Swarm of Bees
“It was something out of a horror movie. It looked just like a tornado chasing us,” described pet parent Austin Haydis; no matter what we did or where we ran, inside the house, in our cars, then trying to hose them off, we just couldn’t get away.” Austin is referring to the swarm of bees that attacked his wife, himself, and their two-year-old Rottweiler named Dawg outside their home. Austin was stung some 30 times. His wife, Brenda, had approximately 150 stings requiring paramedics to transport her to a nearby hospital. However, it was Dawg who received the brunt of the attack with more than 300 bee stings, 25 stings in his mouth alone.
Emergency Critical Care
The 140-pound pup suffering from anaphylactic shock was rushed to our Carlsbad hospital. Emergency veterinarians Dr. Ashley Allgood and Dr. Virginia Fritsch-Darrow quickly surveyed Dawg’s condition, immediately administering pain medication, ensuring his airway remained open and his blood pressure and circulation managed. “His extremely low blood pressure worried us,” said Dr. Allgood, “because it meant his organs weren’t getting the necessary oxygen and vital nutrients normally provided by the body’s blood flow. If we couldn’t elevate his blood pressure back to a healthy range, it could lead to his organs shutting down.”
The emergency team carefully combed through Dawg’s fur and the area in and around his mouth, removing stinger after stinger. While in the ER, the young Rottweiler was continuously monitored for low blood pressure, acute kidney damage, delayed hypersensitivity, all signs of an anaphylactic shock relapse.
Dawg was able to go home 24 hours later. However, he required continual monitoring by Austin, watching for any change in Dawg’s behavior that could indicate a downturn. It took a couple of weeks for Dawg to return to his healthy, active self and for Austin and Brenda as well after the frightening ordeal. Austin hired a bee removal service to remove the hive found in the rafters of their detached laundry room. “The bee remover told us that the swarm was likely relocating their newly anointed queen bee and felt threatened with Dawg and Brenda in their path. It was definitely being at the wrong place at the wrong time,” shared the pet owner.
Austin describes the Rottweiler as the biggest sweetheart, 140 pounds of pure love. “He definitely captured our hearts during the short time he was here in the hospital,” said Dr. Allgood, who monitored Dawg while he was in the ER.
“We’ve never seen a case involving the severity and number of stings that Dawg endured. The size of Dawg was definitely in his favor as a smaller pet most likely wouldn’t have been able to handle the amount of toxin from the stings,” shared Veterinary Criticalist Dr. Boyle.
What to do if your pet is stung
The nose and paws are the most common places for bee stings in pets. Typically, when stung, they will paw at their face or lick the stung site.
Remove the stinger as quickly as possible. Because the stinger has an attached venom sac, the venom can continue to enter the dog’s skin if not removed.
- Wash the area with cool water and soap.
- Apply a cool compress to reduce swelling
- If the swelling or pain does not improve within a day or two, contact your veterinarian.
When Should You Take Your Pet to the ER for a Bee Sting?
If your pet continues to experience pain or swelling, contact your veterinarian.
An Anaphylactic Shock is when a pet is allergic to bee venom and can be sudden and life-threatening. If your pet shows the following signs, immediately go to the nearest veterinary emergency hospital:
- Trouble breathing
- Pale gums