Doctors save pet owner - and her dog - after bee attack

Kyle Alspach

Staff at a local hospital helped save the life of an unusual patient last week - a 7-pound Yorkshire terrier.

They also treated the dog's owner, Tia Meadows of Brockton, after the two were stung repeatedly by a swarm of angry bees.

"It was the scariest thing on earth," Meadows said about the incident, which occurred last Wednesday night outside a friend's house in Brockton.

The 23-year-old said she had tied up her dog, Reeses, outside, when the dog began rolling around. She realized he was being attacked by bees, and, as she tried to swat the bees off him, they began stinging her.

The dog began throwing up and looked "almost dead," she said, so she decided she had to take him to her veterinarian in Brockton. But the office was closed. As she was driving, her face began to swell up and it became hard for her to see.

"I didn't know I was allergic to bee stings," she said.

It was clear she needed to go to the hospital, and the nearest one was Caritas Good Samaritan Medical Center.

Meadows got immediate treatment, but the staff faced a dilemma with the dog, said Dr. Rick Herman, chief of emergency medicine at the hospital. Although it is not hospital policy to take care of animals, something had to be done, Herman said.

"We didn't want the dog to die," he said.

Hospital staff called the Westbridge Veterinary Hospital in West Bridgewater and were advised that a shot of Benadryl could help the dog.

The staff gave the shot to the dog, and it seemed to stop the reaction.

A hospital clerk and a security guard then drove the dog to the Westbridge facility, Herman said.

Meadows, a criminal justice student at Massasoit Community College who also works at the front desk at the Residence Inn in Brockton, said she was stung about 20 times, but is recovering. Reeses is also doing much better, she said.

"He's just about back to his normal self."

Kyle Alspach of The Enterprise (Brockton, Mass.) can be reached at kalspach@enterprisenews.com.