Depending on your dog’s dental health, there may come a time when they need to have a tooth removed. Dog tooth extractions are a relatively common procedure and can be necessary for a number of reasons. Sometimes a fractured tooth gets damaged beyond repair. In other cases, a tooth with significant decay might need to be removed in order to prevent infections and further tooth decay. 

Whenever possible, the veterinary dental team at East Valley Animal Hospital will try to save a functional tooth that isn’t causing your canine any pain. Sometimes, however, removal of the tooth is simply the best option for your dog’s dental and overall health. A tooth extraction will require your dog to undergo anesthesia, but don’t worry! From start to finish, we take every precaution to ensure your pet’s health and safety throughout the procedure.

Dog Tooth Extraction Recovery and Aftercare

At East Valley Animal Hospital we want our pet owners to feel confident about the treatment their pets are receiving. Knowing what to expect after a dog tooth extraction and how to care for your dog will ensure a full recovery. You’ll need to monitor your dog carefully to watch for signs of pain or extraction complications. You might also need to feed your dog a special diet, administer pain medication, or limit exercise to aid in the healing process.

Every dog’s tooth extraction recovery time and aftercare needs will be different. We will discuss your dog’s specific at-home care with you before you take them home to recover. In most cases, we will also schedule a follow-up exam seven to ten days after surgery to make sure your dog’s mouth is healing properly. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to reach out—we want to help you and your pet feel at ease.

Five Common Questions about Dog Tooth Extractions

1. How long will my dog be in pain? 

It’s normal for your dog to have pain at the extraction site for four or five days following the procedure. We will usually prescribe a post-surgery topical or oral pain reliever that will mitigate most of your dog’s discomfort. However, if your dog seems to be in a lot of pain, or starts to do other out-of-the-ordinary things like refusing to eat or drink, you should contact us immediately.  

2. What are the warning signs that my dog is experiencing complications?

Keep a close eye on your dog after surgery. Some swelling, pain, and a little blood are typical with tooth extractions. However, complications may arise. If your dog seems to be experiencing extreme pain, has excessive swelling, heavy bleeding, increased drooling, or a sudden change in eating and behavioral habits, bring them in to see us right away. 

3. Will my dog have stitches after a tooth extraction? 

Yes, your dog will have stitches at the extraction site. They will dissolve within two to four weeks. If your dog somehow rips the stitches before then, call us for direction, because stitches are an important part of the healing process. 

4. What can my dog eat after a tooth extraction surgery? 

After an extraction, we will provide you with a list of feeding instructions. Post-surgery, dogs may have an upset or sensitive stomach, so always follow the advice given by your vet.  Since your dog will be in a bit of pain, particularly the first day or two, they may be hesitant to approach their food or water bowls.

Your dog should be wanting to eat again within 24 hours of surgery. Depending on how invasive the extraction was, we may recommend a wet or soft food diet for several days. Noticing some blood in the water bowl is normal, but keep your eye out for excessive bleeding. Keep bones and chew toys out of reach until your dog has fully recovered. 

5. How active will my dog be after surgery?

When you bring your dog home, they will probably still be groggy from the anesthesia and want to sleep for a while. After a couple of days, they should be back to their normal energy levels. During the initial recovery, we generally encourage light exercise just to be safe—gentle walks or supervised play in the backyard are best. Save the dog park or any exhaustive activities until after your follow-up visit. 

Preventing Future Tooth Extractions

Practicing good oral hygiene will keep your pet’s mouth happy and healthy. Once your dog has made a full recovery, you can go back to brushing their teeth daily. Always buy safe chew toys that won’t harm your dog’s teeth, and stop them from chewing on dangerous objects like bones or sticks. If you need a recommendation for a good dental chew, we’d be happy to advise you at your next visit.

Dog Dental Exams in Gilbert, AZ

And don’t forget to schedule an annual dental exam! With our state-of-the-art technology and compassionate care, East Valley Animal Hospital is fully equipped to handle regular dental cleanings, complex dental procedures, as well as dental emergencies. Call us today at 480-568-2462 to schedule an oral exam, a dog tooth extraction, or any other veterinary dental procedure.

Image by Agata Nyga from Pixabay (5/13/2019)