Swollen Face in Dogs – How to Provide First Aid?


If a dog’s face is swollen, the first natural reaction of the owner is shock. It is not a pleasant thing to see your pet in such a distress. Careful inspection and analysis of the situation — this is what you need to do immediately. The reason can be common: allergy or a fight, but the probability of a serious illness cannot be excluded. Therefore, the sooner the dog will be examined by the vet, the less is the risk of negative consequences.

Visual Inspection and Analyzing the Situation

The first recommendation to the owner if the dog’s face is swollen is to contact the veterinary clinic as soon as possible. However, there are circumstances when it is impossible to take the pet to the vet quickly. So you have to be ready to help the dog. Conduct a visual inspection:

  1. The location of the swelling: on the one side of the muzzle or on both sides, whether if affects the throat, eyes, gums.
  2. Breathing: normal or rapid with signs of shortness of breath.
  3. The presence of external damage: bites, lacerations, scratches.
  4. Is there a local swelling: blisters, pimples.
  5. Edema density: uniform or with seals.

Restore what events preceded the swelling:

  • food;
  • field or forest walks;
  • possible insect or snake bites, fights;
  • taking medication in pills or injections.

This information will allow you to localize the problem and choose the right way to provide first aid.

Simple Reasons and Emergency Measures

Practice shows that most often the swelling occurs due to allergic reactions, the causes of which may be:

  1. Drugs
  2. Food components
  3. The smell of grass or flowers.
  4. Insect or snake bites.
  5. Household chemicals.


Manifestations can be of different severity. Depending on the condition of the dog the following tools can be applied:

  1. If the swelling does not affect the throat, then use: antihistamines: suprastin, fenkarol, tavegil, diazolin; diuretics: furosemide, dehydratin;
  2. If swelling extends to the throat and the dog is choking, you need urgent action in the form of injections: prednisolone or its equivalent, from the group of corticosteroids intramuscularly; atropine subcutaneously; urgent delivery of the dog to the clinic.

Such symptoms are typical for angioedema Quincke, the disease develops rapidly and may have a genetic nature, the exacerbation of which occurs as a reaction to an allergen. If the dog’s eyes quickly become numb and itching starts, the cause is likely to be a bite and subsequent anaphylaxis. Emergency assistance of a veterinarian is required. In order to determine the nature of allergies accurately, it is required to carry out laboratory tests to exclude similar situations in the future.


If swollen face in dogs occurs on one side of the muzzle, it’s likely and common cause can be wounds and bruises, as a consequence of the dog’s fight. In this case the following is required:

  1. injections of corticosteroids;
  2. local disinfection and treatment of the wound;
  3. visit to the vet for further examination if the condition of the dog does not improve in 2-3 days.

These reasons lie on the surface, they are easy to detect. But there are those which could be diagnosed only in clinical conditions.

Photo of Dog’s with Swollen Face

face swelling in dogs face swelling up in dogs in dogs swellling face in dogs swollen face swelling face in dogs

Other Causes of the Swelling

If a swelling of face in dogs affect one side of the muzzle, and the injury or allergy are excluded, then a visit to the vet for examinations is essential. The causes of edema may be: Muscle inflammation or myositis. It is characterized by a partial swelling of the lower part of the muzzle near the neck, or upper, occurs as a result of:

  1. Chronic injury.
  2. Infections.
  3. Allergic reaction.

Diseases can be accompanied by pain, fever, the appearance of purulent cones. Treatment depends on the results of diagnosis, which is performed in a clinical setting. The appearance of neoplasms or tumors of benign or malignant nature. Often, the external symptoms of the disease are similar to an allergic reaction, but the use of standard drugs does not give results. The following organs may be affected:

  • oral cavity;
  • respiratory system;
  • bone tissue of the head.

Accurate diagnosis of tumors is carried out in the laboratory by:

  1. blood test;
  2. tissue biopsies;
  3. ultrasound and magnetic studies.

Early detection increases the likelihood of a positive outcome. In the advanced stage, a lethal outcome is possible. Thus, if a dog has a swollen muzzle, then a visit to the clinic for detailed diagnosis is needed. The obvious cause of edema at first glance and its elimination at home does not exclude the risk of other diseases. Laboratory tests and consultations of the vet will guarantee the dog’s health in the future.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *