At the Bird Dog days Customer Appreciation Event Dr. Bob Rider gave a great session on sporting dog first aid, and the information proved to be so valuable that we decided to publish it into several blog posts for other dog owners to learn from. Our first blog post was about treatment of dog wounds, cuts, motion sickness and digestion issues. In this blog post the topic is the treatment of bee stings and venomous snake bites.
Did you know that dogs can have severe allergic reactions to bee stings just like humans? If you know that your dog was stung by a bee you need to observe your dog for a time for any severe reaction. My dog was recently stung between her toes by a honey bee that landed on our porch; she limped back to her bed and licked her wound for a few minutes but had no serious reaction. But Dr. Rider mentioned that it is common for some swelling to occur in the sting area, but if you notice severe swelling in the head, face or throat your dog will require immediate attention from a veterinarian.
Dr. Rider recommends giving Benadryl to your dog in the event of a bee sting to reduce swelling. Most dogs can be given up to 1-2 mg per pound of dog weight every eight hours. So a 100lb. dog can be given up to 200mg of Benadryl (or eight 25mg Benadryl tablets) over the period of 8 hours.
An even greater danger to your sporting dog is venomous snake bites. In the case of a snake bite it’s very important to keep the dog calm to reduce the spreading of venom throughout the dog’s body. The very first thing to do in the case of a venomous snake bite is to administer a Benadryl dosage at the rate of 1mg-2mg per lb. of dog weight. The next thing to do is get to a veterinarian. While snake bites to the face area are the worst situation for the dog and requires immediate attention, a bite from a non-venomous snake is generally harmless.
Dr. Rider suggests getting your dog vaccinated with a pit viper vaccine. The vaccine begins with two initial applications two weeks apart, then followed up with an annual vaccine. The vaccine is cheap compared to the protection it provides to your dog and can be administered at most veterinarian offices. A pit viper vaccine protects your dog against all types of venomous snake bites. Dr. Rider also suggested training your dog to avoid snakes.
Advice from Dr. Rider on Lyme disease and heartworm treatments will be the topic of our next blog post. And for your dog’s utmost health always consult your veterinarian in emergency situations.