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Hello everyone! Two weeks ago my 8 year old German shepherd woke up with a swelling under her right eye. I’ll try to attach a photo I took. Her eyes have been very weepy and really bloodshot since we’ve moved to a different county, as a matter of fact, our allergies have been horrible as well! Her nose is runny too. I took her to her new vets office that day, and had a ridiculous appointment. The vet did notice that Indy’s back leg was swollen too, but didn’t try to figure out way, she just told me what edema is. Then she attempted to look inside Indy’s mouth to see if a tooth looked infected. She looked for not even a second and Indy snarled at her, showing her shark teeth....the vet quick stopped, and said, “oh is she smiling at me?” I said, ummmm, that’s not a smile! Indy has never bitten anyone but she will show her teeth when we cut her nails or try to look in her mouth. The vet stopped everything, did no other assessment, and said she probably has an infected tooth that needed to be pulled. Before I knew it, she left, and I was handed a paper for surgery to clean her teeth and pull any infected tooth they saw. She did give me an antibiotic and anti inflammatory med for her. I took her home and watched her like crazy to see if she was having any symptoms of a painful tooth. She has NO signs of a toothache. She’s eating fine, she even handed me a bone and was chomping on it with both sides of her teeth that night, really hard. I don’t see any inflammation in her mouth. Since then, the swelling is gone, but we really don’t know what it really is or if it will return. I cancelled her surgery and will not go back to that particular vet. I’m giving her benedryl for the past three days, and it really seems to be clearing up her eyes and runny nose. Could that swelling have been sinus related? Like a pocket of mucous?
 

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One of my dogs is 10 years old. I took him in for a teeth cleaning, and did sign a paper saying it's OK for them to remove a few teeth they thought were infected. They pulled 12 teeth! Albeit sounding excessive, I was upset because I felt bad he had that many infections in and around his teeth. He ate, he drank, he played, etc. There were no signs except that his breath smelled terrible! This vet has cleaned his teeth before (I try once a year) and they had never pulled a tooth before so I don't think they were "robbing" me. I don't think every dogs show symptoms and you may want to reconsider that it might be her teeth. Definitely get a second opinion. And dogs have 40 some teeth and my dog healed great and a week after the surgery you'd never know he had any teeth pulled. And his breath doesn't stink anymore!
 

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I've never experienced this in my dogs, but I think if you lack faith in the first vet, the only thing you can do is find a new vet and get a second opinion as soon as possible. She may have a few health issues going on concurrently.
 

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When I read your post, my gut reaction was I'd be checking the teeth too. An infection could absolutely do that -- the fact that it responded to the abx makes it more likely your vet was right! Painful eating isn't a reliable indicator -- first, you said she was on anti-inflammatories (that's pain med!); second, some dogs have very high pain tolerance for things like that and don't show pain outwardly.

If you don't trust your vet, get a second opinion. You can also go to a vet dentist, but it will cost far more than having your regular vet do it. Might be worth it if you don't trust your vet, but be prepared for a 4-figure bill.

Sinus infections, tumors and inhaled foreign objects (seeds) can also cause facial lumps. Spider bites can too. An xray would be where I'd probably start. That would be part of the tooth cleaning procedure anyway. You might call your vet and talk through her reasoning and see if she can clear it up, or else just find a second opinion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Would an X-ray show whether it’s a sinus problem or her teeth? For the past week, she’s had nothing but benedryl twice a day. Her eyes have cleared up, and her nose isn’t dripping anymore. The swelling on her face is gone (that cleared up after a few days of the antibiotic). If the swelling returns I plan on taking her back for a second opinion right away. The reason I keep leaning towards allergies or sinuses is because she’s never had bad breath. She’s not had one sign of a tooth problem. You know, if I had only seen an experienced vet, I wouldn’t have to try to figure it out! But now I‘ve spent $100 already, and this young vet wants to clean her teeth for $1,100.00, and if there’s one abscessed tooth it will be close to $1,300.
It‘s difficult moving to a new area and finding new doctors, and even more difficult when money is tight. ??:(
 

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It's hard to say what the xray would show in a sinus cavity. If there's a grass seed, it might show up. It's so hard to say what will show up and won't show up with an xray, as some soft things really are invisible in them.

I feel for you with finding a new vet in a new town. Here are a few ideas:

If money's tight, try looking for a Thrive clinic (usually inside a Petco store) -- they're full service and can do x-rays (and dental cleanings for way less than $1100 -- they say their average cost for a dental cleaning is just $325!). They're very, very reasonable compared to many other clinics, and rolling out nationwide: Your Neighborhood Pet Clinic | THRIVE Affordable Vet Care
The one here locally is a nice facility (brand new). I stopped in on opening day and had a good impression of the vet and staff -- they're really trying to make care affordable for people who want to do right by their pets when money is tight.

Is there a GS rescue locally? If so, email them and let them know you are new in town and would like to know what vet they use and recommend as you want someone familiar with breed-specific care. Most of us love to sing the praises of the vets who do so much for us. Alternatively, if you call the police department's K9 commander, he might tell you which vet the department uses -- that is usually someone who is a cracker-jack at solving orthopedic stuff (which is hard to find, and worth knowing for the future). An AKC breed club or a Schutzhund club might also give you some recommendations if you email them and tell them you are new in town. Any of these methods will reveal a vet who likes working with the breed, isn't afraid of these dogs, and has seen more than their fair share of breed-specific problems (and thus will be able to diagnose them faster).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Magwart, I love your whole response. THANK YOU so much. I’m taking all of your advice!
Tomorrow we have an appointment for a second opinion. I’m keeping a copy of these responses though, thank you everyone for your help!?
 
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