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Tooth extractions are a very common procedure for dogs. A tooth extraction may be necessary for a number of reasons. There could be infection or decay in a tooth that is most effectively treated by removing the tooth altogether. A tooth could have been broken or fractured in the process of chewing an unsafe itemlike a bone or stickand is now a source of great pain. Or, periodontal disease that has set in due to a lack of proper oral hygiene can cause gum deterioration and the necessary removal of a tooth.

Whenever possible, our team at East Valley Animal Hospital will try to save a functional tooth that isn’t causing your canine pain. But sometimes removal of the tooth is simply the best option for your dog’s dental health. A tooth extraction requires your four-legged friend to undergo anesthesia. But don’t worry, from start to finish, we take every precaution to ensure their health and safety throughout the procedure. Following the procedure, we will discuss at-home care for your dog. And finally, in most cases, we will schedule a follow-up exam 7-10 days after the procedure to ensure the mouth is healing properly.

Caring for Your Dog After a Tooth Extraction

Here are a few common questions we receive from pet owners before or after a tooth extraction.

How long will my dog be in pain?

It’s typical for pain to be present at an extraction site 4-5 days following the procedure. We will often prescribe a post-surgery topical or oral pain reliever that will help mitigate most of your furry friend’s discomfort. If pain persists or intensifies, contact us immediately.

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

We always encourage dog owners to keep a close eye on their pets after surgery. Some swelling, pain and a little blood are typical with tooth extractions. However, if your pooch is experiencing extreme pain, excessive swelling, heavy bleeding, increased drooling or a sudden change in eating and behavioral habits, you should bring him in to see our vet.

Will my dog have stitches after a tooth extraction?

Yes, your dog will have stitches at the extraction site that should dissolve after 2-4 weeks.

What will their eating and drinking habits be like post-surgery?

Since your pup will be in a bit of pain, particularly the first day or two, they may be hesitant to approach their food or water bowls. After 24-48 hours, eating and drinking habits should return to normal. You could add some warm water to their kibble to soften it and make it easier to consume. 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 they have fully recovered.

How active will they be?

When you bring Fido home from his surgery, he will likely still be groggy and want to sleep for a while. In a couple of days, he should be back to his normal energy levels. During the initial recovery, we generally encourage light exercise to be safe: something like a gentle walk or play in the backyard. Save the dog park or exhaustive activity until after our follow-up visit.

Your Local Vet in Gilbert

Once your furry companion has had a full recovery, you can go back to brushing his teeth daily. We highly encourage this oral hygiene practice to help keep your pet’s mouth happy and healthy. At East Valley Animal Hospital we want our pet owners to feel confident about the treatment their pets are receiving. We strive to help you know what to expect, and we welcome any questions that will help you feel at ease. If you’d like to know more about caring for your dog after a tooth extraction or have additional care related questions, call our office today to speak with an expert.


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