When food particles and bacteria build up on the teeth, it can cause issues like decay and damage, which can lead to the need for tooth removal. Here, our Picayune vets discuss tooth extractions for dogs, why they are needed, and any risks that are involved.
What are tooth extractions?
A dog tooth extraction is a surgical procedure where the vet will remove a tooth, or teeth, that are severely damaged to treat pain and prevent oral infections and damage to the surrounding teeth. Your dog will need to be placed under general anesthesia for the procedure to ensure their safety and the safety of the veterinary team working on them.
At Picayune Veterinary Clinic, our veterinarians understand that finding out that 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 dog is experiencing a dental concern that requires surgery, our vets will take the time to discuss our intended treatment plan with you in full, ensuring that you have time to ask any questions that you may have.
Why are dog tooth extractions needed?
When a dog doesn't receive the appropriate at-home and professional dental care, it can lead to a buildup of bacteria on their teeth. This leads to plaque and tartar that can cause oral infections and decay. When a tooth is damaged or decayed beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the tooth.
Once your dog's tooth extraction is complete, your vet will discuss any aftercare requirements with you and make recommendations for their ongoing dental health. Our team wants to help you provide your pup with the oral health care they need to prevent other teeth from decaying.
Your veterinarian may suggest regular dental cleanings for your dog as part of their annual preventive care schedule. Annual dental cleanings go a long way toward preventing gum disease and tooth decay, which is as important for pets as it is for people.
Even so, decay is not the only possible cause behind your dog needing to have a tooth removed. An extraction may be recommended in the following situations as well:
- Fractured or broken teeth: Broken teeth can lead to painful abscesses and infections.
- 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.
The Cost of Dog Tooth Extractions
The cost that you can expect to pay with dog tooth extraction surgery can vary depending on a variety of factors.
Some of these can include the severity of your dog's condition and number of teeth needing removal, any additional treatments or diagnostics required, and the costs of the clinic itself.
What to Expect After Your Dog's Tooth Extraction
Each tooth in your dog's mouth can have as many as three roots anchoring it into place. For an extraction to be successful, all roots attached to the tooth must also be fully removed.
During your dog's dental surgery, they 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.
You may see some blood in your dog's saliva after they've had a tooth extraction, but it should be minimal. If there is a large amount of blood, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Potential Concerns After Removing a Dog's Teeth
After your dog's tooth extraction, there is a slight risk of complications, such as infections, occurring. Some signs of complications are:
- 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 the mouth while eating
- Lack of energy
The vet will sometimes prescribe antibiotics as a part of your dog's aftercare. It's important to administer these as per the vet's instructions. Antibiotics will help reduce the risk of infections and serious complications. However, they may still occur, so it's important to reach out to your vet 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.