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Author Topic: What killed my dog - anaphylaxis, africanized bees, overdose?  (Read 1891 times)

Offline briligg

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We're pretty upset right now about losing our dog last night. I just don't feel sure what happened, and i'd like to know.

We have bees. A contractor for a neighbour upset them yesterday and they swarmed. She was stung a lot. She took off in the chaos and we didn't recover her for maybe an hour, we found her a kilometer away. The vet came to the house. I didn't see the treatment, but there was at least one injection, and he left her with an I.V. drip attached to her and we had two more needles we were supposed to give her today. She had been lethargic before he got here but she was exhausted and in pain. She didn't throw up, i didn't see any drooling. She refused water and food. She has been stung before, in fact once she was stung a number of times during another bee fiasco (we thought would never be repeated).

We thought she was out of danger. She was woozy but we attributed that to the painkillers and continuing exhaustion. She was wagging her tail sort of at random so i thought she was high. She vomitted a little once, but was clearly conscious, i just cleaned it up. An hour after that from another room we heard her howl in alarm, once, for a few seconds. By the time we reached her she was already unconscious. She convulsed once a few seconds after that, and that was it.

This is Mexico, and the bees are wild - they moved into our property and we decided not to kill them. We have had them for several years. From what we know, they could be a mixed breed, crossed with Africanized bees.

The vet has looked after our animals for years, i trust him. But i want to search farther afield for an explanation, because if what he gave her was a factor, he might not answer honestly, good man though he is. What i have found so far online doesn't give me a clear picture of what killed her. I feel terrible that i didn't get her safely inside sooner, didn't see signs she was in danger in the evening, didn't know what to do. :-'(


 

Offline RD

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Surviving previous stings would not rule out anaphylaxis : like vaccination the first exposure stimulates the immune system so it reacts more vigorously when it is exposed to that antigen again.

The number of stings and the animal's age & size would be relevant factors.

Quote from: medterms.com
The lethal dose of honeybee venom is about 19 stings per kg of body weight

Africanized honey bee stings, like those of common honey bees, can cause local pain, itching, swelling, skin infection. They can also cause allergic reaction with breathing difficulty, heart irregularity, seizures, shock, and death. Serious kidney, muscle, liver, brain, and lung damage can result.
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=9481
« Last Edit: 25/09/2013 18:28:10 by RD »
 

Offline briligg

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She weighed maybe 25 kg, and was 9 years old. She was in decent shape for her age. My husband was home a while ago and said when he arrived to help yesterday she left the front gate as he was driving in. He said her head was covered in bees. He almost opened the door to get her in, but his nephew was in the car too. By the time he had recovered our bee suits from the garage and we had suited up, she was gone. I didn't see her like that. I had no idea it got that bad.

But i thought once she got the treatment, she would be okay. It was maybe an hour and a half before the vet got there and gave her the shots. They called it an anti-venom.

The bees will be moved this evening to a friend's rural property. This area is farms, but that neighbour is too close.
 

Offline briligg

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I see at the link there is actually no anti-venom for Africanized bees. I don't know what her treatment was then.

Today i found a half-length mesh bee-suit by the front door of the house, and realized my husband had placed it there in case of emergency. If i had found it yesterday, i could have saved her. I was panicked, i didn't take the steps i needed to take. She had a good life, if it wasn't that i know i could have saved her if i'd known what to do, i wouldn't really feel bad.

Thanks for the info and link, i guess that settles it.
 

Offline CliffordK

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I am sorry to hear about your dog.  I am sure it was not pleasant to watch.

I assume these were honey bees and not yellow jackets.  The swarming sounds like they were the Africanized (killer) bees.  I think some of the issues with them include the aggressive swarming behavior.  Is it worth testing the bees before relocating the hive?  I believe all the Africanized bees are a hybrid.  I don't know how much the behavior dilutes with introducing more European stock.

In humans, the risk of anaphylaxis can be from one or two stings, and results in an airway restriction. 

20 stings per kilo x 25 kilos...  is about 500 bee stings.  That would be a lot of stings, but perhaps not unexpected with a large swarming event.

Epinephrine is commonly used in humans to prevent airway constriction related to bee stings.  I wonder if it wears off before the bee stings wear off.

Here is an interesting article about the acute treatment of humans for massive bee stings.
http://ccn.aacnjournals.org/content/26/3/23.full

It sounds to me like your dog should have been admitted to a 24 hour emergency care veterinary clinic, perhaps for a day or two if one is nearby. 
 

Offline briligg

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We are in a small town in central Mexico. The vet we use is as good as it gets. He has come to trust my husband's ability with animals, so he does things like leave syringes with prepared meds for him to inject later. And he left her with an I.V..

The bees arrived uninvited from the local environment. Whatever they are, there are plenty more like them around. There hive boxes are quite near a railway line, trains often toot as they pass. Firecrackers go off very often with very loud bangs whenever people in the community celebrate something. The contractor tends the garden for absent landlords. He was just using a weed-whacker. That is something he has done every couple of weeks for the last four months. My husband uses one too, in fact. None of these things caused the hive to swarm.

We asked the contractor what had happened, and he said the weed-whacker was a new, bigger model, and that maybe he got too close and some debris hit the bee box.
 

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