The common causes of swelling in dogs include allergies, injury, infection, and disease. The swelling may occur in the joints, face, or internally. Diagnosis and treatment of swelling will vary depending on the type and location of the swelling. A veterinarian should be contacted at the first sign of swelling in a dog.
Swelling in dogs commonly appears at the site of a wound or injury. Even when no external injury is present, trauma may cause injury to the dog's internal soft issues, resulting in swelling. A bacterial infection at the site of a wound can also cause inflammation. Bacterial infections may be treated by antibiotics.
Allergies are another common cause of swelling in dogs. A dog may experience an allergic reaction to the environment, such as intolerance to pollen or certain types of grass. Spider, snake, and insect stings or bites can also cause an allergic reaction that leads to swelling around the area of the bite. An allergic reaction to food or medication may also result in swelling. Hives or rashes are also common symptoms of an allergic reaction, and often accompany swelling resulting from an allergen.
When allergies are the cause of swelling or a rash on a dog, a veterinarian may choose to treat the issue with steroids. In some cases, a veterinarian may decide the allergy will subside on its own without any intervention. Preventive measures, such as avoiding exposure to a certain allergen, may be all the treatment that is necessary.
In older dogs, skin bumps or lumps underneath the skin may lead to swelling. These bumps may be an abscess or benign cyst, or could also be a sign of cancer. Swollen lymph nodes may also be the cause of swelling. A veterinarian should be contacted at the first sign of a skin bump or lump on a dog.
Facial swelling in dogs, also known as angioedema, can also be caused by injury or allergies. Swelling may also result from a dental infection caused by an abscessed tooth. Eye swelling can also occur as the result of conjunctivitis or glaucoma. Treatment for facial swelling will vary depending on the exact nature and cause of the problem.
Peripheral edema, or excess tissue surrounding organs, is also a cause of swelling in dogs. Dogs prone to this problem may have a history of allergies, exposure to trauma, or types of infection. Certain breeds and age groups of dogs are more prone to experience this issue than others. Edema may first appear as weight gain in the dog. Localized edema may be the result of injury, kidney problems, or congestive heart failure.