Do I need a vet?
February 18, 2010 11:07 AM   Subscribe

My dog has a swollen lip, but she doesn't mind. Do I need a vet?

Sometime in the last three hours, she developed a very swollen lip on her right side. One corner of her mouth is swollen to about the size of a key lime. The rest of her muzzle is basically unchanged. She does not mind it being messed with, is still frolicking outside with her buddy and is drinking water just fine. She itched it once with her paw, but otherwise has made no indication that she notices it at all. There's no visible puncture, blood or other trauma. How concerned should I be? If it matters, she is a five year old standard poodle.
posted by stoneweaver to Pets & Animals (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Personally, I would call the vet and ask them whether they think you should bring her in.
posted by Pax at 11:14 AM on February 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

That has happened in the last three hours? To the size of a key lime? That sounds so sudden and extreme to me that I would definitely be taking my dog to the vet if it happened.
posted by iknowizbirfmark at 11:23 AM on February 18, 2010

I'd agree with others who say yes, go to the vet. My old golden retriever would have similar weird episodes and almost always it was due to some kind of allergic reaction. If that's the case it can definitely get worse if untreated.
posted by deacon_blues at 11:28 AM on February 18, 2010

It sounds like she got stung by a bee. It's probably worth getting checked out.
posted by invitapriore at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Wait a few more hours. See what happens. Call the vet and ask if there's not change/it gets bigger.
posted by Jon_Evil at 11:35 AM on February 18, 2010

I would call to see what your vet has to say.
posted by Silvertree at 11:38 AM on February 18, 2010

Thanks for suggesting I call the vet! It never occurred to me that they would give advice over the phone. I called and they sounded very unconcerned. They recommended giving her benadryl and calling back if she started wheezing or the like.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:48 AM on February 18, 2010

I call my vet all the time, and they are great (they're so busy that they're not losing a fee by not bringing my babies in unnecessarily). I've gotten the exact same benadryl recommendation as well as a Tums recommendation for a barfy pup.
posted by Pax at 11:57 AM on February 18, 2010

They'll probably do a Benydryl injection and/or tell you to treat with dog dosage approved Benydryl.

Bee or allergy is myguess too.
posted by stormpooper at 12:14 PM on February 18, 2010

I don't know where you are, but consider snakebite too. A friend's catahoula has been bitten twice by rattlesnakes, resulting in a swollen lip and Billy Idol sneer. We don't see many of them (rattlesnakes, not standard poodles) this time of year, but you might be in balmier climes than I.

If it's an allergic reaction, keep an eye on your dog's tummy where the fur is thin and you can see the skin. My dog had an ugly reaction to an immunization when she was a puppy; her muzzle swelled up and she developed an angry red rash on her tummy.
posted by workerant at 12:43 PM on February 18, 2010

Sounds like a minor allergic reaction. Benadryl dosage on a dog is simple: 1mg per pound of dog.
posted by InsanePenguin at 1:53 PM on February 18, 2010 [2 favorites]

If it's a bee sting, you should be able to locate where the stinger first penetrated; while you might not see a puncture, there should be a small hard spot at the origin. If you can find it, dampen an aspirin (or other uncoated pain reliever) and rub it on that spot. That should help bring the swelling down.
posted by DrGail at 3:25 PM on February 18, 2010

Take a picture because that is damn near one of the funniest things ever. It's happened to my dachshund twice, and she looks so pathetic every time.
posted by lilac girl at 6:38 PM on February 18, 2010

She woke up this morning looking perfectly normal! Thanks everyone for getting me to call the vet. The benadryl worked like a charm. Sadly, we didn't think to take a picture.
posted by stoneweaver at 8:50 AM on February 19, 2010

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