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How to Care for Your Dog After a Dental Cleaning

 February was veterinary dental health month; hopefully you took advantage of the opportunity and had your dog’s teeth cleaned. Proper dental care can significantly improve the quality of life for your dog. I have had many clients remark that their pets acted years younger after veterinary dental care. The reduction in oral pain that dental cleaning, performing extractions, or restorative procedures can bring to your dog is remarkable. It can in fact be life-transforming for many dogs.

Unfortunately, performing dental procedures in dogs requires general anesthesia. Veterinarians do not have the luxury of saying to their patients “just sit back and relax.” Knowing what to expect after your dog undergoes anesthesia for a dental procedure will give you some peace of mind when you bring them home.

Expect your dog to be more tired or sleepy than usual his first night home. Your dog should be confined indoors and kept as quiet as possible. Keeping them indoors will keep them warm and dry, which aids in anesthetic recovery. Running, playing, or rough housing should be avoided as it may cause your dog to fall and injure themselves. You should withhold food until the next day; most patients can have water the evening of the procedure.

If extractions were performed, some bleeding and swelling is normal, but you shouldn’t see more than just a little blood spotting. Any excessive bleeding or swelling should be reported to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Many of the tooth roots communicate with the nasal sinuses so mild bleeding from the nose is also normal. If extractions haven’t healed well, food may be able to make its way into the sinus and out the nose. If you see any food coming out of the nose, schedule an appointment to have your dog evaluated by your veterinarian.

You may receive antibiotics to treat infection or to prevent bacteria from being transferred from the mouth to other areas of the body. Pain medication may have also been prescribed if extractions or restorative procedures were performed. Any medications will need to be administered as directed. To give you more tips and strategies to properly take good care of your dog after a dental cleaning, you can check this out. This will give you more ideas on what to do and what you should not do to you pet.

By the next day your pet should generally be back to normal activity and eating and drinking as usual. Call your veterinarian if your pet will not eat, is vomiting, or is excessively lethargic.

Most of the time pets recover uneventfully from dental procedures. Knowing what to look for however will give you some peace of mind and allow you to relax and focus on making their return home safe and comfortable. As always if you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Their first priority is the health and well being of your pets and they will therefore be happy to answer any questions or address any concerns you may have.