Last updated on March 16th, 2023 at 06:00 pm
Are you a pet parent? We all know that regular vet visits are important for our dogs’ health, but did you know that 80% of dogs over three years old have dental issues?
Left untreated, poor dental health can turn into a serious medical problem. Often the best solution is to remove the root cause—the tooth. Because so many dogs have dental disease, tooth extraction has now become a fairly common surgery.
But, that doesn’t mean you should take your dog’s tooth extraction surgery lightly. As with any surgery, there’s always a slight risk of complications. In this case, this can include bleeding, hematoma, or swelling. And, this possibility increases with your dog’s age and the number of teeth that need to be removed.
Other factors like your dog’s breed and body size might also determine the surgery’s success. You’ll want to prepare in advance to avoid problems later.
So, to make sure things go smoothly and help prevent post-surgery complications, here are seven tips to keep in mind.
How to Prepare for Your Dog’s Tooth Extraction
Discuss the Surgery With Your Veterinarian
As with any procedure, discussing the surgery with your veterinarian is essential. Your vet should know your dog’s medical history and be aware of any underlying conditions.
For example, if your dog will be undergoing a tooth extraction but also has diabetes, then surgery might be risky. That’s because with diabetes the chance of infection post-surgery rises. When your vet has all of your dog’s health history, he or she is better able to minimize any possible risks.
Next, discuss the cost of the surgery. If you have pet insurance, this could make a huge difference in your out-of-pocket cost. If the price is difficult for you to manange, ask about payment arrangements or financing if necesary.
Whatever concerns you have—regarding the procedure itself, post-operative care, or finances, make sure to discuss this with your veterinarian’s office in advance.
Ask About Pain Relief and Antibiotics
Pain medication can aid in your dog’s recovery and will provide pain relief. Make sure to get your pup’s prescriptions filled, and give the medication at the correct time in the correct dosage to minimize post-surgery pain.
Previcox is often the go-to for pain after an extraction surgery. A Previcox dosage for dogs is 2.27 mg per pound of body weight. Follow your vet’s instructions, or give this dose once daily until the pain subsides.
Be aware that, despite being FDA-approved, Previcox, or any other similar painkiller, can cause side effects like nausea and itching. If this happens, consult your vet immediately.
A course of antibiotics may also be prescribed to ward off potential infection.
Lastly, if your dog is pregnant, nursing, a puppy, or underweight, consult a veterinarian before giving any medication that hasn’t been prescribed for them by a veterinarian.
Ensure Your Dog Is Healthy Before Surgery
It’s essential to make sure your furry buddy is perfectly healthy before undergoing surgery. Your vet should perform any necessary tests, such as blood tests, before the surgery to make sure there are no issues.
One reason for a blood test is to help evaluate your dog’s blood sugar levels. If blood glucose isn’t within the normal range, anesthesia may not be safe.
Your vet will also perform a pre-anesthetic blood gas test. This test checks your dog’s lungs to determine if they’re healthy enough for anesthesia. The test works by measuring the oxygenation of the blood.
In short, if these tests show that your dog is a good candidate for anesthesia, they will be eligible for tooth extraction surgery.
Have Your Dog’s Teeth Cleaned
You are strongly advised to take your dog to the vet for teeth and mouth cleaning before surgery. This ensures any and all issues related to damaged teeth or gum disease are known before the extraction surgery. In addition to a teeth cleaning, your dog will need a complete oral checkup before surgery.
Get the cleaning and examination done by a vet certified by the American Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS). A certified facility will also be able to provide an ultrasonic scaling and polishing of your dog’s teeth. This may be done with anesthesia to numb the dog’s mouth.
As we’ve already discussed, any medical procedure involves some risk, so discuss any concerns about your dog’s teeth cleaning with your vet.
Feed a Soft Diet Before and After Surgery
Feeding your dog a soft diet will help him or her to recover faster, minimize pain, and prevent them from choking on food. A soft diet will also be easier on the open wound.
Feeding a soft, bland diet means your dog won’t hurt their mouth while chewing and will help their digestion. This will also decrease the chance of them having nausea or diarrhea.
Create a Comfortable Space for Recovery
When your dog is given anesthesia, they may be drowsy and irritable for awhile. You should monitor them closely during this time.
Take your dog to the vet right away if you observe anything strange, as it could be an adverse reaction to anesthesia or medication.
You’ll want to provide a comfortable and relaxing environment for your dog throughout their recovery period. This will help lessen their anxiety and minimize the side effects of anesthesia.
Get a cozy and soft bed for your dog if you don’t already have one. Remove anything distracting from around this area. You don’t want your pup to get startled or excited and act out while trying to recover.
Understand Possible Post-Surgery Complications
The chances of infection are low, but it’s best to be prepared. Infection is always possible after a tooth extraction. You can recognize an infection by these symptoms:
- Pain at the site of surgery that gets worse over time.
- Swelling around the tooth socket.
- Redness in adjacent tissue that doesn’t resolve in a few days.
- Discharge from the incision site that becomes a yellowish-green pus.
It’s essential to keep an eye out for these symptoms, and take your dog to the vet if any of these issues crop up.
Your dog’s tooth extraction should go smoothly, as it is a relatively common procedure. However, you always want to be sure you have a veterinarian you trust, get all pre-op testing done, and then watch your dog carefully after surgery.
Has your dog had a tooth extraction? Do you have any tips to add? Leave us a comment.7 Essential Steps to Prepare for Your Dog's Tooth Extraction | #pets #dogs Click To Tweet
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