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Dog's face is swollen.

Species: Dog
Breed: lab-husky-coon hound
Age: 11-15 years
my dog's face is swollen, her muzzle is swollen on both sides and very firm/hard when i gently squeeze her muzzle. She isn't having any trouble breathing beyond panting, but she is almost 13 years old and pants a lot, so this is not abnormal. Her eyes were half swollen closed at the worse, and there were large bumps on her head above her eyes. Earlier today, the swelling wasn't as severe, and we gave her 4 low dosage aspirin. The swelling went down considerably, sierra vomited and the swelling started to come back. We gave her 2 benadryl 25 mg and now her entire face looks twice it's size but the swelling in now concentrated on her muzzle and less near her eyes. Her throat does not seem swollen from the outside. What could this be?


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Sierra is having these problems!

Swelling like this is often caused by some sort of allergic reaction - usually to something like a bee or wasp sting. In mild cases the benadryl really should work. However, she might need a higher dose. Benadryl is usually given at 1mg per pound so if she is 50lbs your dose of 50mg is good but otherwise she may need more.

However, some allergic reactions are severe enough that they need injectable antihistamine and often steroids as well. These would obviously be treatments you would need to get from your vet.

Another cause for a swollen face is a tooth root abscess. However, it would be very unusual for a dog to suddenly have an abscess on both sides of her mouth.

I have seen dogs with cancer that can have a swollen face as well. This is not common though.

If things have not improved by the time that you get this message then Sierra should definitely see a vet. They will be able to administer stronger anti-allergy drugs and possibly do some tests to determine if there is anything else going on. There really isn't much more you can do at home for her.

I hope she is better soon!

Dr. Marie.


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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. AskAVetQuestion.com and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.