Could a bee sting kill your pet? A story prompted by the death of Jenny “The Bloggess” Lawson’s pet dog, Barnaby Jones Pickles

The late Barnaby Jones Pickles and Jenny Lawson's daughter, Hailey in happier days Photo:

We recently read of a pet’s death from anaphylaxis, or a life-threatening allergic reaction to something ingested or injected.  The pet’s owner, well known blogger, Jenny “The Bloggess” Lawson, simply left her dog secured in his run while she quickly ran to pick up her daughter.  When she returned, her beloved family dog, Barnaby Jones Pickles the pug was dead.  You may recall Jenny mentioned in a few of our earlier blog posts about dog people  vs cat people and dog chew strips.

This sad news prompted research regarding Anaphylasis in dogs and how to prevent it if possible.

This is what we found out about anaphylaxis from the Dr.s Foster and Smith site :


Stinging insects, antibiotics, vaccines, certain hormones and medications, and foods can cause anaphylaxis in susceptible animals.


The most common symptoms are the sudden onset of diarrhea, vomiting, shock, seizures, coma, and death. The animal’s gums will be very pale, and the limbs will feel cold. The heart rate is generally very fast, but the pulse is weak. There can be facial swelling.


Anaphylaxis is an extreme emergency. If you think your dog is having an anaphylactic reaction, seek emergency veterinary assistance immediately. Epinephrine should be given as soon as possible – we are talking within a few minutes. IV fluids, oxygen, and other medications are given as needed.

Can anaphylaxis be prevented?

In general, there is no way to predict which animals may have an anaphylactic reaction to which substances. If a dog has already had a reaction, such as anaphylaxis, angioedema, or hives, to a substance, the substance should be avoided. If your dog has ever had a reaction to a vaccine or medication, be sure your veterinarian knows and the information is placed in your pet’s medical record.

How do you prevent anaphylaxis? We guess it would be to never let your dog out of your sight.  That is a hard one…because a lot of dogs have fenced in areas outside to run or play.  Your dog could be bitten or ingest something inside your home as well.  THIS HAPPENED TO US WITH PHILOMENA…so don’t say it can’t happen.  Phil was inside and her face just started to swell.

Luckily, with Joe’s medical training, he observed her and she did not display all of the symptoms of anaphylaxis and her condition did not rapidly get worse, but it could have progressed.

We just wanted to increase awareness so that if you should see any of these symptoms, you know what it could potentially be.  Please seek veterinary attention immediately and stay safe fur friends.  We figured if educate just one fur friend’s pawrent, we have helped.

You know what we say, “One pet, one person at a time.”

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