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Ask Dr. Kara Your Own Question
Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 14830
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Good arternoom,and thank you in advance wonderful

Customer Question

Good arternoom,and thank you in advance for you wonderful dedication in helping animals!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have a femail Maltes/poodle mix aprox. 7 yrars old ,and over all in excelent health. In the last 4-5 days i have noticed Tumor like groth or a busa ande he right eye. It is apox 1 inch long and 1/2 inch wide. the first feww days it was solid and hard to the touch,but showed no cause of pain or any loss of appitite or energy.I checked her teeth the best I could to see if it could be dentil related and did not see anthing aabnormal in her mouth cavity.I try tto aply a warm cloth to it several times a day and as of today it seems a little softer and has a very light almost clear discharge as if it were draining. No evidence of cut or any exterior damage. The lump,as i gave to the aprox.size is in a football stating from the back of the exterior of the mouth almost exactly underr the eye. It also runs th lenght of the eye and goes down aprox 1 inch down (almost like the shape of a football. the sweeling is caauing the eye to close half way. PT> name is ***** ***** aprox.18 lbs. has had 2 litters afte wich we fixed all themail and femail dogs but her. Bowels are normal as wel as urine. In all other aspects she seems to be perfectly healthy. My family a well known for animal rescue and placement in good homes when they are in good health,but have not had a new rescue in over 7 months so I kind of rulrd out the new dog being the problem. However!!!!! I have my great neice here 80% of the week. She is 3 1/2,and has been known to swing toys in a circle hitting my self and others so perhaps she may have been struck by a toy. So I probably gave alot of info but I knowyou need the most info to be provided to even guees the problem,so in short : LUCY IS APROX 7T/O FEMALE WITH TUMOR LIKE MASS UNDER THE EYE.tHERE IS NO SIGN IF TRAUMAA TO THE EXTERIOY AND APON EXAMINATION OF THE INSIDE OF MOUTH THERE IS NO VIVBLE MEANS THAT IT IS FROM THE MOUTH. IN ALL APITIEIS GOOD ENERGY LEVEI NORMAL,EATS NORMAL AND SHOWS NO SIGNS OF PAIN TO THE TOUCH If you have any advice I would be most greatful if tou need a photo I can send you one.at this time my concerne is her eye is being half shut from swelling thank you Dennis xxxxxxxx Phone # ***** Thank you and bless you for your services
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is***** and I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian. I am sorry to hear that your girl has a somewhat firm swelling under her right eye that is causing her eye to close half-way.
Is the swollen area on her cheek on the area just below her eye? (see the pictures of the dogs in the links below)
1) http://virtuavet.files.wordpress.com/2012/02/pus-coming-out-a-hole-in-the-face.jpg
2) http://www.dentistvet.com/images/FacialSwelling1.jpg
If so the most likely cause of it is actually a premolar tooth root abscess that has fistulated through the bone and into the tissue under her skin. The roots of the upper premolar teeth end up just below the eye and if the tooth root becomes infected the infection often travels through the soft tissue around the root and drains out through the face. As the infection worsens we can see quite a bit of swelling on the face. The tooth crown may look normal in the mouth, as it is the root that is infected, but sometimes we can see how the infection entered via a crack or chip fracture by looking at her teeth.
The other common cause of sudden swelling and redness is an allergic reaction. This can be from an insect bite or sting, pollen, or plants (much less common in dogs). Sometimes we never figure out the cause of the allergic reaction.
Treatment is based upon stopping further allergic reaction with antihistamines like Benadryl and sometimes cortisone if the reaction progresses.
You can give her Benadryl (diphenhydramine only don't use the combination products with decongestants or acetaminophen as they can be toxic for dogs) at 1mg to 2mg per pound of body weight or one 25mg capsule per 15 to 25 pounds of body weight orally every 8 hours. You'll need to give it for at least 72 hours (3 days) to allow the allergen time to clear. If you stop too soon the reaction will recur.
Dogs take a really high dose compared to people, so don't let the amount worry you. They require more than we do. This may make her a little sleepy. And then you'll need to watch her closely for any progression of symptoms. That would include difficulty breathing, vomiting or diarrhea.
The swelling should resolve slowly over the next 12 to 24 hours with the use of Benadryl if this is related to an allergic reaction. If her swelling resolves then you know this is an allergic reaction and if that's the case you should keep Benadryl on hand at all times.
If you'd like to get the swelling down quicker with an allergic reaction you can have her regular veterinarian check her and give a cortisone injection which will lessen symptoms faster.
But if she seems to be doing well then I would just call them and let them know so it is on her record for future reference.
Other possible reasons for what you are seeing other than an abscessed premolar tooth root, or an allergic reaction include an infected or blocked salivary gland, a type of cancer in her lymph node (lymphoma) or a bite or scratch wound that has become abscessed/infected. If your girl isn't improving with antihistamines then she needs to see her veterinarian for some testing to determine why she has this swelling, and appropriate treatment.
If she isn't improving she needs to see her veterinarian for an examination and antibiotics and she will likely need a tooth extracted. This isn't an emergency as long as she is still eating and drinking well. They can put her on pain medication and anti-inflammatories as well which will decrease the swelling near her eye.
Please let me know if you have any further questions.