Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Dog Facial Swelling: Causes and Treatment

Font Size
A
A
A

Facial swelling in dogs can have dozens of causes, from dog bites to dental problems; the swelling can be a fairly benign reaction or it can require emergency care.

To help keep your pet pain-free and healthy, it helps to know the signs of facial swelling,  and what you can do when it happens.

Recommended Related to Dogs

Emergency Care and First Aid for Dogs

Unfortunately, accidents do happen. When a medical emergency befalls our furry friends, pet parents may find it difficult to make rational decisions, especially if something occurs during the middle of the night. That's why it's crucial to have an emergency plan in place-before you need it.

Read the Emergency Care and First Aid for Dogs article > >

Common Causes and Treatments of Dog Facial Swelling

Facial swelling in dogs can be life-threatening if the swelling progresses to the throat, so don't try to diagnose the cause of your dog's swelling yourself. If your pet's face looks swollen, or lopsided, get your dog to a veterinarian immediately.

Some common causes of facial swelling in dogs include:

Allergies

Like people, dogs can be allergic to chemicals, foods, plants, spider bites, bee stings, medication, or a vaccine (though that's rare). A severe allergic reaction can lead to throat swelling -- cutting off your dog's windpipe -- so if your dog's face looks swollen, if he has trouble breathing, or if he passes out, get your pet to a vet immediately.

Treating allergies depends on what's causing them, but may include an antihistamine, steroids, antibiotic ointment, a special diet, as well as skin or blood tests.

Abscesses

Often caused by animal bites or other wounds, head and neck abscesses show up suddenly, usually accompanied by a fever, and can leave a lopsided look to your dog's head or neck. These are extremely painful; if your dog has facial swelling and is refusing to eat or drink, an abscess could be the cause.

It's important for abscesses to be treated right away. Treatment may include surgical drainage and antibiotics.

Dental Problems

Infected or fractured teeth and untreated gum disease can also lead to abscesses, accompanied by facial swelling, fever, depression, and great pain for your dog.

Treatment for dental abscesses may include removing the infected tooth along with a course of antibiotics.

Tumors (Noncancerous and Cancerous)

Mouth and throat tumors can occur in dogs and, along with facial swelling, symptoms may include problems eating, bleeding, and excessive odor. Dogs can also get tumors associated with the eye socket, which can make the eye bulge.

Today on WebMD

bulldog in party hat
Breeds with longevity
Doberman Pinscher Clipped Ears
The facts about ear cropping and tail docking.
 
dog with duck in mouth
Which are considered smartest?
boxer dog
What are their health issues?
 
Pit bull looking up
Article
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Slideshow
 
Dog scratching behind ear
Slideshow
dog catching frisbee
Slideshow
 

Love your pets, hate your allergies?

Get tips for relief.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Dog Breed RMQ
Quiz
Lady owner feeding dog
Slideshow
 
pooldle
Slideshow
bulldog in party hat
Slideshow