If your dog has a broken or badly decayed tooth, an extraction may be needed to relieve the pain and restore your dog's oral health. In today's article, our veterinarians in White House explain what to expect if your dog needs a tooth extraction.

Understanding Dog Dental Extractions

Tooth extraction in dogs is a surgical procedure performed by a veterinarian. During the extraction process, your dog will be placed under general anesthesia. This puts him at ease, prevents him from struggling, and enables our veterinary team to perform the extraction safely.

At , our veterinarians understand that learning your dog needs dental surgery can be overwhelming, but we want to assure you that we are committed to making the extraction process as stress-free as possible for you and your dog.

If it turns out that your canine companion needs dental surgery, your veterinarian will take the time to review each step of the process with you and answer any questions you may have about the procedure or the recovery process. Our goal is to make your experience in our pet hospital stress-free and efficient.

Why Your Dog May Need Dental Surgery

In most cases, a dog may require a tooth extraction due to decay or advanced gum disease resulting from inadequate oral hygiene. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it's important to eliminate it to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth. 

After your dog undergoes the removal of its diseased tooth or teeth, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian regarding proper home care to prevent other teeth from decaying similarly. Additionally, you should make sure to schedule regular professional dental cleanings and checkups for your furry friend. Good dental care plays a significant role in your pup's oral and overall health.

Apart from the common causes of gum disease and decay, there are other reasons why your dog may require a tooth extraction.

  • 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

Teeth are held in our mouths by roots. In dogs, an individual tooth can be held by as many as three roots. To completely extract a tooth, all roots must be removed.

During your dog's dental surgery, they will be under anesthesia. Once they wake up, they may feel groggy or lethargic for the rest of the day. This is a normal reaction.

As the recovery time from this procedure is relatively quick, you should be able to bring your pet home on the same day as the surgery. If your pet mainly eats hard kibble, you can soften it in warm water for a few days before serving. You should also avoid playing any tugging games with your dog until their mouth has fully healed, which typically takes around two weeks.

You may also notice traces of blood in your dog's saliva. This is normal, but there should not be any significant bleeding. If you observe any significant bleeding, please contact your veterinarian immediately.

Possible Complications of Dog Dental Surgery

If the tissue at the site of your dog's tooth extraction becomes infected you will likely notice one or more of the following symptoms: 

  • Bad odor from your dog’s mouth
  • Swelling of the lower or upper jawline, or under your pup's eyes
  • Refusal to eat
  • Runny nose or drooling
  • Lack of energy

Even though antibiotics may have been sent home as part of 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.

At White House Animal Hospital, we provide emergency, medical, and preventive care for dogs and cats.  Contact our White House veterinary clinic today to book a dental appointment for your dog.