Dogs may occasionally experience dental concerns due to decay and damage, which can result in teeth needing to be removed. Here, our Rochester vets talk about dog tooth extractions and what to expect when one is needed.
Dental Surgery For Removing Dog Teeth
A dog tooth extraction is a surgical procedure performed by your veterinarian to remove a damaged or decayed tooth from your dog's mouth in order to restore good oral health and relieve pain. Your dog will need to be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure in order to ensure the safety of your pup and the veterinary team working on them.
At Ridgemont Animal Hospital our veterinarians understand that finding out your dog needs dental surgery can be overwhelming, but we'd like to assure you that we are committed to making the extraction process as stress-free as possible for both you and your four-legged friend.
If your pet needs dental surgery, your vet will take the time to walk through each step of the process with you and answer any questions you may have about the procedure or the recovery process. We aim to make your dog's visit are relaxing as possible.
Reasons for Dog Tooth Extraction Surgery
Gum disease and a lack of dental care and oral hygiene are the main causes behind a dog needing a dental extraction. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth.
After your dog's damaged tooth (or teeth) has been removed, your veterinarian will discuss easy at-home care for your dog's teeth and gums. Our team wants to help you provide your pup with the oral health care they need to prevent other teeth from becoming decayed.
Your veterinarian may suggest regular dental cleanings for your dog as part of their annual preventive care schedule. Annual dental cleaning goes a long way toward preventing gum disease and tooth decay, which is as important for pets as it is for people.
That said, tooth decay isn't the only reason why your dog may need a tooth extraction. Dog teeth may also need to be removed for any of the following reasons:
- Fractured or broken teeth - Broken teeth can lead to painful abscesses and infection.
- Deciduous teeth - Baby teeth that do not fall out on their own may need to be removed.
- Oral tumors - The treatment of tumors may involve the extraction of nearby teeth.
- Orthodontic abnormalities - Just like humans, sometimes dogs have teeth where they don't belong.
What to Expect After Tooth Extraction in Dogs
The roots of your dog's teeth help to hold their teeth into place. In dogs, there can be as many as three roots holding an individual tooth in place. To fully extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.
During your dog's dental surgery, your pup will be under the effects of anesthesia to keep them safe and comfortable. When they wake up they will likely be groggy and lethargic for the remainder of the day - this is completely normal.
Tooth extraction surgeries don't require much downtime and your pup should be able to return home the same day.
If hard kibble is a part of your dog's usual diet, you can soften the kibbles in warm water to make their food easier to eat for a few days following surgery. You should also avoid playing any tugging games with your dog until their mouth has completely healed, which typically takes around 2 weeks.
It's important to note that you may see small amounts of blood in your dog's saliva. While this is normal, there should not be any significant bleeding. If there is, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Dog Tooth Extraction Complications
If the tissue at the site of your dog's tooth extraction becomes infected you may notice one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bad breath
- Swelling of the lower or upper jawline
- Swelling under your pup's eyes
- Reluctance to eat
- Runny nose or drooling
- Dropping food from mouth while eating
- Lack of energy
Even though antibiotics may have been sent home as part of your pup's surgery aftercare, you should check in with your dog’s veterinarian if you notice any of the signs listed above.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.