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Dr. Deb
Dr. Deb, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 9973
Experience:  I have owned, bred and shown dogs for over 40 years.
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My 11 month old Aussie woke up with a swollen face. No vomitting,

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My 11 month old Aussie woke up with a swollen face. No vomitting, breathing fine, playing with our other dog, she ate her breakfast... She weighs 50lbs, so we gave her 50mg of Benadryl. We are going to wait an hour and check on her and go from there. Anything else you recommend? I work 1 hour away from home and I'm debating on taking her to the vet or not...

Hi Erin, I'm Dr. Deb. I will do my best to assist you today.

I'm sorry for this concern about Nina.

The dose of Benadryl is exactly what I would have suggested, especially if there's a localized swelling on her face. This could be a reaction to a spider bite or an insect sting. If that's the case, then you should see some reduction in the swelling over the next several hours. You could repeat the dose if necessary in 12 hours.
Some dogs will require steroids before improvement is seen but you're not going to know whether or not she needs them until the benadryl has had time to work in her system.

Another option might be an infected tooth although this is somewhat uncommon in a dog this age.

And, a bite wound or abscess is also possible but I would expect you to see some evidence of this if this were the problem.

Applying a warm compress to the area may help but it's not essential, especially if this is an anaphylactic reaction that she's experiencing.

I hope this helps. Deb

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. You referred to the swelling as "localized"... but it is her entire face. Does that make a difference? It's not just one small area... it's literally her entire face.

I mistyped when I wrote localized swelling for should have been "generalized" swelling. Sorry about that:(

Yes, this is more likely to be secondary to an insect sting or spider bite if her whole face is swollen. Abscesses or infected teeth cause a more localized swelling.


Puppy stranges can cause the whole face to be swollen but she's a little old for this problem. (LINK).

Sorry about the confusion. Deb

Dr. Deb and 4 other Dog Specialists are ready to help you

Thank you for the rating; it's greatly appreciated.
I hope you'll keep me posted about Nina.

Even though you've rated, we can still continue to communicate at no additional charge to you. I can also send you a follow up email tomorrow to which you can respond when you have the time to do so. Regards, Deb

Kindly ignore the request for additional information.


I’m just following up on our conversation about Nina. Did her facial swelling resolve? Deb