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Swollen cheek on puppy.

Species: Dog
Breed: Shepard mix
Age: 3-6 months
3 days ago I came home to find my dogs right cheek swollen to golf ball size. Yesterday it grew more swollen, and today it is more swollen than ever. The bump is perfectly rounded and doesn't seem to be effecting the inside of his mouth.

His eye is now nearly shut. He doesn't seem to have any pain. His activity level seems to be the same. The swollen area doesn't seem to be warm and he doesn't seem to have a fever.

We live in michigan and there are not many venomous insects living here.

He has an appointment on friday with his vet for his boosters. I was wondering if you had any idea what this swelling migfht be and if it is dangerous to have him wait to 5 more days to see a vet.

Thank you,
Kirsten Svitchan


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Sorry to hear that Zeus is having problems!

What you have described is unlikely to be due to an insect sting if it has been present for 3 days.

I'd be more concerned about the possibility of an abscess of some sort. In a young pup, the most common type of abscess would be from a penetrating wound such as a nip from another puppy or a stick penetrating. I have seen a number of skin abscesses in dogs that don't appear to be painful and don't cause a fever, simply cause a lump.

A tooth root abscess can definitely cause a bump under the eye or on the cheek. However, I have never seen a tooth root abscess in a young puppy.

I think as long as Zeus is eating ok and doesn't seem uncomfortable and as long as the eye does not seem irritated then it is likely ok to wait until your vaccine visit. Keep in mind, however, if there is an abscess there is a good chance that the vet will want to hold off on vaccinations until the abscess is cleared up.

Probably, if this were my case I would recommend an early visit just to be sure. If it turns out to be nothing serious your vet can just go ahead and do his boosters a little early.

I hope he is ok!

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.