You Make The Diagnosis: Dog With Swollen Face

For aspiring veterinarians, I have created a new category called “You Make The Diagnosis”.  I will present cases for you to diagnose.  Hints will be provided on the tough ones.  Here’s the first case.

Blondie is a young intact female pit bull.  She is shy around people.  Blondie loves to play out in the yard with her siblings.  This morning, her owner noticed a change in her appearance.  Please study Blondie’s picture carefully and then diagnose her condition.  Sorry, no hints on this one!


DIAGNOSIS: Allergic Reaction

Notice the severe swelling of Blondie’s face.  Her cheeks are enormous.  Dogs may be allergic to many things including plants, medicines, vaccinations, household cleaners, perfumes, fabrics and insects just to name a few.  Besides facial swelling, animals undergoing an allergic reaction may also vomit, have respiratory problems and act lethargic.  After speaking with her owners, an insect bite is the most likely cause of her reaction.  Blondie was treated with antihistamines.   

If you notice facial swelling on your pet, seek medical attention immediately. 

Published by kristennelsondvm

Dr. Kristen Nelson grew up on a farm in Watertown, Minn., where she developed a deep love for animals of all kinds. She received a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine. Kris then completed a small-animal internship at the prestigious Animal Medical Center in New York City. In addition to writing and speaking, she cares for small and exotic animals in Scottsdale, Az. Dr. Nelson is widely quoted in the media. Her credits include Ladies’ Home Journal, USA TODAY, the Los Angeles Times and numerous radio and television interviews. Dr. Nelson has written two books, Coated With Fur: A Vet’s Life and Coated With Fur: A Blind Cat’s Love. Kris and her husband Steve share their home with rescued cats, birds and a dog.