Caring for Dogs After Tooth Removal

by Pamela Miller
    Soften kibble before offering it your dog following tooth removal.

    Soften kibble before offering it your dog following tooth removal.

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    For Max, recovering after a tooth removal means no more of those delicious bones he loves to chew. The extracted area may be swollen and sore. Since we can't explain to our animal friends why they're hurting after surgery, the best we can do is keep them comfortable and happy following a dental extraction. Keeping the area clean will help to keep it free of infection so Max can get back to his favorite foods.

    Keep a watchful eye on your buddy following extraction surgery. While a little bleeding is normal with a tooth extraction, just as it is with a human, heavy bleeding should be reported to your dog's veterinarian immediately. Your dog will most likely have sutures in his mouth, and heavy bleeding could indicate that the suture has come loose. Even if your dog's clinic is closed, an after-hours number should be called. In any case, have the number of a 24-hour emergency veterinary clinic handy just in case it becomes necessary.

    Tooth extraction surgery may seem like no big deal, but your dog will be experiencing discomfort -- and may be quite confused about what is going on. Keep sharp objects including toys, bones and other objects around the house out of your buddy's reach. His gums are still sensitive and in a period of healing. Food should not be offered until at least one hour after surgery, according to Tyler Animal Clinic. Fresh water can be offered following surgery and should be available to your dog at all times.

    If your dog enjoys soft, canned food, it's a very suitable option following tooth extraction surgery. A small amount should be offered the evening following surgery. If your dog usually eats dry food, allow the food to soften before offering it to your dog by soaking it in a bit of warm water. This allows your dog to enjoy his usual food without having to bite into hard bits of kibble that may irritate the extracted area.

    Your dog's veterinarian may prescribe medications such as antibiotics to help keep the extracted area free of infection following surgery. Follow the veterinarian's instructions. Your dog will most likely need a follow-up visit so the veterinarian can see how the area is healing. This visit generally takes place 7 to 10 days following surgery. Your dog's healing process will be aided by keeping him indoors following surgery where he can rest in a clean room at a comfortable temperature with, of course, a cozy place to curl up and go to sleep.

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    About the Author

    Pamela Miller has been writing for health, beauty and animal health/welfare publications for seven years. Miller holds a Bachelor of Science in Organizational Communication from MTSU.

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