How to Perform First Aid if Dog Has Swollen Cheek?


There are many reasons why a dog may have a swollen cheek and other unpleasant symptoms. Particular attention is paid to the age of the animal, the general condition and the rate of development of the clinical picture. Only in rare cases, an urgent hospitalization is indicated for a pet (Quincke’s edema or anaphylactic shock).

Some swelling may clear up on its own within a few hours. In such cases, you can observe the condition of the animal. If there is no refusal to eat, walk and play, then the episode can be considered exhausted (most likely this is an injury after a small collision).

The List of Possible Causes

Things are much more complicated if the cheek is swollen so that the eyes are swollen, but there are no apparent reasons for this condition. There is also no time to guess. The pet needs help, because this symptom is almost always accompanied by pain, even at rest. Not to mention chewing food and drinking water.

Insect Bites

cheek is swelling in dog

Even mosquito bites, under certain circumstances, can provoke swelling anywhere on the body of pet. But, a dog’s cheek can swell after a wasp or bee sting. Less commonly, it can be hornets, flies, gadflies or bumblebees.

Usually, the bite site instantly turns red, swells to a size that is difficult to miss. If the moment of the bite came into the master’s field of vision, then you can immediately give the pet some antihistamine drug. This will help avoid severe swelling. It is also imperative to inspect the affected area, as there may be a sting that must be removed.

It is more difficult when the owner already sees the result of the bite itself – large swelling, redness of the skin and, in some cases, severe itching. Of course, you can give an antihistamine, but it is unlikely to help with anything.

In most cases, all clinical signs disappear on their own within a few hours. In bulldogs, sharpeis, yorks, pugs, symptoms can persist for up to several days, as allergic reactions in these breeds are much more complicated.


cheek swells in dog

Which can be obtained after a hit, an accident, a fight, and even a game. Edema or hematoma may form at the site of injury. Therefore, if a dog has a swollen cheek after colliding with a hard surface, then there is a high probability that it is a hematoma.

You can wait a couple of days, there is a good chance that it will resolve itself. The damaged surface can also be smeared with some ointment up to 2 times a day.

If the hematoma has not resolved itself within 2-3 days, then it is better to seek help from a veterinarian who will pump out the fluid or open the cavity and completely clean it. After cleaning, drainage is usually applied.


It can form due to the ingress of a foreign body under the skin, inflammation of the follicle, or a bacterial infection. The course is usually sharp.

A pea-sized bump appears at the site of the lesion, which can reach the size of an apricot. The skin around is inflamed, reddens. Just before ripening, the skin swells at the site of the abscess. Therefore, in the event of an abscess on the face of a dog, not only the cheek on one side can swell, but also the eyes and nose swell.

If you simply remove the abscess (open it and clear it of pus or cut it out within healthy tissues), then there is a high probability of its appearance in the same place until the root cause is excluded.


swollen cheek in dog

The most common cause of swelling in the cheek under the eye, jaw and ear in dogs of all breeds. Muzzle swelling is most commonly caused by food allergies. This can be a reaction to starchy foods, sweets, grapes (toxic to animals), citrus, etc.

Well, if the reaction started immediately after taking a new product, then you can simply exclude it from the diet, thus solving the problem. But, usually the allergen is not so easy to find, and even the method of exclusion does not always bring a positive result. In any case, when itching, swelling in the muzzle, lacrimation appears, you must immediately change the brand of food.

If this does not help, then you can consider switching to hypoallergenic food (especially if you are the owner of an ornamental breed). It is also impossible to exclude the version with external irritants that may be in the apartment (dust, house plants, household chemicals). If exacerbations occur in the spring-summer period, then it is necessary to exclude the option with the flowering of plants and trees.

Problems with Oral Cavity

The second most common reason why a dog has a swollen cheek on one side. The reason may lie in tartar, deep caries, abscesses on the gums, cysts, granulomas and fistulas. Usually found in older animals after the age of 10 years.

At risk are breeds that have an irregular bite due to the structural features of the muzzle. If they do not regularly brush their teeth and remove deposits, then there is a risk of serious problems with the gums at a young age.

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