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Swelling in dog's face and neck
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Swelling in dog's face and neck

My dog was (I had to have her put down) a mix breed, part chow, and 14 years old. Last Friday she started to swell on the right side of her jaw, neck, and face. The swelling worsened over the day and eventually both sides of her face were severally swollen as well as her neck.

We took her an emergency vet. The vet thought it was a snake bite, but here in East Tennessee we only have copperheads, and I've never seen one around my house. Anyway, I thought the vet was waaaay off in her analysis. She then took an X-ray of her body, but did not find any rumors in her lungs, only a slightly enlarged heart. Therefore, the vet was pretty much at a loss as to what was causing the swelling. She suggested it could be cancer or her heart.

I haven't found any peace in this. We of course had to put her to sleep because she was suffering, but I still don't know what was the cause of the severe swelling. I should also note that the swelling was soild and could not be drained. Can someone please suggest what happend to my dog? I know that she was old (14), but I just need to know what happened to her.
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234713_tn?1283530259
I am very sorry about your dog!

You don't mention when this happened but if it is not too late you could ask the vet to perform a post mortem on the face and neck lesions.   Since it was just the face and neck it may not even cost that much, if anything.  This would be the most definitive method.

If it is too late for a post mortem, it may have been caused by lymphomatous lymph nodes in her neck in which the cancer may have been brewing for a time and just suddenly worsened.
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Thanks so much, Dr. Cheng, for responding. We first noticed the swelling in her face/neck (isloated to the right side) on Friday, October 17. The swelling worsend over the the next day until the other side of her cheek was swollen. The skin was never broken or bled.

I think that you're probably correct about it being cancer. We have since talked to another Vet, and he said that it could've been a snake bite, bee sting, or even spider bite since the swelling happend so quickly. But cancer is also a good possiblilty. We buried Klondike this past Monday. I don't think we will go through with the necropsy (or post mortem). Thanks again for answering my questions, Dr. Cheng. I do appreciate it!
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This Forum's Experts
234713_tn?1283530259
Aleda M Cheng, D.V.M., C.V.ABlank
American Animal Hospital
Randolph, NJ
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