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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 18363
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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Our medium sized Plummer Terrier cross’s face swells up

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Our medium sized Plummer Terrier cross’s face swells up sometimes after exercise and she seems to have some kind of skin tightening which looks like furry lumps on her sides and legs (they aren’t lumps, though, just look like them). This doesn’t happen all the time but every few weeks. We think it is on days when she has more than average running around. Today, for instance, we took a ball because her pal wasn’t going with her and she loves the ball (obsessively). She got the same symptoms after about 40 minutes. An hour later she’s fine. Her mouth does actually swell and her face distorts. There’s no shortness of breath, panting or any sign of distress. Just for an hour or so she looks about 10 years older. She is three. She walks daily on a Forestry Commission site. Hundreds of other dogs go there. We have checked and no one has reported anything similar. It sounds like an allergy but to what? And does exercise exacerbate allergic reactions?

Hello, I'm Dr. Kara. I have over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian and I'd like to help. Please give me a moment to review your concerns.

I am sorry to hear about Sasha's facial swelling and furry lumps (likely hives) on her sides and legs after heavy exercise.

This sounds like a rare case of angioedema (tissue swelling) and hives precipitated by stress/exercise rather than a true allergic reaction.

While these changes aren't truly harmful the tissue swelling can interfere with breathing and the hives and tissue swelling may be uncomfortable. So we do recommend limiting heavy exercise in dogs that show these symptoms.

Please let me know if you have any further questions.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
Thank you. We will try limiting her exercise.

You are very welcome, my best to your pup. Hopefully limiting strenuous exercise helps.

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