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Jane Lefler
Jane Lefler, Breeder,Behaviorist, formerVet Asst
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 19591
Experience:  Former vol Vet Assistant.Breeder 18+ years Dog trainer / behaviorist
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my dogs jaw and face/eyes are swollen, he has a lot

Resolved Question:

my dog's jaw and face/eyes are swollen, he has a lot of ticks on him, what can I do to help him here at home ?
Submitted: 10 years ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  Jane Lefler replied 10 years ago.
Hi Karen,

You will want to get all the ticks off your dog. You can remove a tick by grabbing it firmly at the head and gently tugging it away using a pair of tweezers until it separates from the bite site. Be sure and grab it at the head to prevent the head and body from separating. If it does separate, don’t worry, your dog’s body will attempt to dislodge it on it’s own. Your vet also has tools that are able to get it out if it really bothers you.   Once it is off your dog, you can flush it down the toilet, or burn it. Treat the bite wound with peroxide and Neosporin.    There are tick removal tools available on the web, which you may want to look into as they do make it easier to remove ticks.

You may notice a small lump where the tick was attached. It is perfectly normal.. It may take as long as a week for it to go away. You will want to keep an eye on your dog for symptoms of Lyme disease which are high fever, swollen lymph nodes, lameness, and a loss of appetite You may want to have it noted in your dog's Vet record that she had a tick.

Facial swelling can be caused by infection, an allergic reaction to a bug bite or sting, bruising, mouth problems, cancer or muscle inflammation or due to acetaminophen toxicity. If it is possible your dog was bit by a snake, you will need to take the dog into the Vet immediately.

If it is due to infection you should find a cut or puncture somewhere. This swelling will often be warm and painful and your dog should have a fever normally with this type of swelling. Your vet will need to take care of the injury and possibly start your dog on antibiotics.

Swelling due to an allergic reaction is frequently caused by an insect bite or sting. Often the whole head will swell and it is generally not painful though your animal may be itchy. If you feel this may have happened you can give your dog Benadryl dose is up to 2mg per pound and see if that helps. If it doesn’t your vet should be consulted.

If the swelling is associated with acetaminophen poisoning (Tylenol) you often see itchy paws and your dogs gums may appear brownish. See your vet immediately.

If it is caused by a bruise then a trauma would have occurred and in light colored animals you may be able to see a discoloration of the skin.

Certain cancers can develop on the head causing swelling in a specific area. Swelling under the jaw may be a swollen lymph node.

Inflammation of a muscle is another possible cause for a dog’s face to swell and typically it is the lower jaw or the top of the head that swells.

An abscessed tooth can sometimes cause lumps or swelling of the muzzle or jaw. You will want to check your dog’s mouth and look for any broken or discolored teeth. If you find any, buffered aspirin can be given to a dog with a dosage of up to 5 mg per pound every 12 hours for pain until your dog can be seen by your Vet. Keep in mind that a dog's body does not metabolize aspirin in the same way as a human and thus should not be given more than a day or two without contacting your Vet.

As you can see there are many causes for swelling in the head and most will require that you seek medical treatment.   So if benadryl doesn't have any effect, a vet visit will be in order. If finances are an issue, the following site may help in that area.

Help-A-Pet This group helps low income families with vet care.

IMOM   This organization help people with emergency medical care in some cases.

Care Credit Quick application and approval for care credit card. You can sometimes apply and get approval while you are at the vet office.

Hope this helps.
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