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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 23766
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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My dog has swelling on the right side only of his snout, above

Customer Question

My dog has swelling on the right side only of his snout, above the actual nose. I can't pinpoint it to a single lump or bump, the whole half is raised up. It's not severely swollen but enough to notice. I noticed it yesterday, kept an eye on him and it is the same this morning. I gave him 4 25mg tablets of Benadryl 4 hours ago with no improvement. I have another dog and thought maybe they were playing too rough and the bump is from that but I have never seen anything like this before
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. Some lumps are serious and some aren't. Let's see what the Veterinarian has to say. What is the dog's name and age?
Customer: Jackson age 3
JA: Anything else I can tell the Veterinarian before I connect you two?
Customer: Labrador
JA: I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and connect you two.
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
A peracute (sudden) swelling in that area suggests envenomation by flying insect or spider. Snake bite is also a consideration if you live where crotalids (rattlesnakes, e.g.) or elapids (coral snakes, e.g.) are a problem. Benadryl was reasonable but the dose shouldn't exceed 50 mg at any one dose. 50 mg repeated at 8 hour intervals should suffice. When such an antihistamine isn't helpful, Jackson's vet can administer a fast-acting glucocorticosteroid such as prednisolone or dexamethasone. In most cases, however, this type of hypersensitivity reaction abates within 36 hours unaided. Trauma is possible but unlikely. Problems within the nasal cavity rarely reveal themselves on the outside of the nose although cancers can cause such extensive swelling - an unlikely scenario in a 3 year old.Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
I'm in Massachusetts and it's been a steady 20 degrees all week here and the ground is snow covered, so I guess a spider bite could be possible. This wouldn't be likely to happen if he bumped his snout on a hard surface?
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Jackson would have had to be quite creative to cause the swelling you're describing - perhaps getting his snout wedged between something. Can you upload a frontal photo of his face to our conversation? You can do so by using the paperclip icon in the toolbar above your message box (if you can see the icon) or you can use an external app such as
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Here's one more from the top. As you can see on the left in this one it is swollen
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Thank you! I would add a maxillary tooth root abscess to the differential diagnoses for such swelling. (I see one photo. You mentioned "one more from the top", however.)
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Here's another
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
What a face! Pick up his upper lip on the affected side and take a good look at his gums above the maxillary arcade of teeth and please let me know if you see any redness or swelling. Look at the teeth themselves for evidence of fracture.
Customer: replied 6 months ago.
No redness or swelling and he's eating fine.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 6 months ago.
Thank you for checking. Because there appears to be no urgency at this time, I recommend "watchful waiting" for up to 72 hours. Inflammation from envenomation or trauma should abate in that time frame. If the swelling worsened or persisted instead, Jackson's vet should take a look him.I can't set a follow-up in this venue so please return to our conversation - even after rating - with an update at your convenience.

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