Skip to content

Healthy Dogs

Font Size

Dog Facial Swelling: Causes and Treatment

Common Causes and Treatments of Dog Facial Swelling continued...

Tumors, which arise from the uncontrolled growth of cells, need treatment early, whether or not they're cancerous. Surgery to remove the tumor, or radiotherapy, may be effective treatments.

Other Causes of Facial Swelling in Dogs

Dog bites or other skin punctures can also cause a bacterial infection of the skin called cellulitis. The symptoms include swelling, ulcers, tenderness, redness, and pain.

Treatment should be determined by a veterinarian, and may include soaking the wound, flushing it with an antiseptic, painkillers, and antibiotics.

Certain dogs, including boxers, Labrador retrievers, Great Danes, Doberman pinschers, and some terriers, may develop a rare condition called craniomandibular osteopathy. This causes swelling of the jaw, and is usually seen in dogs aged 3 to 10 months. Other signs of the disease include drooling, fever, and reluctance to eat.

While there's no treatment to cure craniomandibular osteopathy,anti-inflammatories can help control pain, and the disease often stabilizes when the dog is about a year old. Check with your vet to see what NSAID if he or she recommends for your dog.

Can You Prevent Facial Swelling?

Some causes of facial swelling can be prevented and some cannot. Here are some suggestions for prevention and early detection of problems:

  • To reduce the chances your dog will deal with an abscess from a puncture wound, avoid contact with wild animals, avoid giving your dog hard bones, and be sure to supervise all play with other dogs.
  • Have your pets checked by a veterinarian if you think they have allergies. As with people, preventing exposure to the allergen is often the best treatment.
  • To catch tumors early, examine your dog's mouth once a month. If you see swelling or a growth, or if your dog's mouth smells bad, talk to your veterinarian.

WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on April 19, 2015
1 | 2

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
Pets: Is My Dog Normal
Dog scratching behind ear
dog catching frisbee
Dog Breed RMQ
Lady owner feeding dog
bulldog in party hat

Special Sections