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Dog Tooth Extraction: What to Expect

If your dog incurs a tooth that is broken or decayed beyond repair, an extraction will be necessary to prevent infection and allow your dog's mouth to heal. In this article, our Milledgeville vets share what you can expect if your dog needs a tooth extraction.

Dog Dental Extractions

A dog tooth extraction is when a tooth is surgically removed by a veterinarian. During the extraction process, your dog will be put under general anesthesia. This keeps them comfortable, prevents them from struggling, and allows our veterinary team to safely complete the extraction.

The Necessity of Removing Dog Teeth

In most cases, a dog will have to have a tooth removed due to decay or advanced gum disease caused by poor oral hygiene. When a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it is important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the decayed tooth.

After your dog has their diseased tooth or teeth removed, you should speak to your veterinarian about the proper home care for your dog to prevent their other teeth from becoming similarly decayed. You should also be sure to bring your dog in for regular professional dental cleanings and examinations. Good dental care is essential to your pup's oral and overall health.

Besides the common cause of gum (periodontal) disease and tooth decay, your dog may also need a tooth removed for the following reasons:

  • Unerupted teeth - Teeth that fail to emerge above the gum line.
  • 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 Following Your Dog's Tooth Extraction

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

During your dog's dental surgery, they will be under the effects of anesthesia. When they wake up they may be groggy or lethargic for the remainder of the day - this is completely normal.

As the recovery from this procedure is relatively quick, you should be able to bring your pet home on the same day as the procedure. If your pet eats primarily 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 completely healed, which typically takes around 2 weeks.

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

If your dog usually eats dry or 'hard' foods, switching to soft and/or wet foods for approximately 2 weeks may also be warranted.

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.

Do you think your dog may require a tooth extraction? Contact our Milledgeville vets to book your pup an appointment.

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