You may hear a yelp from your dog and then within 20 minutes, see his face swell in size. The cause behind the swollen face may be a reaction to a bee sting. “Fatal reactions are rare, but they do occur,” says Dr. Russak. Most dogs tend to have a mild reaction, and often a first-time bee sting causes no trouble. It’s the subsequent stings that can be severe. “Bee stings, if you can avoid them, are critically important to stay away from.”
Location: Bees are in all states. Africanized honey bees are found in the Southwest, Florida, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas.
What to do: Seek prompt veterinary attention. If you absolutely can’t get to a veterinary clinic (say, you’re in the mountains far from any town), give a small dog a child’s dose of antihistamine; give an adult dose to a large dog, he says. Dr. Tegzes views bees as more nuisance than life-threatening, although Africanized bees are very aggressive. “They have been known to swarm and bite animals in their path – there have been cases in horses that have been bitten hundreds of times,” he reports.