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 Dr. Bruce Your Own Question
Dr. Bruce
Dr. Bruce, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18112
Experience:  15 years of experience as a small animal veterinarian
Type Your Dog Question Here...
Dr. Bruce is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

12 year old basset with lymphoma and not good teeth. She ate

This answer was rated:

12 year old basset with lymphoma and not good teeth. She ate food last night, this morning her upper lip is very swollen. Is it the lymphoma, tooth or a sting and what can I do until Tuesday (its Sunday before Labor Day). Thanks.

Welcome. I'm Dr. Bruce and I've been a small animal veterinarian for over 12 years. I'm sorry to hear about Elizabeth's situation. Any chance you can take a photo of this area of swelling for me to view it? Is it both upper lips? Is it below the eye on one side? Does it seem uncomfortable to her?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm trying to get a picture. Its just one side, toward the front, not below eye, doesn't seem like it bothers her, she just took a long (ice cold) drink.

Based on your description, if it is just the lip that is swollen on one side, there has to be a strong suspicion that it could be the signs of an allergic reaction. At my ER, I see a lot of dogs come in with swollen lips / muzzles from being bit or stung by something. I wouldn't expect this to be a sign of the lymphoma that she has progressing. Usually a dental issue causes swelling below the eye when a particular tooth root has abscessed. If this is a sting, then using diphenhydramine at 1 mg per pound twice a day and cold compresses on the area for 5 to 10 minutes usually gets it to go down. The more serious signs would be weakness / collapse / vomiting - indicating a severe allergic reaction. It is good that she's drinking and eating with it like this as her body doesn't seem too stressed. Sometimes I wish they could talk and say what they got tangled up with! Look forward to the picture.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I'm older, she isn't cooperating and she's short...I'm not getting a very good pic. It is on the 'fatty' part of the lower lip. Your words have given me some assurance and will do the cold compresses. Can I give her a
'human' equivalent to diphenhydramine which I assume is a benadryl-type med. You're very kind, thank you.

The human equivalent of diphenhydramine is what we use in veterinary medicine. There are actually very few veterinary specific drugs in comparison to the number of drugs used in veterinary medicine. Just make sure there are no other medications in it like decongestants. Some are pretty hard to get good photos on - I know my own are not eager for "photo shoots"!
Dr. Bruce and other Dog Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You've eased some immediate concerns, I'll see the Vet on Tuesday. Thank you very much.

I'm glad to have been of help at this time! I hope Elizabeth stays comfortable and has a good holiday! Take care.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I just wanted to thank you again for helping through a very difficult weekend that seemed to never end. We went to our vet today, her lymph nodes in her neck/face area (the one was so enlarged and clogged) is what caused the edema in her face. There was just so much gone wrong, so fast, she isn't in any discomfort now. But again you helped me regain as much strength as I could to be with her these last few days.


I'm very sorry to hear that Elizabeth's situation turned out to be this serious. Lymphoma is a frustrating disease that at some point gets the best of even the strongest of patients. I'm glad to have been there at the time of concern and just wish I could have been more help. Please know that she is still with you in spirit at this time.

I'm just following up on our conversation about Elizabeth. How is everything going?

Dr. Bruce
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

You are very kind...which isn't what is advertised on this site. I appreciate all you have done and said to me. It has been of a huge help. I'm not one to share a whole lot with family and co-workers so this is has been a wonderful, safe outlet for sharing. I am still in the early, numb stage of loss...I swear I can hear her 'snoring'. Again, you gave me the strength to enjoy my last couple of days with her and that was the best. They must teach you a lot more than just medicine in Vet school! Thanks so much for your very dear concern.

Thank you so much for the kind words! Veterinary medicine is as much learning how to treat and diagnose illnesses as it helping owners to deal with the challenges and hardships of having a loved one fall ill and eventually pass. It is good to grieve for the loss of this special girl as she was such a friend and companion. Her memory will be with you always. I know my pets that I've lost over the years of my own still are with me. The days and nights will pass and the pain will go, but the memories will always stay bright.

Related Dog Questions