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Facial Swelling in Dogs

Facial Swelling in Dogs

Facial swelling in dogs can happen suddenly. While there can be many factors that lead to facial swelling, it is most commonly caused by an allergic reaction. Today, our Tracy vets list causes, symptoms and treatment options for this condition.

Sudden Facial Swelling in dogs

When a dog's face suddenly becomes swollen, it is usually caused by an allergic reaction. While this response 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. 

What are Allergies?

Allergies are 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. Something as simple as your furry friend being bit by a bug can trigger this immune response. While intervention might always be necessary, allergic reactions are treatable, especially when responded to quickly, especially as major reactions are emergency situations. 

Causes and Symptoms

There can be many causes of allergic reactions. These can include insect bites, foods, medications, vaccinations, toxins, and environmental allergens, as well as many others. Just as in people, sometimes these allergies can develop at any time in your dog's life. 

The symptoms that your dog might experience through an allergic reaction could vary from mild to life-threatening. If your dog suddenly develops symptoms 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. 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 & 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


Treatment for facial swelling in dogs will vary depending on the correct diagnosis of the cause and also the severity of the symptoms. The most common treatment might be lifestyle or dietary changes to remove the allergen or your veterinarian might prescribe an allergy medication to help relieve the symptoms. Always speak with your veterinarian before administering any medications or providing any treatment. 

Other Causes

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, trauma, tumors, or a variety of other complications could cause facial swelling. it is important to monitor the symptoms and obtain the correct diagnosis in order to provide the appropriate 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 experiencing facial swelling or symptoms of an allergic reaction? Book an appointment at Paws and Claws Veterinary Hospital today.

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