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What is Facial Swelling?

Some of these causes of swelling are incredibly serious and need to be treated immediately to protect your cat. It doesn’t matter whether the swelling is only occurring on one side of the face or affecting the entire face, you should bring your cat to a veterinarian as soon as possible if you spot any symptoms.

If you notice your cat’s face looks puffier than usual, he could be suffering from facial swelling. It may be difficult to spot swelling at first, but as it worsens, your cat’s eyes may begin to close as the surrounding area swells. The symptoms of facial swelling can come on suddenly or develop over time, depending on the underlying cause. Swelling can be caused by a variety of conditions, including exposure to allergens or toxins, dental abscesses, trauma, and insect bites. 

Facial Swelling Average Cost

From 449 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$850

Symptoms of Facial Swelling in Cats

It’s much easier to spot facial swelling in short haired cats than in long haired cats. Facial swelling is characterized by a puffy, abnormal facial appearance. Depending on the cause, the swelling could affect small areas, one side of the face, or the entire face. You may also notice your cat’s eyes appearing smaller than usual because of the swelling.

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Causes of Facial Swelling in Cats

A number of different factors can cause facial swelling in cats, some which are more severe than others. To ensure your cat is properly treated, take him to an emergency vet as soon as possible. Some of the causes include:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Dental abscess
  • Facial trauma
  • Insect/snake bite
  • Muscle inflammation
  • Inflamed salivary glands
  • Acetaminophen poisoning
  • Cancer
  • Hematoma
  • Infection
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Diagnosis of Facial Swelling in Cats

Bring your cat into a vet as soon as you see signs of facial swelling. Provide as much information as possible to your vet regarding your cat’s diet and medical history. If your cat has any known allergies, make sure you mention this to the vet. You should also let your vet know if you have an outside cat, as snakes or insects can easily come into contact with outside cats.

Next, the vet will begin a physical examination of your cat. He will look for signs of insect or snake bites, wounds, infection, and hives, which are often present during an allergic reaction. Vets will also check the skin to look for signs of hematoma, which is characterized by skin discoloration. The vet may also look inside your cat’s mouth to determine if a dental abscess could be causing the facial swelling.

If the swelling is localized, the vet may be able to conclude it is caused by muscle or salivary gland inflammation. However, localized swelling can also be caused by tumors, which the vet may be able to feel during the physical examination. If no cause is determined after the physical examination, the vet may perform X-rays or an ultrasound to check for tumors in the head or neck. Biopsies may need to be performed on any tumors that are found to determine if they are cancerous.

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Treatment of Facial Swelling in Cats

The treatment plan will depend on the cause of facial swelling. Allergic reactions will usually be treated with corticosteroids and antihistamines. If the swelling is caused by an infection, the bacteria may need to be cultured to determine which antibiotic will be the most effective. Muscle or salivary gland inflammation is usually treated with anti-inflammatory medication and steroids. 

Vets may recommend letting hematomas clear up on their own, but in extreme cases, they may think it is best to drain the hematoma before sending your cat home. 

If your cat has been diagnosed with cancer, the treatment will depend on the severity of the disease. Your cat may require surgery to remove the tumor, along with radiation and chemotherapy.

If your cat has ingested acetaminophen, the vet will administer acetylcysteine, which will protect the liver from serious damage. Cats suffering from acetaminophen poisoning may need to stay with the vet overnight so the vet can closely monitor the cat’s vital signs while he recovers.

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Recovery of Facial Swelling in Cats

Most cats will fully recover from facial swelling, especially if the cause was an allergic reaction or infection. However, if the swelling was caused by cancer or acetaminophen toxicity, your cat’s recovery will depend on the severity of his condition.

Be sure to administer medications to your cat as advised by the veterinarian. If the swelling was caused by an allergy, try to remove any potential allergens from your cat’s environment. It’s recommended that you keep your cat indoors to limit his exposure to potential allergens, insects, and snakes.

The vet may ask that you bring your cat in shortly after your initial visit to ensure the swelling has gone down and the underlying cause is being properly treated.

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Facial Swelling Average Cost

From 449 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$850

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Facial Swelling Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Short hair

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1yr

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Face

Cat stopped grooming, then noticed having trouble eating hard food she would seem to gag. Looking inside mouth could not see anything lodged or anything wrong with teeth. Day later offered wet food, no go. Noticed swelling in chin/jaw area have not touched it because she will pull away and growl. Did not want to cause more pain been letting her rest in a dark room. Warmed some food with liquid/broth she ate it slowly..but still no grooming... to me I feel it may be an access tooth but trying to find relief for her till I can get to the clinic

Sept. 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. It is possible that it is an abscessed tooth, or bite or fight wound, but it certainly does sound sore. There isn't really anything that you can do at home, other than try to keep her eating soft food, until you can see a veterinarian. I hope that she is okay.

Oct. 9, 2020

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Normal cat

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4 months old

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Face And Foam Formation, Loss Os Apetite

Why does my cat face swollen ??? Since two days she is weak and lost apetite, and foam is coming out from her mouth when she eat something

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in answering, this platform is not set up for urgent emails. Without being able to see her, unfortunately, I can't say what might be wrong with her, but she does sound very sick. It would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine your pet and see what might be causing this, and let you know what treatment might help.

Oct. 11, 2020

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Domestic Short Hair

dog-age-icon

Six Months

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

- Noisy Breathing, Irritated/Swollen Eyes,

He has never looked like this before, his eyes are very watery and swollen looking. All he does is sleep and doesn’t let us pet or pick him up. I included some pictures of him right now and one of how he looked before. (the one where he is laying down in the sun)

Sept. 27, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my response, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Since I cannot see your pet, it would be best to have them seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be causing this, and get treatment if needed.

Oct. 13, 2020

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Cat

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Eight Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling Of The Cheeks

He was an outdoor cat his cheeks are swollen and hard

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. Male cats who are older and not neutered can develop thick skin on the cheeks. If this is sudden, he may have an abscess. If it seems to be bothering him, or he isn't doing well, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get treatment for them.

Oct. 15, 2020

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American shorthair

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

Skin Lesion

My cat developed a small (dime sized or less) bald spot with a scratch and possible swelling just posterior to his whiskers, and just below that has another small slightly balding round spot that is still smooth with skin still intact. Seems like it might be an ingrown hair or acne? I've treated with chlorhexidine daily and just put him in an e collar today, but it doesn't seem to be getting better, and possibly worse since the second lesion became more noticeable today. This has been going on for 2-3 days so far (possibly up to 6 days but we were out of town).

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. It is difficult to tell from the pictures, but it appears that it may be a deep skin infection, or another problem,. If it is not getting better with the treatment that you have given him, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

yesterday

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peanut

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Striped

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4 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Head Tilt , Off Balance ,

Peanut was an outside cat , found her hiding , she couldn't stand up , gave her water , she nibbled at food , stay down for 3 days , but was eating and drinking , she started moving around , but tilts her head to the right ,

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UNO

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Cat

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3 Years

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Fair severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair severity

Has Symptoms

Swelling
Face Swollen
Cat
Cat Face

My cat face was swollen about two weeks ago for a few hours I thought he might been stung he when out and came back with a small whole in his face where the swelling was with light pink colour blood coming out of it but it healed up about 3-4 after so I thought it was getting better but today the whole has reopened and has a lot of blood coming. Has anyone had this problem? I was going to take him to the vet.

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Mamas

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all black cat

dog-age-icon

3 Years

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Serious severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Swollen Face

my cat is an outdoor cat (she hates being inside) and she was fine the day before yesterday.... yesterday morning i noticed the left side of her face is HUGE. her eyes aren't swollen, she's eating, using the bathroom and it doesn't seem to be super uncomfortable because she's letting me touch it and it just feels like a hard ball. she's never been to a vet and they're all closed due to this pandemic. i need some type of help, can someone please tell me what i can do to help her? im so worried about her, she's never had any problems like this ever.

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Lucky Char

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Barn kitten turned domestic, short

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6 Months

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

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pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

Facial Swelling Slightly Tender

So I have a cat that was a barn cat's kitten that we took in around 4 weeks and she's been inside ever since. She's recently gotten out a couple times for no more then half a day I think because she was in heat and has probably done the deed, if ya know what I mean, a few times. Well this last time she was out for over a day and when I finally got her back in I didn't notice anything right away because I was late for work, but now that I really look at her she's got a swollen face on the right side. She had been growling at the other barn cats out there (that are probably her family or related at least) and looked like there was some roughed up fur by her neck and I think I felt something by her ear so I'm thinking she got into a tussle with one of them and got hurt. I don't really have the money to take her in atm...is there anything I can do in the meantime?

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Chevy

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Short hair black cat with green eyes.

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17 Years

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Mild severity

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild severity

Has Symptoms

No Discharge
No Discharge, Seems Happy

I’ve noticed my cat’s eyes have had a strange appearance to them. Not the eyes themselves, but his eyelids. He is 17 years old and it’s as if the hair on his eyelids is really thinning OR they’re swollen or puffy. He’s eating and using his litter box as normal. He is an indoor/outdoor cat, however, he hasn’t been spending too much time outside now as I live in Minnesota and winter is upon us. He also doesn’t mind when I pet him and touch his eyelids. I don’t know what breed he is since I adopted the cat from my brother who’s ex left behind.

Facial Swelling Average Cost

From 449 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$850

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