If you suddenly notice that part of your dog’s face is swollen, you may well be alarmed. The causes of swelling in dogs’ faces vary widely, from allergies to dental issues. The swelling may be benign, such as a reaction to an insect bite, or it may call for emergency care. For your dog’s wellbeing, you will find the signs and causes of a dog’s face swollen useful to know.
Dangers of Canine Face Swelling
A dog that has a swollen face may well be in life-threatening circumstances. This is particularly true if the swelling progresses and spreads to the dog’s throat. Do not attempt to diagnose your dog’s condition on your own. When your dog’s face appears lopsided or swollen, visit your veterinarian immediately.
A Changed Appearance
When your dog’s face is swollen, the particular point that is affected can vary. Sometimes it is the eyelids, sometimes the cheeks, other times the muzzle. Your dog’s face may be overall enlarged. It may seem lopsided.
Most often, a dog with a face that is swollen is suffering from an acute allergic reaction. These are often related to insect bites or stings, such as spider bite on dogs. Swollen faces may also indicate that your dog has inhaled an allergen like pollen. Dogs with swollen faces or muzzles may be heading toward anaphylactic shock. While dogs with swollen faces do not always experience anaphylaxis, it is relatively common. An emergency veterinarian can treat your dog for facial swelling before it extends to the point of your dog experiencing difficulty breathing.
Common Causes of Dog Face Swelling
Because facial swelling in canines can lead to life-threatening states, it is important to see a veterinarian as soon as possible, regardless of the cause you suspect. Common causes include allergies, abscesses, dental difficulties, tumors both benign and cancerous, and trauma due to bites or other injuries. While less common, some breeds are prey to a rare condition known as craniomandibular osteopathy. It causes swelling in the jaw.
Just as people suffer from an allergic reaction to a wide variety of substances from chemicals to plants, from foods to medications, so do their canine companions. Treatment for allergic reactions relies upon the cause. It may include steroids, an antihistamine, antibiotic ointment, testing of the skin or blood, or a special diet. Epinephrine may be called for in severe cases. There are four main common varieties of a canine allergic reaction: food, seasonal, skin, and acute . A very mild allergic reaction can be difficult to pinpoint without help, while a severe allergic reaction requires immediate help.
Generally, a food allergic reaction is apparent when your dog is vomiting or has diarrhea after consuming particular types of food. Despite this, another sign of food allergic reaction is swelling in the face. You may also notice skin conditions or loss of fur. Food allergies are easily treated by altering the type of things you feed your dog or even by trying the best dog food for allergies.
Some dogs are afflicted by seasonal allergies just as some people are. In this case, you may notice symptoms of a dog’s allergic reaction when your dog has been outside all day, or immediately upon returning from outings in areas of high pollen counts. The swelling or other symptoms, such as ear infections, sneezing, and chewing or licking at its feet, will tend to appear in your dog at the same time of year. This indicates seasonal allergies.
Generally caused by exposure to particular plants, chemicals to treat your yard or exposure to ticks or fleas, skin allergic reactions cause irritation and swelling. The skin tends to be red and may show hives, which are small red bumps. Another cause may be the use of a new detergent, just as in people. The problem tends to be resolved when you remove the new chemical or other irritants. A regular flea and tick preventative are useful to avoid skin allergies. An insect bite beyond those of fleas and ticks may also cause facial swelling in dogs. bee
Dogs with sudden reactions to irritants are known to have acute allergic reactions. While they are often caused by insect stings or bites, other causes do arise and display themselves in facial swelling. Other symptoms include vomiting, difficulty breathing, and collapse. Acute allergic reactions may require veterinarian treatment as soon as possible.
Frequently caused by bites from other animals or some other type of wound, head abscesses appear suddenly. They are generally accompanied by raised temperatures and a lopsided appearance to your pup’s head. Extremely painful, abscesses may be indicated if your dog’s facial swelling is accompanied by a refusal to drink or eat. Abscesses should be treated by a veterinarian at once. This treatment may include anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, or surgical drainage.
Teeth that are infected or fractured, as well as gum disease that has been left untreated, may also result in abscesses. These are accompanied by depression, lack of interest in food, a great deal of pain, and fever. Again, prompt visits to veterinarians are called for when an abscess is indicated. Treatment may include removal of the problem tooth and a course of anti-inflammatory medications and antibiotics.
Throat and mouth tumors can arise in dogs. Symptoms of these abnormal growths, in addition to facial swelling, include difficulty eating, excessive odor, and bleeding. When dogs have tumors that are associated with their eye sockets, the eyes can bulge. Tumors occur when cells have uncontrollable growth. Cysts are fluid-filled growths, often benign. They need early treatment even when they are noncancerous. Radiotherapy or surgical removal can be effective treatments for your dog in this case. These growths can grow quite visible and large when located on the face.
Dog bites and skin punctures may lead to bacterial infections in the skin. These are known as cellulitis. Symptoms include problematic swelling as well as ulcers, redness, tenderness, and pain. The treatment for such cellulitis cases should be called for by your veterinarian. Treatments may include flushing the wound with antiseptics, soaking the wound, and use of antibiotics and painkillers.
As mentioned, some dogs are prone to the rare condition known as craniomandibular osteopathy . The indicated breeds include Labrador retrievers, Doberman pinschers, some terriers, boxers, and Great Danes. It tends to appear in puppies between the ages of three and ten months. Other signs, in addition to the swelling in the jaw, include fever, drooling, and a disinclination to eat.
Injuries to your dog’s head, face, or skin may cause facial swelling. Animal bites are one of the more common injuries. Snake bites often cause facial swelling or a swollen neck, even when the bite has occurred elsewhere on your dog’s body. Bites and other wounds lead to infections that lead to swelling.
Prevention of Facial Swelling
In some cases, you can prevent facial swelling; on others, you cannot. To reduce the odds of your dog dealing with abscesses arising from puncture wounds, avoid any contact with unknown or wild animals. Avoid giving hard bones to your dog. Always supervise play with other dogs. For a dog’s allergic reaction, have your dog checked by a veterinarian immediately. Prevention of exposure to allergies is generally the best treatment. Examine the mouth of your dog once monthly to catch tumors early. Look for growths or swellings and check to see if your dog’s mouth has an unusually bad smell. Preventing dental problems is as easy as daily brushings of the teeth with routine cleanings and X-rays, just as with people.
While you and your vet may not be able to find the source of allergic reactions, treatment can rely on the reaction’s severity. A mild reaction may be addressed with an oral antihistamine for two to three days. Your veterinarian will recommend the precise antihistamine and dosage for your pet. More advanced cases may call for other medications. These may reduce swelling, offer cardiovascular support, help to assist your dog’s body in reacting to an allergen or dilate your dog’s lower airways. This latter helps your dog to breathe better. Treatments for non-allergic problems may require anything from anti-inflammatory medications to surgery.
Benadryl for Dogs
Dogs may safely take Benadryl in careful amounts. It is a wonderful medication for dogs with moderate or mild allergies. Such allergies that respond well to proper Benadryl dosage for dogs include environmental, seasonal, food, and insect or snake bites. This medication generally treats canine itchiness caused by skin allergies, reducing such other symptoms as swelling or inflammation, hives, sneezing, redness, and anaphylactic reaction. Benadryl is even occasionally used as an anti-anxiety aid because of its side effect of drowsiness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What would cause my dog’s face to swell?
In many cases, your dog’s face will swell due to some sort of allergy. Other causes of face swelling include abscesses, trauma, bites and other puncture wounds, insect bite, tumors, and dental problems. In rare cases and for certain breeds, the cause may be craniomandibular osteopathy.
What can I give my dog for a swollen face?
Your veterinarian is the best source of guidance for what you should give your dog. If the problem is allergies, Benadryl is a popular option to ease symptoms and bring down swelling.
Can I give my dog Benadryl for a swollen face?
Yes, your dog can have Benadryl for a swollen face if the problem is related to allergies. If your dog’s face is swollen because of injury or dental problems, however, then Benadryl will not address the issue.
How long does it take for dog face swelling to go down?
The length of time for your dog’s face swelling to go down relies upon the cause and the quickness with which you address the problem. In cases of moderate allergic reactions, you may not even notice the swelling for half an hour to a few hours post-exposure to the allergen. Untreated, this swelling may last as long as two days. Proper treatment, such as anti-inflammatories or antihistamines, speeds up your dog’s healing process.