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Stings can affect animals just the same as they can humans. It may be that there is an insect sting, a smaller midge, a hornet, wasps, or bees. How we deal with them will be different. The first thing we do is look at bee stings. Now, with the bee stings is often, that the bee will actually die when it stings, because the back end of the bee is left, and they can carry on pulsating, pumping more and more toxin in, for anything up to two or three minutes afterwards. So, it is quite important that we get that stinger out as quick as possible. The other thing is because the stinger is there, what we do not want to do is use our fingers to pull it out or tweezers, because if we do that, we are going to inject all of the poison that is in the stinger into the animal, making it worse.

What we need to do is find a way of actually pulling it away from the base. So, we disconnect it from the body without injecting any more poison in. To do that, we use a credit card or business card or anything that is fairly rigid. Credit cards are ideal for it. So, if you have got a sting, it can happen in different parts of the body. Typical areas within dogs are around the face because they will chase after a bee or an insect, so it may well be they got it on the nose, or on the head, or inside the mouth.

Inside the mouth is always a harder one to remove, but we can use the same sort of techniques. Other areas can be the feet because they might step on a bee, or they may well just come across the grass and get stung quite as simple in that way. So, all we need to do is, we need to take it out of the face. So, if you got something like a card, whenever you are taking it from the face, taking hold of the card, lay it on to the skin, and then push back. And what you should find with that, it lifts the stinger away from the skin, and then you can simply just pull it away. If you need to, you can just part the hair, and hold it open and again, put that right down at the base, just a little bit before the stinger, slide it along. So, remember, the stinger is on the card, we dispose of this correctly, because what we do not want to do is then that potentially can sting you still, or sting the animal again.

Now, if the stinger is in the foot, exactly the same would go through. Obviously, remember that if you are dealing with them on their foot, you have got to be careful that you are not going to get bitten, so you could still remove it in exactly the same way. Inside the mouth is always going to be much harder. But it may well be when they have been stung in the mouth, that the stinger, just by the action of the mouth, has actually already been removed. It may well have come out. Now, with an insect bite, and we are looking at bee stings here if we move on to others.

Now, it may well be that the dog could have a reaction to that bee sting, or any other type of insect sting. If it does, it could have two types. One could be a minor reaction. A minor reaction would just be redness, maybe some swelling, but there is no serious medical threat. Something like anaphylaxis is an allergic reaction to a toxic substance. 

This is the same as in humans, where people have anaphylactic reactions, either to a foodstuff, a typical one that people hear about is a peanut allergy, very similar type of reaction to a substance. The most important thing when you have had the sting is identifying whether it is just a sting, just standard swelling, or whether it is affecting the dog's respiratory system and health. So, you need to keep and monitor them the whole time. If in doubt, take them to the vet. But if it is just a small sting, you might find they are okay. Digger has been stung. She got stung by a wasp at the end of the nose here, literally the whole face puffed up. We took her to the vet, she went on to antihistamine tablets, then she went on to full recovery. So, there was no real threat.

The key thing there was, yes there was swelling, but there was not any respiratory distress at all. But it is always worth getting those things checked out by a vet. If she has trodden on an insect, for example, a bee, and it has gone into here, into the foot, again, it might be quite hard to push the card through, but you can, if you just carefully move it and then just bring it through. The important thing is getting it out quickly because if it is a bee sting, it will carry on pumping in. Finally, we have looked at bee stings, and any other type of sting will be the same. It is just the bee is talked about differently because the stinger is left in the body and it carries on pumping in. Other things would have the same effect, so you need to look out for potential allergic reactions, either severe or minor. And also, they are going to be a little bit upset by it. So, you will probably, when they get stung, start to hear some yelping and it may well be they just need a little bit more care, or maybe keep them calm for a little bit after they have been stung. And look out for any other swelling later on or secondary infection that might come up.