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September 14, 2008


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I loved your article it has great information. I think you and your readers might be interested in another article I found about dogs and dry eyes.
You can visit the website at http://whatistheeye.wordpress.com


Omg! This looks like my dog yesterday! Her left eye blewup top of her nose & inside right lip the parts that was so swellon looked almost bloody bright red. I took her to a local er vet they muzzeled her she was not bhaving but they could not give her a correct exam due to muzzle & it all in face area they said they gave her injection of benedryl & something else sent me on my way with 4day supply of predizone & 50mg hydroxazlene they said for itching and a $200.bill (not that my dog isn't worth it) but now she is worse she is sick laying around,throwing up about 15x,urinating like crazy & eating grass like no tommorow!! I called this er vet place back they told me to bring her back but it would b more $$ I'm mad cuz they already couldn't handle her & examine her correctly idk if I should coontine to give her these pills if its making it worse. She also just had all her yrly vaccines exactly 2weeks ago I didn't feed her anything out of norm & we know she didn't get into anythingin or around house to cause this please any suggestions I would most greatly appreciate she is 4yrs old aprox 45lbs about 10lbs overweight she is mixed spayed we believe sheltie&amer eskm. Thank you


Hello, Sherry,

Sorry to be so late in replying, but I was out, due to having a medical procedure myself.

In a situation like this (hindsight being better than foresight), I probably would have sedated the dog for an exam, rather than trying to muzzle her. This is a difficult call. I have been bitten after a sedated dog grabbed me as I was approaching with a tongue depressor to try and lift her lip without touching her.

I hope she is better by this time (two days later). That type of sudden blow-up is usually an allergic reaction, or a severe infection. That type of facial swelling is not usually accompanied by vomiting. I can't think of a good explanation that ties it all together from the data you have given me.

Please let me know what has happened in the last two days.


hey the same thing is happening to my dog right now....and it was 4 days ago she had vaccinations and she is currently taking prednisolone for other issues.....what did you end up doing?


Since she is already on a form of cortisone, I might add antihistamines, I might up the dose, but I would DEFINITELY call your veterinarian to report what is going on and get his/her advice. Your veterinarian knows your dog and is best equipped to advise you.


My dogs face swelled up, not as severely as this poor dog, but it's still pretty bad this morning. I was wondering if it could be something other then an insect bite. She didn't eat anything out of the norm, except a deviled egg that my dad made, although she's had them before. We gave her some benadryl and it seemed to have worked a little, but it's still pretty swollen. Could it be a tooth problem? I'm scared for her, she is about 13 years old, and she has tumors all over her body, but they're non-life threatening, just from aging. Could it be another?


Hello, Mishelle,

It could be a tooth. Another cause of facial swelling would be a swollen lymph node under the jaw. This could cause fluid to accumulate in the face.

The lymph node can be swollen due to an infection (including throat or teeth). Worse would a tumor in the lymph node itself.

If the swelling has not resolved in 24 hours, you need to take your dog to her veterinarian.

Good luck.

Todd jones

How soon would it happen? And would she itch? Our Daschund came in tonight and is swelling and itching. She had vaccines yesterday.


Hello, Todd,

With vaccine reactions, they usually occur within six to eight hours (generally sooner).

If it is over 24 hours since the vaccines, I would suspect another cause, possibly an insect sting.

Thanks for reading and writing.


My dog vomited 4 times last night. This morning he woke up with a swollen face. He hasn't been out of my sight for basically the last 4 days. We went to the beach over the weekend but that was 2 days ago and he was never outside my watch. He is a Chesapeake so what he did do was go chase a ball into the ocean like he always does. He will intake saltwater and have diarrhea for a day but nothing like this. I gave him benadryl 20 min ago. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


Hello, Tony,

The benadryl is a good start. This does sound likely to be an allergic reaction.

It could also be due to swollen lymph nodes in the throat area causing poor circulation. If he is not responding pretty rapidly to the Benadryl, then I would take him to your veterinarian.

Even if it is only an allergic reaction, he might need some systemic form of cortisone as a more effective treatment than the antihistamine.

Good luck.

Beth S.

My Shar-Pei/Basset Hound mix had a very swollen face about 2 weeks ago. We took him to the ER vet and they diagnosed him with an allergic reaction (to what remains a mystery). He was given a Benedryl and steroid shot there and prescribed Benedryl pills for the next 2 days. Today he is having swelling again. This time it's mostly only in his eyes. He also vomited twice. We gave him some Benedryl and the swelling has mostly went away, however, he just vomited twice in the past hour. How concerned should I be? Does this require an immediate vet visit or might it pass?


Hello, Beth,

If the swelling responds rapidly to Benadryl, then an allergic reaction is the most likely diagnosis.

Finding out the cause is often difficult. You might start keeping a journal of the dog's activity (location, food intake, possible insect exposure, etc.) and see if you can determine a pattern.

There is a genetic disease of purebred Shar Peis that causes fever and kidney damage, usually with swelling in multiple areas. I have not heard of this in mixed breeds, but I suppose it could happen. This is a severe disease that shortens the life of the dog. I would not expect it to respond to Benadryl.

I think it would be worthwhile to visit your regular veterinarian for a checkup and discussion of the situation.

Thanks for reading and writing.

With an allergic reaction, we would be most concerned about swelling of the airways making the breathing difficult. That would be an emergency situation.


My dog threw up last night and this morning she got sick again. She isn't eating today or drinking. She has a swollen place above her eye on the left side and in that ear is real red. Under her mouth is real red too. Any idea what the cause may be. She is going to the vet today. I'm very concerned.


I forgot to tell you she is a mixed breed and only weighs about 5 lbs. Poor thing seems so sick right now.


Hello, Dana,

I hope the vet visit went well. This sounds like possibly some type of allergic reaction.

Definitely not something that I can help you with much "long distance".

Good luck.


We took Trixie to the vet. They think she got into something. They gave her a shot to stop the vomiting. They gave her two antibiotic pills and some pill that disolves in water to coat her stomach. She has a special canned bland food. She finally ate some today. She appears to be feeling some better although she still had a little swelling above her eye and and still red inside her one ear. She didn't want to eat her food with the antibiotics mixed in. It took a lot of coaxing and she ate at least half of it. Hoping tomorrow she will have more energy back now that she's eating and keeping it down.


Hello, Dana,

Sorry to be so late replying, been out of town and catching up.

I hope Trixie is all better now. Be sure to give your veterinarian plenty of feedback as to how things are going.


how much benadryl do i give my chi?


Hello, Joyce,

Thanks for reading and writing, but I cannot prescribe medicine doses for patients I have not seen. Not legal.

You need to call your regular veterinarian.

Janice Kubik

My 1 1/2 yr old Sheltie threw up last Sunday then refused to eat anything afterwards. As the day went on she became restless and experienced facial swelling. Took her to the ER Vet and had a shot of steroid and Benadryl then gave 25 mg Benadryl orally the next day. Dog was good all week but today , threw up again once but continued eating later but then became very restless again and was rubbing and scratching her face. Thought we saw some slight swelling beginning so back to the ER again. She received another steroid shot and we gave her a Benadryl tablet at home. She seems to have settled down a bit now and ate more food. Do you ever encounter allergic reactions that need to be retreated or a situation where the dog should have stayed on Benadryl longer than a day to clear it all out if the system? We are seeing our vet next week but I got to wondering if its possible for flare ups to occur. At this point we have not yet determined the exact cause. We thought it was pork after Sundays episode but she hasn't had any today. Thanks for reading.


Hello, Janice,

It is possible both for the allergic reaction to be persistent, and to have continuing or recurring exposure to the allergen. Sometimes it is difficult to determine which is the case.

Benadryl is virtually free of side-effects, other than drowsiness, so I wouldn't have any problems with using it as needed.

I would definitely try to keep some sort of journal for the next week or so. That way if there is a recurrence, you will have a record of the day's activities, and food intake. Maybe you can draw a connection between insect exposure, certain foods, trips to a certain park, etc.


My poor labs nose swelled up and around his left eye, has little almond shaped swelling spots all over his body, he hasn't threw up or shown any lack in play or activeness, help!!!


Hello, Taylor,

This sounds like an allergic reaction, possibly to a bug-bite. These sometimes respond well to Benadryl, and usually resolve on their own.

If more severe or persistent problems are noted, you need to see your veterinarian.

Husky unhappy

For over a week now my dog has had facial swelling, right snout, left snout, right cheek, left neck, back to right snout. We have been to two vets, used Benadryl. Used prednisone still have the swelling. We have had our house sprayed for bugs twice last month. I need help!!! Feeling helpless what can I do?!?!?


Hello, Husky,

After a week of prednisone and benadryl, and no response, I would suspect a different reason for the swelling than an allergic reaction (though they can be persistent).

It's time to have your veterinarian re-evaluate this. I would be worried about a possible lymph node problem that isn't letting the normal fluid drainage from the face take place.

If your veterinarian doesn't hear from you, he thinks things are going well. Communicate.


My puppys eye swelled first then an hr later other eye swelled gave her benadryl. Eyes went away. Next morning her cheeks lips and chin was swollen. More benadryl. It calmed down a little. She threw up once. She is still playful. Also her vagina is swelled and keeps licking it she is 7 months


Hello, Danielle,

It sounds like your puppy is having repeated exposure to something she is allergic to. It could a plant in the yard, or insect bites.

It is okay to repeat the benadryl, but if this keeps up I would recommend that you see your veterinarian.

Seven months is pretty young for the first heat cycle, but it is possible that the swollen female parts are related to her first heat cycle.


I have a 10 mth old Black lab. I noticed after I let him try a clementine about a 1/2 hr later both his cheeks swelled up. I gave him 2 1/2 tsp of Benadryl( he weighs about 75 lbs). It has come down a little . How long should this reaction last? He isn't having any breathing problems but his eyes look a bit irritated but they are always red they just look droopy is the only way I can explain it. My vet is not open again till Wed. should I take him to the Vet ER?


Hello, Christy,

As long as there is no breathing problem, this is probably not urgent.

I don't know how long it will last. Very unusual to see that sort of reaction to food. Usually we see that more with an insect sting.

You can dose the Benadryl at about 1mg per pound. I'm guessing you're way under that with the liquid.

It's pretty safe, just makes you sleepy if you give too much.

If he shows signs of respiratory distress, then he definitely needs to go to the ER.


My Basset Hound, Bailey is recovering from Parvovirus. The last active day of the virus was 6 days ago and we just finished up with Amoxicillin that was prescribed to her today and stopped using the anti nausea medicine 3 days ago, and finished panacur 3 days ago as well. She has put a lot of her weight back on already a and resumed her regular active personality, however today I noticed the left side of her face was swollen, not whelks, just swollen like someone with a black eye. Now her lips on the right side are swollen too. Don't see any puncture marks, or obvious insect bites. She keeps walking around rubbing her face on the furniture, but doesn't seem to be in pain if I touch it. I know she shouldn't be experiencing an allergic reaction at this points to the meds that she is no longer taking, but does it sound like an allergic action to you? My lil boy is 6 and plays out in the yard and is a typical rowdy boy, is it possible he could of caused some type of trauma to cause the swelling? It seems facial swelling is really common in Basset Hound just from my google search, but no one has actually commented back with their findings once the issue has been resolved. Any ideas would be appreciated!!


i have a dachshund/bagel mix and she is aboout 9 months old she woke up this morning with a swollen lip the left side it doesent seem to bother her she is eating playing and sleeping like always but i am verry concerned about his i called a vet (mine was closed due to mothersday) and they told me benedryl would take care of it but its not it actually looks a little worse than it did this morning what do i do i dont have the money to take her to the vet at this moment please help


Hello, Stephanie,

If it is due to an insect sting, it should resolve in a day, even without the benadryl (and the benadryl is pretty safe, though I wouldn't give enormous amounts).

Other possibilities include something like a foreign body (splinter), or an infected wound.

With an injury that has just occurred, we often use cold compresses (a cloth soaked in ice water - NOT ice on the skin). With persistent swelling, sometimes heat is better. I run a pan of water as warm as I can stand to keep my hand in it, and use a cloth to apply moist heat.

Since your dog acts like she is feeling okay, we can hope this is not serious.

There just isn't any way for us to really diagnose or prescribe treatment without actually seeing and touching your dog.

Caleb Qualls

last night our shar pei of one yr came I/ with the right side of the snout swollen ee put a cool compress on it n it went down slightly this morning it was still swollen barely noticeable my son came in after football n noticed the swelling moved to the opposite side what could this b from..also have a 7month old shar pei n she didnt show any signs like the yr old was thinking they're food but wouldnt both dogs show signs?


Hello, Caleb,

If these are going down quickly, and the dog isn't in distress, my first thought would be insect bites.

If this continues, I would definitely seek the advice of your veterinarian to be sure nothing more serious is going on.

Diana Rei

My lab threw up twice this am then again around midnight. I then noticed around 3 am here face was swollen. My husband took her to the vet er. I haven't noticed anything unusually she could have gotten into but there was grass in her vomit.


Hello, Diana,

I am sure that the ER veterinarian has checked for any serious diseases.

In cases like this, I usually give the dog a thorough check-out. If I don't find anything in particular, my best guess is that it's some kind of insect sting. They usually recover rapidly.

Rodney W Kirkendall

Dog sitting our sons 4 mo old lab, noticed her upper checks and eyes swollen, didn't notice any bite marks or wounds on gums or face. Gave her a benadryl - after about a hour later vomiting of grass then twice more liquid .watching her seems normal now swelling has gone done some - any ideas? No problems with breathing at this time.


Hello, Rodney,

Sure sounds like an allergic reaction of some kind. Top of the list would be insect bites.

If not rapidly back to normal, you need to see your veterinarian.


My dog was playing under the house today and has come inside with the left side of her face all swollen which now ha progressed to having a small dangling lump under her jaw as I didn't have Benadryl the vet told me to give her phenergan but it hasn't seemed to work at all


Hello, Deejay,

A dangling lump is not typical of an allergic reaction, though I guess it could be one.

If this is not resolving quickly, then I would take her to the veterinarian. It is possible that there has been a spider bite, or a penetrating foreign object.


My dog had a swollen eye with bumps on top of her nose, and around her nose seemed to be swollen. I gave her Benadryl and it helped her swelling. However, after about 6 hours the swelling came back and was worse. Her swelling had gone into her upper lips and the bumps around her nose continued. I gave her more Benadryl (this was about 7 hours after first dose) and the bumps have gone away but her lips are still quite swollen. I'm not sure if this is the cause, but we gave her a beef hide bone on Tuesday (2 days ago). She ate some then, but then had more last night. We didn't notice anything wrong before bed which was quite some time after eating the bone. It wasn't until this morning I noticed anything. Because the Benadryl isn't helping all of the swelling, should I be concerned? Our vet was full today, but I talked to the doctor and she said to continue with Benadryl for a few days. At that point I didn't know her second dose wasn't working well.


Hello, Courtney,

The Benadryl is only going to last a few hours, so even if it is the appropriate medicine, you may have to repeat it with a persistent allergic reaction.

If this is not resolving, then your instinct is correct: she does need to be examined by her doctor. You could have some type of skin infection, rather than just a temporary allergic reaction.

The beef hide bone would be an unusual source for this type of reaction. Insect stings are far more common in this situation.

If she is feeling well, then you should be okay to continue the Benadryl. Again, if it is not well in another day or so, you should see your veterinarian. If she gets worse, don't wait.

Tina Marino

Hi - what a great service you do for pet owners!

Our 16 week old dachshund all of a sudden has much swelling around the jowls (symetrical) and she has what could be hives (little tiny bumps over the top of her head). We have NO clue what she could've gotten into; we've researched every plant we have and none are poisonous. But, she does eat EVERYTHING - paper, carpets, shoes, patio cushions and even June bugs, the little pain in the rear!

We dosed her with 15mg childrens' liquid benadryl (she weighs about 13#). Some swelling has gone down, but not completely.

She is eating and drinking normally; is sleeping alot now, from the benadryl I presume.

Thanks for your input! Tina


Hello, Tina,

That dose of benadryl should be fine. It could be something she ate. I tend to suspect insect stings first, though, at least in the summer time.

Benadryl is pretty safe, with drowsiness being the most common side-effect.

If the swelling does not resolve, she might need some form of systemic cortisone. Call your veterinarian if the symptoms persist.



Our lab came in from our yard about 2:30 today eating grass like crazy. He was acting strange but we figured he had just eaten something that didn't settle well. We just woke up (12 hours later) and his snout is swollen and his nose is a little dry. We realize now he probably got bit earlier by something. There are no obvious snake bite wounds or stingers. I used to work at a vets office, and I know if I take him to the Emergency Vet, they will more than likely examine him, suspect insect bite and give him a Benadryl shot and charge us so much! He is having no problems breathing, eating, drinking, or playing. Would you guess insect bite? We have given him 25 mg of Benadryl, even though I know he could take 50 mg no problem, to see if it helps the swelling. I am concerned about the dry nose, could an allergic reaction cause that as well?

Thank you so much for helping all of us with our pup problems! You have no idea how much your previous answers helped us with our pooch! We appreciate it so very much!


Five weeks ago our dog had vaccinations including a rabbies shot in June. Three days ago we realized the left side of her face and her ears were completely swollen. Unfortunately, we did not go to the vet or give her benedryl. The swelling appears to have gone down, however, she has been vomiting off and on for three nights. We are out of town camping and wonder if we need to head home.


Hello, Courtney,

The dry nose just means that he isn't perspiring at the moment. It is really not significant.

If the swelling has not resolved with time or benadryl, then the dog might need some type of systemic cortisone treatment. These can also be infected and require antibiotics.

Insect stings are the usual cause, though we do see snake-bites, as well (at least in my area).

If the problem is longer term, then it needs to be looked at by your veterinarian.


Hello, JeNelle,

I sincerely doubt that a vaccination several weeks ago has any relationship to the present problem.

Out camping, I would be suspicious of insect stings or possibly a snake bite.

It's good that the swelling has gone down.

If she cannot keep down her food or water, then she needs to be seen by her veterinarian. In an unusual environment, she may have eaten something to cause her to have problems.


My ten year old labs face is swollen just below his eye on the right hand side. I gave him benadryl yesterday and the swelling was completely gone by bedtime. Woke up today and his eye is swollen again. He has been rolling around in the grass a lot lately. He is eating and drinking normally and it does not seem to hurt him when I touch it. Is this an allergic reaction do you think?


Hello, Natalie,

It is possible that this is an allergic reaction, but it seems odd that it would recur in the same place two days in a row.

It is possible that there is a tiny foreign object embedded there.

I am also concerned about the possibility of an abscessed tooth. That would be the most common area for a swelling to pop up. It (the swelling)can also come and go. Sometimes the dog's discomfort is not obvious.

I recall a patient with both left and right side upper cheek teeth abscessed and draining from the cheek area under the eye.

After the abscessed teeth were extracted, the dog's whole personality changed. She quit being grumpy and biting people. Constant pain had been relieved. Prior to the dental procedure, the owners were unaware that the dog was in pain.

If this continues, you really need to get your buddy to the veterinarian.


My black lab Coalie has a swollen jaw and bottom lip. The vet says it may be an abcess in her gum due to something that poked her? She has been on antibiotics for 24 hours + tramadol and benedryl. It seems the swelling was a bit more today:( Should I wait a few more days to let the medicine take affect?


Hello, Chass,

If the swelling continues to enlarge, there may actually be a foreign object broken off in there. It can be some very tiny bit of plant material, something very hard to find.

If it continues to enlarge, it will likely need to be lanced (surgically opened), drained of pus, and flushed out. If this happens, there is a good chance that whatever it is will exit with the junk.

If it continues to enlarge tomorrow, then the medicine isn't very likely to take care of it without some further assistance.


Please help asap...my 14 week German shepherd started yesterday with an extremely swollen eye and puking yellow that after awhile turned to foam...now this morning both eyes swollen and her right ear is so swollen. She can't hold her head up straight...can barely open her mouth


Hello, Nathan,
Yellow fluid is what you see when you vomit on an empty stomach. Bile is coming up along with the fluid. Foam is a mixture of stomach fluid and swallowed air.

Usually allergic reactions would be suspected with the swelling, but they don't usually cause vomiting.

This is not something I can treat long distance. The dog needs to be seen by your veterinarian.


I have an 11 year old bulldog. her lower jaw from he ear down and mid jaw back is swollen, happened fast. its warm and she likes when I caress it an scratch it. Shes eating and drinking(more, she doesn't drink alot of water)no whimpering or noticeable pain.


Hello, Phillip,
This sounds like a lymph node is swollen, causing fluid accumulation. This is usually due to an infection, but could even be a tumor in a dog this age. I would definitely recommend that you see your veterinarian.


I have a year and a half old pit bull/hound mix with a orange sized mass on the jowl of his left side. I believe he was bitten by a rattlesnake as they are prevalent here and at one time or another, all of our dogs have been bitten once. Each time, the bites were on the face area, swelled for a few days, then slowly went away. We live up in the remote mountains and are quite a ways away from the nearest doctor or vet. What worries me, is the swelling has been there for over a month. It went down only slightly 2 weeks after recieving the bite, then just recently has swelled back up to the original size, but does not seem to be affecting him pain wise, nor is it bothering his eye on that side. The mass under his skin is hard, not liquid like. As far as I can tell he was only bitten once, but I am concerned and wondering why it has never gone down like the others. Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you


Dear Doc,
At lunch I noticed my 14week old lab has a swelling on the right hand side of his face it isn't very swollen and he doesn't mind if I touch it. He continued to play with our other pup and is now sleeping... Resting on that side of his face. If I am able to see in his mouth and it turns out to be an abscess what is the normal vetinary procedure? Don't worry I'm not planning on sorting it out myself just wondering how long to allow for a visit to the vets.


Hello, Branwyn,

We don't see rattlesnakes in my area, and this doesn't seem to be going along with your previous rattlesnake experience.

I would be concerned about an abscess, or a possible foreign object penetration.

If it were an older dog, I would be concerned about a tumor. If the dog were in front of me, we'd start by doing a fine-needle aspiration to suck out some of the cells and examine under a microscope.

I understand that your remote location makes a visit to the veterinarian difficult, but I really can't give you much helpful advice on this.


Hello, Sally,
The usual procedure is to use a small needle to withdraw some cells for examination. If you get pus in this process, then the abscess is lanced (possibly under sedation) and flushed out to remove the pus. Then we usually send the kid home with antibiotics, and instructions to use a warm compress on the area three times daily.
This is the sort of thing that is awfully hard to diagnose long-distance. A trip to the veterinarian is in order (unless he spits out a big was of food that was in his cheek).


I have a dachshund/beagle mix and I woke up this AM and her entire face was swollen as well as both ears. I gave her Benadryl and the swelling around her eyes seems to have gone away. Her cheeks and under her chin are still swollen, as well as her ears ( maybe slightly less with the ears) and she keeps shaking her head. I gave her another Benadryl this afternoon, maybe an hour ago. I'm assuming it's some sort of reaction to who knows what kind of insect/spider, but is her shaking her head a lot and swollen ears of any significance?


And she seems to be getting small hives on the top of her head as well (prior to the second dosing of Benadryl )


Hello, Crystal,

It is safe to repeat the Benadryl. Usually the worst side-effect is getting sleepy.

If this doesn't get better pretty quickly (like by tomorrow), I'd take her to the veterinarian. Sometimes it takes some systemic cortisone type drugs to get these to calm down.

If you see any difficulty in breathing, don't wait until tomorrow.


Hello, I have a chihuahuha that suddenly developed a swollen left cheek under the eye. I gave him some benedryl and used an ice pack and it went down a little...a few days later it swelled right back up. He is about 12 years old. Could this maybe more likely be a dental issue? I currently started a treatment of antibiotics for him yesterday.


Hello, Kara,

That does indeed sound more like a dental issue. In that location, an abscessed carnassial tooth (4th upper premolar tooth) can certainly break out under the eye.

This usually requires tooth extraction. Ideally, one X-rays the teeth to be sure which one needs extraction. Unfortunately, that needs to be done under anesthesia. Putting a dental film in a dog's mouth and asking them to hold still...
I would start with a visit to your veterinarian to evaluate the swelling. It could be other things.

Tracy Ortiz

My dog has sudden swelling in the last two days on the right side of his jaw under the ear. He is a 9.5 year old lab/pit mix. His name is Teddy and is my best friend so I am worried sick for him as he has never been ill. Teddy is mostly kept indoors and sleeps with me and likes watching t.v. He loves walking and playing at parks. I have just moved from Texas and have been driving for the last 5 days to Washington state letting him out to do his business along the way. Actually as I type this I remember this happened once before 3 months ago. It (the swelling) went away in a day or two. I can't remember which side was swollen though. Anyway I took him to a vet today and reported to her Teddy's decreased activity level, eating and drinking normally. I do notice increased drooling. He normally only drools when he sees me eating food but is know just drooling. Also his face, eyes look tired and like he is in pain.The lump is hard not fluid-like. He doesn't react to me touching it. I tried opening his mouth to inspect and he let out a loud whimper. He is sleeping a lot more. The vet took his temperature and noted it was normal so no fever. She did a needle aspirate and it is Friday so she said by Monday she will have results. She did not pull any pus or really anything that I noticed maybe just some dust particles that she placed on a slide. I think it is good that she did not draw pus right? For the most part he has never been sick. Could this have something to do with his age, teeth, lymph node, infection, allergy, insect bite, snake bite? I'm so worried can't wait for Monday. At very least I hope this helps others with similar issues with their fur babies. Please advise. I don't have much money and just paid $280.
Sorry she did send Teddy home with some Novax 100 mgs 5 days and Baylnl 136 mg 7 days.


Hello, Tracy,
If the lump is a firm, solid mass, then I would be concerned about a tumor. When you put a needle into a solid mass and aspirate, you frequently get only a very small amount of tissue in the needle.

If she had drawn out liquid pus, then it would be a much simpler situation to drain the abscess and treat.

Snake bites are usually down by the nose, and the swelling is pretty diffuse (at least the snakes that we see in my area).

If Teddy doesn't respond to the medication he is on, the next step is to see what the cytology exam shows and go from there.


My boy duke face is just got swollen on his right side and his eye right eye is really red, there was no drooling till now and there was blood in it. He's breathing normally and is still very active.


Hello, Florine,

The blood in his saliva makes me think this is probably a tooth problem. I suspect there is an abscessed tooth that needs to be extracted.

Time for your boy to see his veterinarian.


Hi. I have a 3 yr old decker rat terrier named Po. About two days ago he vomitted. Later that night i noticed bumps on his forehead. I thought they were bug bites. Just hours ago, i noticed a breakout of hives on his head and snout area. I gave a 25 mg dose of benedryl as he is abou 30 lbs and it definitely seemed to help with the swelling for now. Also i gave him a bath 2 nights ago using a new shampoo for him (johnsons babyshampoo). Even though i stop him from continual licking, he always tries to lick while getting bathed and he got a few good licks this bath. I assumed this was the reason to his upset tummy and thought nothing of it when he puked. Im mystified by what caused this and if the hives dont subside by today, i will take him to the vet. Could the shampoo have caused this reaction, and can it last over two days? Side note he is playing and eating normally. Also on his yearly set of vaccinations a few months back, the site of the vaccines were swollen and took a week to go down. Please help doc


Hello, Christine,

I suppose that a dog could be allergic to soap, but usually I would not expect anything more than a little drooling from licking the shampoo.

As a side note, Johnson's Baby Shampoo is not a great dog shampoo. It really dries their skin.

It sounds like your dog is pretty sensitive. I'm guessing that the little bumps WERE bug-bites, then he has some allergic reaction that led to the hives.

This would go along with the swelling he had in response to his vaccination site. When I have a patient with that sort of situation, I usually give them a benadryl injection 10 minutes or so before the vaccine is given.

I would think it more likely that the new outbreak of hives was bug-related, rather than shampoo-related.

Talk to your veterinarian about an appropriate dose of antihistamine to give when you see these problems.


Thank you doc. Ive contined him on benedryl which his body seems to respond very well to. While he still had a hive outbreak this past night, it was less severe than the previous so I'm hopeful thats a good sign.

I just have to add what a great service you are providing to people. You really care and thats amazing. Thank you again doc


Hi, I have a 2 yrs old blue heeler named static 14.3 KGS yesterday wen I got home from work his face was swollen... I took him to the vet and they said it could be an absist, from maybe a grass seed? They gave him an atibiotic injection and said his temp was a little high... they gave me some more tablets and said to go back today for an op!!!! To get the gunk a maybe grass seed or whatever caused it out.. but over night he has thrown up about 3 times.. and seeing that and remembering about a week ago he threw up..I didn't really think much of it as he was still very energetic ect... now this??? Any help would be appreciated.. thankyou


Hello, Jesse,

Some type of foreign object under the skin can certainly cause an abscess (a pocket of pus). The body doesn't like the splinter or whatever it is, and tries to destroy it.

Pus is the build-up of damaged cells, infection-fighting cells, and tissue fluid. There would also be bacteria (germs) because the splinter would not be sterile.

It does not seem likely that the vomiting is directly related to this.

Opening the abscess is not usually a major operation. An incision is made, and the abscess is flushed to remove pus. We would hope that the foreign object would be removed at the same time. The object can be very tiny, and difficult to see.

With the pus drained, the antibiotics have an easier job controlling infection in the damaged tissue.


Hi, I have a dog with a swollen face just under one eye and I think it is because he ran into a rock yesterday but he didn't yelp or anything so I didn't think that would have hurt him but this morning his face is quite swollen. Will the swelling go down on its own? Or should he been seen by a vet? He doesn't appear to be in any pain


Hello, Ashleigh,

If it is just bruising, then it will go down on its own. It can help to apply a cold compress (not ice) to the area for 10 minutes or so three times daily for the first 24 hours.

If the swelling does not go down within 48 hours, I would want to check the dog.

Certainly if it is getting worse, or the dog starts feeling bad, I wouldn't wait 48 hours to see your veterinarian.

Kylah Seiberg

Hello. My pup is like 6 months old.. hes pit and shepard mix.. we have a regular basis where he goes out side. (With no leash) he doesn't go anywhere.. i put my 3 year old son into bed at 10. He was last out at 8:30-9.. I got ready for bed and at 4:30 I had woken up to us the restroom and his face was swolllen! Like his eyes and upper lips.. no marks.. i used a cold wash cloth. I dont have any benadryl so i used ibuprofen. He pooped everwhere in my bedroom.. hes house trained so he hasnt pooped in the house for 2 months. . He isnt allergic to bees he eats them all the time.. ive tried to get him to stop... he always sleeps at the foot of my bed.. & its winter..snowing.. i have no clue what the cause of it is.. it appears to be itchy and he keeps sneezing or heavy exhaling...? Any suggestions.?


Hello, Kylah,

First suggestion is: don't give ibuprofen. There are reports of dogs suffering a bleeding ulcer after a single dose. No Aleve, either.

This does sound like an allergic reaction, and antihistamines may help. If severe, he may need to see your veterinarian for a cortisone injection.

Last week it was 18 degrees here for a bad cold snap. I found a wasp in my kitchen. He was sluggish, but he was there. I wouldn't rule out some type of insect sting, even though it seems unlikely due to the season.

You can develop allergic reactions to something over time, even if it didn't bother you before.

If he doesn't improve rapidly, he needs to see his veterinarian.


Hi. About 2 weeks ago, we noticed our 4 year old Vizsla seemed to be having some pain on right side of face. We took him to our vet, who lightly sedated him and examined his mouth and throat for dental issues, foreign objects, etc. At that time nothing was found. A few days later, we began noticing facial swelling above his right eye and down the bridge of his nose. We took him to an emergency vet, where they again sedated him and took X-rays of his head and mouth, again finding nothing. They prescribed tramadol and prednisone, which helped reduce the swelling for a couple of days. Again, a few days later we noticed the swelling returning above his right eye after he was chewing on a bone. She swelling seems to be induced by chewing/eating. We took him to a critical care vet who aspirated the swollen area and found infection. He was again sedated and the abscess was opened and cleaned out, abd he was given antibiotics for us to administer for 10+ days. This procedure was done 7 days ago. The area is much better than before, however still appears to be slightly swollen. Is this typical? When should we expect the swelling to subside? Or is the infection possibly still there? While they had him sedated, they again checked his mouth, etc to try to find the source of infection, but still couldn't find anything. Any additional thoughts on what could be causing the swelling/ infection?


Hello, Ashley,
There could be a penetrating foreign object in the area. These can be quite small and terribly difficult to find. Typically they do not show up on X-rays. You might see one on an MRI (for about a thousand bucks).

I would also be concerned about a bad tooth, still yet. A good dental X-ray is a lot different than just X-raying the skull.

I would ask for referral to a dental specialist before I would look for an MRI.

It is possible that the last surgical drainage has also removed the source of the infection if it was a foreign body. Still being slightly swollen at this point doesn't bother me since the dog is feeling much better.

If the swelling recurs, I would definitely look for a dental specialist as my next step.

Leah Winn

So I just notice my dog has the same problembut what kind of Benadryl do you like human benadryl or their dog benadryl


Hello, Leah,

The human benadryl is fine, but I cannot recommend a dose without seeing your dog. You would need to contact the veterinarian who sees your dog.

Lisa Willett

Hi there. My 1 year old cocker spaniel all of a sudden had a small lump appear on the right dose of her nose she seems to be in a fair amount of pain from it as she does not let is touch it at all to further examine it. Your thoughts would be very much appreciated. Thanks

Lisa Willett

Sorry I was meant to say the right hand side of my dogs nose. Thanks


Hello, Lisa,
My psychic powers are not what I'd like them to be, so it's pretty hard to make a diagnosis without seeing your dog.

I would be concerned about some type of infection. Sometimes they get a little splinter or something and it gets infected.

Dogs that age also commonly get a benign tumor called a histiocytoma. These can get very inflamed and be quite uncomfortable.

If this doesn't go away on its own in just a few days, then I would take her to see your veterinarian.


My 2 year old Boston Terriors right side of his face underneath of his eye started swelling on Monday morning, he had no signs of sensitivity or pain, he was eating, drinking, and playing like normal. On Tuesday there was a noticeable lump between his right eye and snout. We took him to the vet Wednesday morning and recieved steroids for a possible allergic reaction. His face has slowly swelled larger and larger. We let the vet know Friday morning that his swelling has gotten worse and where the lump is has become sensitive. It is Sunday morning and his face has extremly swelled and the skin under his eye looks bruised and under that there is a cut where it looks like his skin might be splitting. The vet told us on Friday to continue with Benadryl and the steroids that they prescribed him and to bring him in Monday. There are no signs of him having trouble breathing, no sensitivity in his mouth, his tongue is not swollen, he is still playing, eating and drinking like normal. But has limited vision because his face has swelled so large. Is there anything I can do to bring the swelling down? Or confort him? I have tremadol but my vet is not open and I'm not sure he can take it with the steroids. Do you have any kind of idea what could be wrong with him? I have an appointment tomorrow morning for him at the vet.

Thank you,


Hello, Rachel,

Sorry I didn't see this yesterday. By now your veterinarian has already seen your dog, and I hope he is on his way to recovery.

I would be concerned about a bad tooth, or possibly a foreign body that has penetrated the area and is causing an abscess.

I'd love to hear what happened.


I have a 10yo Maltese X Shitzu and his face has swelled up around his eye, lip and jaw. He's eating and drinking normally and still running around. He doesn't seem to be in pain when I examined the swelling and was happy to let me touch it. Just wondering what you think this may be, if it is an allergy or something very serious. Thank you.


Hello, Maree,

I am glad that your dog doesn't seem to be in pain. Swelling in that area could be an abscessed tooth. In a dog of his age, there could also be a tumor developing.

Allergic reactions to an insect sting should be very temporary.

This is something that should be checked by your veterinarian unless it goes away on its own in a day or two.

If it doesn't go away or reoccurs, it should certainly be seen by your dog's doctor.


Hello, we noticed some swelling on the face of my 2 year Old daschund two days ago, swelling of the snout and jowls and then we also started to notice Little red patches on her belly and her genitals are also swollen and red. The day before this happened I had rubbed coconut oil under her underarms as she has some elephant skin there, and it was the next day that I noticed these allergic reactions. (I should also mention that she had some vaccinations a week and a half ago). It seem to be getting a little bit better and then we were out in the backyard and we gave her a bone and as she was chewing the bone it made the swelling on her jowls what much worse. We gave her a quarter of a chlortripon on and this helped quite a bit, but then the swelling came back again after the Chlor wore off so we gave her another one and it just has been doing that for the past two days it it won't go away it keeps coming back after the anti-histamine wears off.

We are very worried and not sure what's going on. Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Hello, Cath,
This could anything from a persistent allergic reaction to abscessed teeth. You really need to take her to your veterinarian.



My 8 year old Chihuahua is an inside dog and tonight she walked into the family room with badly swollen lips/cheeks. I noticed this happened after she'd been licking her paws repeatedly the previous hour. What also won't help is that we're scraping off a popcorn ceiling and the dust still covers the floor she walks through. I'm worried because popcorn ceilings are known to carry asbestos and we have an old house. She licked her paws and an hour later her lips/cheeks are swollen. I fed her half a benedryl inside of a piece of meat and then again with s small piece of hot dog. She threw back up both pieces an hour later, both still fully formed. Like she hadn't digested it. It was pink due to the benedryl but I'm also worried it's not in her system anymore. It's been 2 hours and her cheeks are still swollen, the vet is closed until the morning. Please help!


Hello, Toni,

I hope your dog feels better this morning. I really cannot offer you meaningful specific advice without seeing her.

It is possible that the debris from your remodeling is physically irritating, but unlikely to be toxic or cancer-causing. It would certainly be good to keep her out of the debris.

In a situation like you describe I would wash the feet with cool water, rinse the mouth. I would just poke the benadryl down if I were doing this, rather than trying to feed it in food.

Facial swelling is not generally dangerous, though it is uncomfortable. We would be more worried if we had swelling in other parts of the body that affected her ability to swallow or breathe.


My 3 month old lab/chow mix was stung by a bee 2 days ago. We took him tight to the vet and they got out the stinger. Said he needed to take Benadryl. So I have given him 3 total since then. He didn't have any today but he had diarrhea with a little mucous. He was also on albon and panacur 2 days before the sting occurred. Just wondering if the diarrhea could be because of the Benadryl or the dewormers. He is still acting like a perfectly normal puppy. Thank you


Hello, Jessica,

I would not expect diarrhea to be caused by the Benadryl or the medications, though anything is possible, I suppose.

You should tell your veterinarian about the diarrhea. Albon is often prescribed for a parasite called coccidia. The parasite causes diarrhea. Panacur is prescribed for hookworm, roundworm, whipworm, and sometimes for giardia. These can also cause diarrhea.

Tell your veterinarian what is occurring.


Hi there!!! I have a German Shorthair Pointer who will be 14 weeks on Thursday. Yesterday between 10:30-11:00 am I noticed some small bumps on her head and face. She also was shaking her head and pawing at ears which started swelling at the tips. I asked some friends and did all the basic checks. No apparent bite or stinger and gave her Benedryl (12.5mg at 11:30, another 12.5mg at 2 and then a third round at 10). Woke up this morning and appeared a little better and she was due to have 3rd round of vaccines. Went in and saw vet who said no vaccines today with immune system down. Told her of yesterday's symptoms and she checked inside ears and all over paws, body and mouth for stinger. All of a sudden she flared up with what looked like hives in ears and on face and head. Decided to give her a benedryl injection before we left and said to give her 2 more doses at 25mg today and to continue her on benedryl for next 3 days 2x a day. Said next course would be a steroid but with pups like her they prefer for that to be a last measure. Came home and have her an oatmeal bath. I haven't changed her food or done anything different. Can't figure out what she'd be reacting to. The injection knocked her out for 4 hours but the 2nd dose I gave her in pill for seemed to just rile her up. The crazy thing is that through it all she's acting normal, same level of energy, eating and drinking as usual and pee (aside from an increased need to go from benedryl) and poop is regular. Still seems to have flare ups with head shaking and face scratching. Any ideas/advice? Thank you!!!


Hello, Lindsay,

This certainly sounds like an allergic reaction of some kind. Despite finding no stingers, some type of insect sting would be the top of my list.

The hives usually go away within hours, but can be very persistent, lasting days.

The fact that your pup feels good is a very good thing. It is unlikely that the reaction will get worse and affect her breathing

Stay in touch with your veterinarian and let her know how things are progressing. She is the best person to advise you.


Hi. I have an Australian shepherd, 2 days ago he was bitten by a snake right under his nose. Not sure what kind it was but within 15 minutes his face was swollen and he was having to breathe from his mouth. We immediately took him to the vet who administered anti-venom (for a copperhead, they're the most common in our area) and some kind of steroid shot. Also we had given him a 25mg benedryl before any swelling occured. As soon as we got home that night his swelling was recessing and as of yesterday all of his swelling is down and you can't even tell where he was bitten. I'm just wondering if there is anything else I should be watching for? Everyone has been telling me he should've been started on antibiotics because he could have an absessed spot where he was bitten and this could lead to facial deteriation. Just wondering if you had any advice about this? Anything would help! Thank you!


Hello, Breanna,

Any bite-wound puncture can become infected. Animal mouths (and people mouths, and snakes, too) have lots of bacteria in them. When you have a puncture that is deeper than it is wide, you can't really wash it out.

Usually the body's defenses take care of the bacteria here, but sometimes the bacteria get ahead of them, and an abscess does develop.

I used to see a lot of these, and treated them with a cortisone injection and a shot of benzathine penicillin. That was supposed to last three days, but now the pharmacologists say we were kidding ourselves on that. So, essentially, the dog got a 12 to 24 hour dose of penicillin. Which is about nothing if you really have an infection.

I've never seen one of these facial snake-bites abscess, but they could.

Keep an eye on the spot for swelling. If it's going to abscess, it would usually show up by 3 days after the bite.

Let your veterinarian know if it doesn't look good.

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