Dog’s Face is Swollen on One Side – Top 3 Reasons Why

Have you noticed that out of the blue your dog’s face is swollen on one side? This can happen from time-to-time, but it’s often an indication of some type of trauma that your dog just experienced. Whether it’s trauma to the inside of the mouth or the outside of the face, it’s important to figure out what happened so you can prevent further complications. The most common reasons for your dog to experience facial swelling on one side are listed below.

1. Your Dog Received an External Trauma or Injury

An external trauma or injury of some kind could be why your dog’s face is swollen on one side. Your dog could have been hit on one side of their face which caused a wound. There might have been some type of penetration from being hit, which would cause facial swelling and inflammation. The swelling itself could be the result of cellulitis, which is a bacterial infection. A bacterial infection from the external trauma is common if your dog was bitten by another animal.

2. Your Dog Got Stung by an Insect

Your dog might be experiencing swelling on one side of his face because he was stung by some sort of insect. The most common explanation is that your dog was stung by a bee, wasp, or other stinging insects. If a bee stung your dog you might try to find the stinger and remove it, but you don’t want to use tweezers. Only use a credit card because using tweezers could push more venom out of the sac.

You can use a cold compress to help with swelling or even make a baking soda and water paste that could help reverse the acidic venom. If you use the paste then you should try to wrap up the area so that your dog isn’t licking off the paste. No medications should be given unless you have talked to your veterinarian first to ensure it’s safe.

If your dog is having a severe reaction to the sting, then you need to seek veterinary care immediately. This would include swelling that is impacting the airway, eyes swelling up, vomiting, diarrhea, and weakness. Rarely, the complications occur much later so you should pay attention to your dog for 14 hours after the sting.

3. Your Dog Has Tooth Abscess

A tooth abscess could cause your dog to have swelling on one side of his face, especially if your dog has gum disease. Gum disease that hasn’t been properly treated could create tooth abscesses and infection. If this happens, your dog will have other symptoms that you will notice right away as well. If you notice your dog isn’t eating much, has a fever, and also has some depression then a tooth abscess could be the problem.

You will notice quite a bit of swelling of the face and your dog also might be in considerable pain. For treatment of a tooth abscess, your dog likely will need to have the tooth pulled that has the infection. After the tooth is removed pain medications, antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications are given for a certain period of time.

What to Do if My Dog’s Face is Swollen?

If your dog has a swollen face, you should first try to figure out the cause of the issue. For stings and other allergic reactions, you can use a cold compress to try to help the swelling. If your dog has trouble breathing or seems lethargic, isn’t eating, and is having other health issues, you should seek veterinary assistance right away. Treatment will depend on what is causing the issue, but if you are unsure of what happened, always just take your dog to the veterinarian to ensure it’s nothing life-threatening.

Disclaimer: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.


  • Louise Davis | 27/02/2021

    I’ve just noticed my dog face as swelling on one side of her face shes eating and drinking ok and is ok in herself

  • MariaC Sanchez | 05/07/2021

    I noticed my dogs face swollen on one side but shes eating and drinking fine and is happy.

  • destiny aston | 30/11/2021

    My dogs right side of her face is swollen I checked her teeth and gims nothing is there but her face is really swollen.

  • Michelle S | 20/12/2021

    Hi Maria. I’m having a similar issue with my dog and it wondered if you ever found the cause. Also, how long did it last? My dog is eating and acting normally, just has selling on one side. Thanks for any insights.

  • Karla Coronel | 14/01/2022

    How is your dog doing now? Im having a similar problem and my dog doesn’t seem to be in pain but her face is slightly swollen on one side.

  • Karen | 09/03/2022

    My 11 year Labrador Retriever is also presenting a swelling located upper right jaw / just below ear and eye. This came on suddenly, 5 days ago. Saw vet yesterday who did needle poke for lab review. Waiting on results. Has anyone reviewed ‘Multilobular tumor of bone (MTB) (also known as Multilobular Osteochondrosarcoma’ as the cause for this issue? From my read, seems like a possible cause. Other than the swelling, no change in my dog’s activity or appetite.

  • Malcolm | 19/04/2022

    Our labrador also has a swell on the right side of her face and along her top jaw too her nose. It comes and goes within couple of days. Happened 3 times this month. Any idea plz.?. Thank you

  • Alicia | 30/04/2023

    My dog left side of her face is swollen but she eating and drinking water fine and plays but her face is hurting her, I just don’t understand what’s wrong with her, and u can’t find help with a payment plan or any help for the cost to take her in, she’s only 2 years old and she’s my first actual puppy and I don’t know where and how to get the help I need

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