Our Seattle vets explain what to expect when your dog undergoes a tooth extraction, which may be necessary for reasons like tooth decay, irreparable damage, or to halt an infection.
Dental Extractions For Dogs
Veterinarians surgically remove a dog's tooth in a dog tooth extraction procedure. During this process, we administer general anesthesia to your dog. This ensures your pup's comfort, prevents any struggle, and allows our veterinary team to carry out the extraction safely.
When Tooth Extractions Are Required For Dogs
In most cases, decay or advanced gum disease (due to poor oral hygiene) necessitates the removal of a dog's tooth. If a tooth is irreparably damaged, it must be extracted to prevent infection and alleviate pain resulting from tooth decay.
After your veterinarian removes your dog's diseased tooth or teeth, discuss the appropriate home care with them to safeguard the remaining teeth against similar decay. Additionally, ensure regular professional dental cleanings and examinations by bringing your dog to the vet. Maintaining good dental care is crucial for your pup's oral and overall health.
Apart from the typical causes of gum disease and decay, your dog may require tooth extraction for these reasons:
- Deciduous teeth - Baby teeth that do not fall out on their own may need to be removed.
- Fractured or broken teeth - Broken teeth can lead to painful abscesses and infection.
- Orthodontic abnormalities - Just like humans, sometimes dogs have teeth where they don't belong.
- Oral tumors - The treatment of tumors may involve the extraction of nearby teeth.
Potential Dog Tooth Extraction Complications
Veterinary tooth extractions rarely result in complications. However, complications generally fall into specific categories if complications arise: incomplete healing of dental cavities, remnants of extracted teeth, and potential damage to the jaw bone.
These are the key areas where complications may occur during a dog tooth extraction.
What You Can Expect After Your Dog's Tooth Extraction
Roots anchor your dog's teeth, with as many as three roots securing each tooth. Complete tooth extraction requires the removal of all roots.
During your dog's dental surgery, anesthesia induces a state of unconsciousness. When your pup regains consciousness, it may experience grogginess or lethargy for the remainder of the day—this is a normal response.
Recovery from the procedure is swift, allowing you to bring your pet home on the same day. If your pet's diet consists mainly of hard kibble, consider softening it in warm water for a few days before serving. Refrain from engaging in tugging games with your dog until their mouth has fully healed, typically taking approximately 2 weeks.
It's normal to observe traces of blood in your dog's saliva, but significant bleeding is not. If you notice excessive bleeding, promptly contact your veterinarian.
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.