Vets and vet nurses save four-month-old cat after she suffers bad reaction

A kitten cheated death after suffering an allergic reaction when she was stung by a bee.

It took our skilled team at Vets Now in Chesterfield three days to finally win their battle to save four-month-old Cher.

Now, with wasps and bees still buzzing round gardens, owner Ann Clark, who rescued Cher from a haystack, is warning other owners of the potential dangers.

Pets can suffer anaphylactic shock just the same as humans and swift treatment can be the difference between life and death.

Image of Cher the kitten sitting on a windowsill for Vets Now article on cat stung by bee
Cher the kitten was stung by a bee ©Vets Now

Ann, who lives on a smallholding in the Chesterfield countryside, hand-reared Cher and her two brothers Kaiba and Pax after finding them in a haystack, with their parents believed to be from a nearby farm.

The sting drama began after Ann spotted Cher collapsed and looking poorly just outside her kitchen late on a Friday afternoon.

“She was very drowsy and stunned looking,” said Ann. “She was all wet down her chest and paws and it was obvious something was really wrong.

“We’re well off the beaten track, so we thought she had maybe fallen out of a tree. The thought that she may have been stung by a bee or a wasp didn’t even occur at the time.”

Ann rushed Cher straight to the Charlesworth Veterinary Surgery from where Vets Now provide emergency out-of-hours care. The Vets Now Chesterfield clinic is one of a nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.

Image of kittens Cher, Pax and Kaiba for Vets Now article on cat stung by bee
Cher and her brothers Pax and Kaiba ©Vets Now

“Her pupils were really tiny and they couldn’t get them to dilate, which seemed to really ring alarm bells,” said Ann.

“But it was hard to figure out just what was wrong. It was only a little later that my children actually remembered that we suspected she had been stung a few weeks earlier.

“That time her chin had swollen up, but she was otherwise fine. We checked and were told we could give her an allergy tablet and she was okay the next day.

“This was obviously much worse and while the information about the sting helped the vets with a diagnosis, they said the prognosis wasn’t looking good. We really didn’t expect her to make it through the night.”

Although the venom from bee or wasp stings may only cause pain or mild irritation, they can also trigger anaphylactic shock which can prove fatal.

Allergic reactions usually occur within 10 minutes, but they may be delayed for several hours. If there is a reaction, or swelling around the mouth, it’s vital to seek urgent veterinary care.

Image of a bee on a flower for Vets Now article on cat stung by bee
Bees and wasps can pose a danger to pets as they can suffer anaphylactic shock just the same as humans

“Cher was extremely weak, dehydrated, hypothermic and suffering from laboured breathing and low blood sugar levels when she was brought in,” said Natalie Tate, senior vet at Vets Now in Chesterfield.

“The daytime team at Charlesworth warmed her up and then we continued her stabilisation in the evening and throughout the night whilst carrying out various tests. But her prognosis wasn’t great”.

“It became clear, following discussions with another senior vet, that she’d suffered anaphylaxis. We gave her medication and fluids and very gradually, over the next three nights, her condition began to improve.

“It’s likely the previous bee or wasp sting she’d suffered had sensitised her to the toxins and this had caused her to have such a severe reaction. It shows how potentially dangerous insect stings can be and how important it is owners contact their vet if their pet suffers a severe reaction.”

Image of Cher the kitten for Vets Now article on cat stung by bee
Thankfully, Cher's condition began to improve after three nights at the clinic ©Vets Now

Ann was delighted to get a call on the Saturday morning to say Cher had responded to the treatment, but she was far from out of the woods.

“It was a huge relief, and the regular updates were that she was slowly improving,” said Ann.

“But there were still further complications to deal with, so it was a worrying weekend. It was brilliant when we finally got her home on the Monday and when the medication wore off, she quickly got back to her old self”.

“We’re so grateful to Vets Now who did a marvellous job”.

“We’ve since heard from a friend whose dog was ill after a sting and we now know that you really do need to get help as quickly as you can”.

“And we’re being extra cautious in letting the cats out now with wasps still buzzing around.”

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site.

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies, like Heidi’s, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have.

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.