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Facial Swelling in Dogs

Some medical issues like allergies can cause a dog's face to puff up along with other uncomfortable and potentially dangerous symptoms. Here, our Lacey emergency vets share the causes and symptoms and explain how to reduce facial swelling in dogs.

What is sudden facial swelling in dogs?

When a dog's face suddenly becomes swollen, it is usually caused by an allergic reaction. While this is the body’s natural inflammatory response to stimuli and is meant to help keep your dog healthy, sometimes that is not the case. Watching for symptoms and responding quickly is essential, as well as identifying the cause of the swelling.

Please call our 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital in Lacey right away if you believe that your dog is having an allergic reaction. This is considered an emergency and immediate care is needed to avoid complications.

The Effect of Allergies on Dogs

Allergies are often caused by an immune response to invaders of the body. Typically these would be bacteria or viruses, but sometimes the body mistakes safe substances for these invaders. A tiny bug can trigger this immune response and cause your dog's face to begin swelling. While major allergic reactions are treatable, they are emergencies that should be addressed quickly and effectively by a qualified veterinarian.

Facial Swelling in Dogs: Symptoms 

The symptoms of your dog having an allergic reaction could vary from mild to life-threatening. If your dog suddenly develops symptoms of an allergic reaction, you will want to monitor and respond accordingly. One of the main symptoms is facial swelling, which could also extend into the neck. This could be most prominent in the eyelids and muzzle. This is a serious threat to your pet because it can cause the airway to become blocked. The duration of these symptoms will always vary depending on the severity of the reaction. Other common symptoms that you might notice are:

  • Itching of the skin
  • Hives 
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny eyes
  • Runny nose

If your dog is having a severe allergic reaction, they could experience trouble breathing or even seizures. These are life-threatening reactions and require emergency medical attention

Causes of Facial Swelling in Dogs

Allergic reactions in dogs may be caused by many things, such as bug bites, bee stings, vaccinations, medications, certain foods, toxin exposure, pollen, and other environmental allergens. Just like people, allergies can develop at any time throughout your dog's life. 

While an allergic reaction might be the most common cause of facial swelling in dogs, there are also other causes to keep in mind. Other issues such as dental problems, physical trauma to the face, facial tumors, or a variety of other complications could cause facial swelling. it is important to monitor the symptoms and obtain the correct diagnosis to provide the appropriate treatment. 

How long does facial swelling in dogs usually last?

Facial swelling in dogs can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the severity and cause of the swelling. The sooner you seek treatment, the sooner your dog will be relieved of the symptoms.

What can I give my dog for facial swelling?

Unfortunately, there aren't any home remedies to relieve facial swelling in dogs. This is because facial swelling is most commonly caused by an allergic response, infection, or injury. Facial swelling of any kind should be examined and diagnosed by a veterinarian immediately.

Treating Facial Swelling in Dogs

When it comes to facial swelling in dogs, treatment will vary depending on the diagnosis of the cause, as well as the severity of the symptoms. Lifestyle or dietary changes are often recommended to prevent the allergen from coming in contact with your pet. Your primary veterinarian or the emergency vet might also prescribe an allergy medication to help relieve the symptoms. Always speak with a veterinarian before administering any medications or providing any treatment. 

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Is your dog having a suspected allergic reaction? Contact our emergency vets at Olympia Pet Emergency for immediate care.

Walk-in Patients Welcome

At Olympia Pet Emergency, you can always access our full complement of emergency services without an appointment. We treat both walk-in patients and referrals for urgent veterinary care.

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