Why Do Dogs Face Swell? Causes of Facial Swelling in Dogs

Dog Health

Facial swelling in dogs can be associated with many different causes. It is also known that it is a symptom that usually occurs as a result of a different problem. Since facial swelling in dogs can be an indicator of a serious problem, it is important to determine the causes correctly in order to evaluate treatment options. In this article, “Why does the dog’s face swell?” You can find information about the proposed treatment options along with the answers to the question.

Why Do Dogs Face Swell?

If the swelling progresses towards the throat as a result of facial swelling in dogs, life-threatening complaints may be encountered. It is very important to consult veterinarians for the correct analysis of the causes of facial swelling, which can sometimes be caused by a simple problem. Why does the dog’s face swell? The answers to the question can be listed as follows:


Allergies are one of the most common reasons for saying “the dog’s face is swollen”. Dogs, like humans, can have an allergic reaction to chemicals, foods, plants, insect bites, medications, and even vaccines. Although rare, some allergies can cause the throat to swell, causing a dog’s trachea to become narrowed and blocked. For this reason, veterinarians should be visited immediately when dogs show symptoms other than facial swelling, such as difficulty breathing, pale or bruising of the gums, and fainting. If the cause of facial swelling in dogs is allergies, the treatment can be planned in line with the allergen. In this context, it is possible to prescribe antihistamines and steroids to dogs. Likewise, feeding programs may need to be changed. Different examination methods can be used for the most accurate diagnosis.

black-nosed dog lying on its back


When dogs are bitten by another animal or injured for any reason, abscesses that occur suddenly, usually with fever, may cause swelling in the face area. Abscesses cause a disproportionate appearance in the face and neck area of ​​dogs. If facial swelling in dogs is caused by abscesses, this can be quite painful for dogs. Abscesses that can prevent them from eating or even drinking water need to be treated quickly. In this context, surgical drainage of abscesses can be applied and then it may be necessary for dogs to use anti-inflammatory and antibiotic-containing drugs.

Tooth and Gum Problems

Why does the dog’s face swell? The question may also arise as a result of dental problems. Infected or broken teeth or untreated gum disease can cause facial swelling, fever, depression, loss of appetite and severe pain in dogs. The treatment of abscesses formed as a result of dental problems should be applied as early as possible. Within the scope of the treatment of dental abscesses, it may be necessary to remove the tooth that caused the abscess or to treat the gum disease.


Tumors in the mouth and throat area can result in facial swelling in dogs. In addition, it can lead to eating problems, bleeding and excessive odor formation. It is also known that tumors can occur in different regions in dogs. For example, a tumor located in the eye socket may cause swelling of the eyes, while some tumors may be difficult to detect before they have grown sufficiently. Since tumors can be benign or malignant, it is necessary to be cautious about the symptoms. If tumors are the cause of facial swelling in dogs, the tumors may need to be surgically removed or different treatment options such as radiotherapy may be used. Veterinarians determine the treatment options by performing general health checks of dogs.

Facial Swelling and Craniomandibular Osteopathy in Dogs

Craniomandibular osteopathy is a genetic disease characterized by excessive thickening of the bones in the skull and especially the jaw region of dogs and facial swelling in dogs. It is mostly seen in dogs 3-10 months old. Unfortunately, there is no definitive treatment for this genetic disease, which is more common in Great Dane, Doberman Pinscher, Boxer and some Terrier breeds. Within the scope of the treatment of dogs with this disease, it is aimed to improve the quality of life of dogs and to control pain problems. In some cases, surgical operation planning can be done. Treatment processes are planned in line with the decisions of the veterinarians, specific to the dog.

dog with open mouth facing upwards

Can Facial Swelling in Dogs Be Prevented?

While some of the causes of facial swelling in dogs are preventable, some cannot be prevented. In general, this risk can be minimized by taking some precautions:

In order to prevent abscess formation in dogs, early socialization is an important requirement to prevent them from getting involved in possible fights. Likewise, not interrupting oral and dental care is critically essential for the prevention of abscesses and facial swelling that may occur due to tooth and gum problems. You can find the products recommended for use to improve the oral and dental health of the dog here.

If dogs have facial swelling due to allergies, it is necessary to diagnose the elements that the dogs are allergic to. Sometimes, facial swelling can be prevented by not being exposed to allergens as much as possible and sometimes by changing nutritional routines. Food allergies are common in dogs. If the causes of the problems are the preferred dry foods, it may be necessary to change the food with the recommendations of the veterinarians. You can view the dog foods specially formulated for dogs in different developmental stages by clicking here.

One of the most important requirements for the protection and maintenance of the general health of dogs is veterinary checks. It may be possible to prevent possible problems by not interrupting routine examinations and to initiate treatment processes with early diagnosis.

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