female bee is the only bee that stings.





Unlike other stinging insects, honeybees eject their stinger leaving it behind in their victim’s skin . Along with the ejected stinger, a small venom sac continues pumping painful venom into the open wound. So, you definitely want to move quickly to make sure your cat get relief from the pain and appropriate medical care!





Can Cats Be Allergic to Bees?





Like humans, cats can be allergic to insect stings, and, in rare cases, they can go into anaphylactic shock if they don’t receive treatment straight away.





The main allergen in bee venom is melittin. Melittin causes the red blood cells to burst at the site of the sting. Mellitin causes blood pressure to drop.





Allergic reactions aren’t always immediate so owners who suspect their pet has been stung should keep a close eye on them for at least 24 hours.
Some cats don’t show much effect, just a slightly swollen red mark. Other cats will react a little more strongly, with a decent amount of swelling along with itching and visible pain.





In the vast majority of cases, bee stings are not emergencies. But urgent veterinary help may be needed if your pet is stung in the mouth or neck. In the most serious cases, cats who are highly allergic to bees will develop respiratory distress, display a blue tongue, and have a very rapid heart rate.





Therefore, it’s best to act quickly and bring your cat to the emergency vet.





Cat Stung by a Bee





The seriousness and severity of an insect sting depends on the pet’s reaction to the venom, and each case is different. However, the location of the sting is also important. For example, stings to the throat, mouth and neck can hinder breathing and should be treated as a potential emergency.





When disturbed or threatened, a bee will sting the most accessible area, which is why cats are commonly stung on the paw after stepping on a bee.
Limping can be a strong indication of a bee sting on the paw. Similarly, stings on ears, noses, and sometimes even inside feline mouths are also frequent.





Try to find where your cat got stung by looking for an area that seems to be irritated or even look for the stinger itself. Unlike other stinging insects such as wasps, spiders or ants, a bee can only sting once. If you find the stinger, then your cat got stung by a bee. Look for a small barbed black sac hanging out of your cat’s skin.





If you locate the sac, gently scrape it off using a flat knife or even a leaf. But do NOT use tweezers since this can pump more venom out of the sac into your cat’s skin. Safely removing the embedded stinger and sac will stop more venom from being injected under your cat’s skin and minimize pain and any potential allergic reaction. Do your best to remove the stinger as soon as possible. Begin soothing the site of the sting by using baking soda and water in a paste. This will help minimize the pain.





Cats can be allergic to any one of the many compounds found in bee venom. If she’s highly allergic, you’ll know within minutes as her breathing gets quicker, her heart rate escalates, and she becomes panicky or disoriented. Without medical treatment, cats in anaphylactic shock will eventually lose the ability to breathe altogether.





So, what if your cat eats a bee?





While it may seem unfathomable, many cat owners have stories about “the time my cat ate a bee.”





This makes me wonder, since cats like to catch flying things, how often do they end up eating bees. My cats also like birds in trees, I often see them sitting, waiting patiently to pounce on a bird 15 feet higher than them up in a tree!





Personally, I would discourage your cat from chasing bees by discreetly spraying him with a water pistol every time you see him go after a bee. Then he will learn to associate bees with something unpleasant happening to him. That would be better than him having to learn the hard way, as one of my cats had to when she was stung in the mouth by a wasp and it swelled so badly, she couldn't breathe properly and needed emergency vet treatment.





If your cat goes into anaphylactic shock after an insect sting in the mouth this is a medical emergency.
The best course of action is to take your cat to the vet as soon as possible!





Cat Bee Sting Symptoms





What cat bee sting symptoms should you look for?





  • Cat bee sting symptoms can range from mild to severe. And the more severe the reaction, more symptoms are likely to show up.
  • The most common symptoms are:
  • Swelling at the site
  • Irritation
  • Redness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Licking/pawing at the sting site
  • Blue tongue
  • Rapid heart rate and rapid breathing
  • A sign of a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic shock) may be a large amount of swelling at the site or even in the throat or face.
  • And may even cause breathing difficulties.




So how can you treat a cat bee sting?





The method of treating your cat’s bee sting will be determined by the seriousness of the reaction.





If your cat only seems to be experiencing mild symptoms, there are a few things you can do at home to minimize discomfort and speed up the healing process.





Treating Your Cat’s Mild Bee Sting Symptoms





For mild cases, your vet may suggest you keep your cat at home and treat her there.





This involves treating a bee sting on a cat can involve administering cat bee sting Benadryl plain tablets or capsules according to your vet’s recommendations. When you call your veterinarian, he may give you other instructions on how to very quickly stop the histamines and other chemicals of the venom from being too powerful. He may direct you to give your cat Benadryl and will advise you of the dosage. This will be over the counter, and you should only do this if your veterinarian advises you to do so. Your cat’s size, age, and overall health can determine how much Benadryl can be administered safely at one time. It is also important to know that Benadryl or diphenhydramine will not stop an unfolding case of anaphylactic shock. If you are unsure, it is best to call your vet or just take your cat in for an emergency exam.





Bees typically leave a barbed sting in the animal’s skin, and this should be removed as this can continue to spread venom into your pet. Approach the cat carefully. If your cat is nervous or anxious, restrain the cat if necessary.
If the cat is somewhat aggressive, have an assistant wrap the entire cat, except the head, in a large towel.





Gently scrape the sting out using a blunt object such as a bank card. Tweezers aren’t advised as these may squeeze additional venom out of the stinger.





As bee stings are acidic, the area should be bathed with a mixture of water and bicarbonate of soda. An ice pack should then be applied to the area to provide pain relief. You may want to use cool compresses (baking soda and water mixed into a paste and applied to the sting site works well).





Maintain hydration and food intake. Give your cat fresh water to drink. Cats that are stung in the mouth may find it difficult to eat so feed them moist food. Dry food softened with water is less likely to upset the GI tract than canned food.





Sting Site Safety





Some cats can’t seem to resist re-injuring the sting site by pawing or scratching or licking at it or even pulling off any protective bandaging. Wrap the wound using the veterinary self-adhesive tape. Make sure the wrap isn't too tight to avoid cutting off the circulation. Apply a taste deterrent bitter to the bandage. It is not natural for your cat to have a bandage on. Her cat instincts will compel her to bite at the bandage. Consider an Elizabethan collar if your cat won't stop biting at the bandage or is successful removing it. Your veterinarian can properly fit your cat for this collar.





Treating Your Cat’s Severe Bee Sting Symptoms





For severe symptoms, follow the vet’s recommendations regarding food and water. If your cat seems to be getting rapidly worse, the only course of action is to get your cat to the emergency animal clinic ASAP!
A severe case of anaphylactic shock generally requires hospitalization, sometimes overnight.





Cat Bee Sting First Aid Kit





Kittens do not usually remember to stay away from bees, so you may end up dealing with more than one sting during your cat’s life.





Since you never know when an accident will happen, keeping a pet emergency kit at your home is a good idea. You can put a first aid kit together yourself and buy the items separately or buy one ready-made.





Take some time now to assemble an at-home and travel first aid kit for your cat and always keep it in an easily accessible place. You may want to make one for the house and one for the car. Then you will always have a remedy at hand! And if cat has a severe reaction to a bee sting, you will at least buy yourself time before you get to the emergency animal clinic.





Add supplies for treating insect stings and ask your cat’s vet for specific recommendations on what you should keep at hand!





Here are some ideas of what to include:





  • Tongue depressor or flat knife to scrape away the stinger and venom sac
  • Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for allergic reactions (obtain dose from your veterinarian)
  • Cortisone spray or cream, such as Itch Stop
  • Magnifying glass
  • Penlight
  • Flashlight to help spot the sting site
  • Anti-septic wipes or pads to disinfect the stinger site
  • Oral and/or tablet or capsule plain antihistamine
  • Palatable food (for feeding your cat the antihistamine)
  • Ammonia or calamine lotion dabbed on with a cotton ball can also relieve itching and pain.
  • Hot/cold topical pet pain cream
  • Baking soda
  • Towel or blanket to keep your cat warm during transport (some pharmacies and camping outlets carry a thermal blanket)
  • Bandage rolls - gauze and Vetwrap
  • Q-tips and cotton balls
  • Spring water
  • Clean towels - cloth and paper
  • Square gauze of various sizes - some sterile
  • Another option is to purchase a premade pet first aid kit and add to it based on the recommendations of your cat’s vet.




Important Phone Numbers





  • Veterinary clinic phone number and directions to the clinic
  • Emergency clinic phone number and directions
  • Poison control center phone numbers




References:





http://www.vetstreet.com/our-pet-experts/bee-stings-101-how-to-help-your-pet





https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/297999#prevention


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