• My 13 week old Basenji pup has had two incidents now of muzzle swelling/soreness, accompanied by lethargy. Last week we took him in to the vet, who suspected an insect bite. He gave him a shot of cortisone, benadryl, and then we gave him benadryl capsules for a couple days and the swelling went away in 24 hours. This time it is in a different spot, and the benadryl seems to be having little effect. We have a vet appointment tomorrow. Has anyone else experienced this? I suspect some sort of contact allergy, but would love to know if anyone else has experienced this.
    Thanks for feedback!

  • Have you talked to your breeder? And what kind of things has he been into that you might think could be a problem?…. In all the years I have had with pups... never had a problem like this... other then a spider bite... and this time of year, not usually a problem... even in California....

    Did your Vet check his teeth?.. I would think maybe it might have something to do with cutting or losing teeth,... Maybe?

  • The breeder suspected a spider bite the first time around, also our friend who breeds whippets had this occur once with one of his puppies. I just find that it is unusual that he would have this twice in two weeks… I haven't seen any sign of spiders or other creepy crawlies in the house, which is making me think allergies. We NEVER leave him unattended, so he hasn't gotten into anything, just has contact with toys and food, with short trips outside (it is still pretty cold here), and hanging out in his crate. His teeth and gums look fine, he is eating and drinking normally, so if there is something going on dentally it isn't visible. Also the last swelling was on the upper right, this is lower left. His last vaccines were about ten days ago. I think if it was a reaction to that it would have happened sooner. He is my first Basenji so I am not that familiar with the breed's common health issues.
    Thanks for any thoughts....

  • Welcome to the forum, I'm sorry your pup is having this reaction. Since you have an appointment tomorrow, if he is not showing any sign of breathing difficulty I'd give him some more benadryl and just wait, it is rather odd sounding. Even though we watch them 24-7 there might just be something causing this that we don't see. I suggest washing ALL his bedding, and anything else washable that he comes in contact with. Do a good vacuum/sweep/mop.

    Next is there any new treat that you are giving him, or maybe someone in the house is trying a new shampoo/lotion? It's just amazing the things that they can have a reaction to, so I'd think back to right before this happened and try and remember what new was added to the house and that is ANYTHING NEW.

    Next for health, we'll ask who did you get your pup from? You've come to a great site for information, and I really hope that you stick around after this issue is resolved. There is a wealth of info here. Another great place to go is to the Basenji Club of America on their site at this link it talks about all the common health concerns with basenji's. You really need to read up about Fanconi, its a disease that effects these dogs, that thanks to a new test we are able to detect what dogs are affected with the disease, and treat accordingly if need.

  • Thanks WBL, it's kind of overwhelming to think about everything a puppy may be exposed to that is new… just about everything around him I guess! I will definitely take more notice of what he is exposed to. We researched our breeder thoroughly, he is extremely reputable (the puppy's sire was a recent Best of Breed winner at Westminster), and he is very conscientious of health issues in breeding choices. There is nothing in the puppy's line as far as we can determine that would point to this kind of health issue.
    I will look up the sites you recommended, thank you! I still have a lot to learn about the breed.

  • Usually that kind of swelling is related to the immune system overreacting(which you already know). I have had a few facial swellings among my dogs over the years. Often associated with a bug bite, or vaccines. I do agree that a bug bite would be very unusual in your part of the world, at this time of the year…and ten days does seem like a long time after a vaccine for a reaction. So, it is somewhat mysterious.

    FTR, at this point, I always ask my vet to give a dose of benadryl before puppy vaccines, or I give some myself before we leave the house, to avoid hives or swelling.

    I would keep an eye on it for sure. If it is a contact allergy, as you mentioned it will be really hard to isolate what is causing it.

    If it is an immune system problem, there wouldn't necessarily be any signs in the lines of the puppy, as we don't even know if immune problems are inherited, but if they are you don't necessarily see problems in the relatives. There is no reason to be suspicious of your breeder or his dogs 🙂 Hopefully it is just a puppy glitch, and will resolve itself as he matures.

  • Thanks everyone for your input, it's great to have your feedback.

  • Did you by chance take pictures of him with the swellings?

  • No I didn't take pictures but I will if it happens again. The first time it was on the top and side of his muzzle, it made him look like a bull terrier!
    I spoke to our vet again yesterday, she wants to keep him on benadryl for a few days, and we need to do some careful observation about what he has contact with. The swelling wad completely gone by last night so we are very happy about that.

Suggested Topics

  • 3
  • 8
  • 5
  • 8
  • 6
  • 15