Edema in dogs can be particularly alarming. Although it's essentially the accumulation of fluid in a certain section of your dog's body, you might be utterly baffled as to the cause. When your dog has suffered an accident, the cause and effect become clear. Your dog has injured themself, and the affected portion of their body has become swollen. Treatment might be required, depending on the severity of the accident. But what about when you have no clue what might be causing a section of your dog's body (particularly their face) to swell up?
Localised swelling in a dog's face can often be attributed to an allergy. It might be news to you that your dog had any allergies, but if they have been exposed to an allergen, the reaction can be quite clear as your dog's face begins to swell. It can be somewhat frightening to observe.
Exposed to an Allergen
Although it can be frightening, the edema might not be all that serious. Your dog will not be in pain, although the sudden tightening of their skin as the underlying tissue swells can be confusing and slightly uncomfortable. All that is likely to have happened is that your dog put their face into contact with an allergen, and their body responded accordingly. This could have happened on their walk, or even in the backyard when your dog simply explored a plant that they happened to be allergic to. Does your dog need treatment?
A Potential Complication
In rare cases, the severity of the swelling can cause your dog's throat to constrict. So if you notice facial edema in conjunction with respiratory distress, then you should take your dog to an after-hours animal care service. Not all facial swellings are an emergency, however.
Seeking Assistance for Your Dog
In many instances, the swelling will subside without the need for intervention. If you are concerned, and particularly if your dog should develop hives on their body (which can be a secondary reaction to their exposure to the allergen), then you might wish to take them to a vet who provides after-hours animal care services. The situation doesn't warrant emergency care, but the vet might administer an antihistamine to counteract the allergic reaction and subsequent swelling. When seeking treatment, you might want to ask the vet for their opinion about the cause of the allergic reaction, so you can minimise future contact with the substance in question.
Remember that facial swelling in dogs can look rather unsettling, but it's not necessarily an emergency.
For further tips, reach out to a local after-hours animal care service.