How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask DanaDVM Your Own Question
DanaDVM, Dog Answer Team
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 998
Experience:  Dog Expert
Type Your Dog Question Here...
DanaDVM is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

Air Pocket after dog bite

Customer Question

Is air under the skin of my MinPin normal after she was bit by my black lab last week? She has a deep puncture wound on her head, and has swelled up with what i believe is air under her skin in her head and neck. She has an appointment with the vet on Wednesday, but should I wait that long? She has already been seen by the vet and is currently taking antibiotics to avoid infection. PLEASE HELP!
Submitted: 12 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  ElenaMarie replied 12 years ago.
If she were my dog, I would call an emergency vet and ask about this. They can usually advise you whether this is something that is normal in a bite wound. If the swelling is really bad, she may not be on the proper antibiotic, and that may need to be changed.

How big is the wound? You say she was bitten on her head? But you say that the swelling is under her skin on her head and neck? The infection could be spreading, and not to alarm you, but she could be getting what is called lymphangitis, or cellulitis, which means that the infection is spreading and could cause septicemia (blood poisioning or infection).

I am not a vet, but I have seen infections in both animals and humans that have spread, and she may need to be seen sooner than Wednesday. If you think you can wait, I would definitely get her seen tomorrow, but if it looks very red, and is swelling that quickly, you need to take her to the emergency animal clinic in your area. She may need an injection of a different antibiotic, or need to be given fluids if she is getting feverish or dehydrated from the infection.

Did she by any chance get any sub-q fluids when you had her to the vets? That can look like a swelling in the neck, where they usually give the fluids, near the neck, usually in the shoulder area.

Also, are both of your dogs' vaccinations up to date? Especially rabies? You would be best to call the emergency vets and ask about this swelling. If you can, you should also have someone help you take your dog's temperature rectally, and see if she is running a fever. Is she eating or drinking okay? Going to the bathroom okay? If she is very tired and lethargic, I would certainly have her seen as soon as possible.

The following website is very informative for general information for your MinPin also:

God bless and hope your dog is gets well quickly!
Expert:  DanaDVM replied 12 years ago.
After a bite the skin is punctured but the real damage is as the attacking picks up the skin and splits apart layers of tissue causing dead space between tissue.
Air under the skin feels crunchy, like there is a paper or plastic under the skin. The body will eventually take care of the air. If the swelling is firm or fluidy that is usually serosanguinous material (watery blood). The body trys to fill in the spaces with fluid, this is hard to manage and many times it goes from the puncture wound and can go down the head and neck because the fluid is heavy and gravity pulls it down. Many times we have to place drains and pressure bandages to help get rid of the dead space.
I would call the clinic tomorrow and see if you can be seen then vs. Wednesday. If the dog is on antibiotics and is still bright/alert and eating than Monday is soon enough.
If your dog has the swelling and is lethargic and not eating than there is a chance of a bacteria not susceptible to the antibiotic being used and is making the dog sick. If that is the case than an emergency vet is needed.
Good Luck,

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
< Previous | Next >
  • You are a light at the end of scary tunnel when $ are tight, but people need professional help to turn to for help with their dear pets! Linh Charleston, WV
  • $1,000 spent at his vet, and I finally get the correct diagnosis from Nancy Holmes for $15 Carol Cedar Hill, MO
  • I think this is the greatest web site in the world. Thanks to all! Judy New Haven, CT
  • I have referred several friends to your web site. I'm impressed with how easy it is to use your site, the Experts available and the quickness of answers. Nina USA
  • I am completely pleased with the quick response that I received in our time of need for our dog, Jasmine. I couldn't believe how quick the response was and I thank you. It's good to know you're there!! Jasmine's Mom USA
  • Please let everyone involved with your site know that your Expert, Dr. Lucy, has saved my dog's life. I will recommend your site to all my pet loving friends. Thank you again for simply being there! Sonya G Easley, SC
  • Last night my Expert spent close to 3 hours working with me on my dog's illness. Thank you so much for this opportunity to share in her care and knowledge! Cathie M Pompano Beach, FL

Meet The Experts:

  • Dr. Gary

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
< Last | Next >
  • Dr. Gary's Avatar

    Dr. Gary

    Dog Veterinarian

    Satisfied Customers:

    DVM, Emergency Veterinarian; BS (Physiology) Michigan State Univ
  • Joan's Avatar


    Vet Tech

    Satisfied Customers:

    Vet Tech for over 35+ years working w/Dogs/Rescues
  • Candy's Avatar


    Veterinary Technician

    Satisfied Customers:

    Practicing Veterinary Technician for 26 years.Former Veterinary Practice Owner, Technician Trainer
  • Dr. Andy's Avatar

    Dr. Andy

    Medical Director

    Satisfied Customers:

    UC Davis Graduate, Interests: Dermatology, Internal Medicine, Pain Management
  • Theresa's Avatar


    A Voice for Your Pet

    Satisfied Customers:

    19+ years experience in small animal medicine
  • 's Avatar

    Satisfied Customers:

  • Dr. Drew's Avatar

    Dr. Drew


    Satisfied Customers:

    Small Animal Medicine and Surgery