Dog Teeth Surgery

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Dogs often require oral surgery for teeth, tumors, trauma or gum disease.
Dogs often require oral surgery for teeth, tumors, trauma or gum disease. (Image: german shepherd dog image by Lisa Batty from Fotolia.com)

Pets both young and old often require oral surgery due to a problem with their teeth. A wide range of problems can afflict a dog's mouth. Many dogs require a simple extraction due to a tooth impaction or decay. Other canines suffer trauma to their mouth or teeth and require immediate, emergency oral surgery.

Causes

A wide range of conditions can cause a dog to require oral surgery. Tumors of the mouth in older dogs is common. Many times the tumor is benign but other times it is a malignancy, so prompt surgical intervention is necessary. Dogs often suffer from severe periodontal disease and require surgery to remove the excessive plaque buildup.

Pain Considerations

Many owners hesitate to put their beloved pet through a major surgery over a tooth extraction or dental cleaning. However, the owner must remember that sensitive and decayed teeth in dog can cause moderate to severe pain. Dogs are notorious for masking their pain level but often the dog will cease to eat if his discomfort becomes too great. Surgery can help relieve the dog's discomfort so he can return to a normal chewing lifestyle.

Life-Saving

Many owners rarely consider that oral surgery might be life-saving, but with a dog suffering from oral and maxillofacial tumors the only recourse is often surgical removal of the tumor to gain more time, according to the Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists. Malignancies often present themselves as a swelling near a tooth or an open sore. A veterinarian will be able to evaluate the suspicious area to determine the best course of treatment and whether surgery is required. Oral cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer in dogs, according to Vet Surgery Central.

Expectations

Many owners worry about what to expect after oral surgery. Most dogs will be able to eat a light meal of soft food and drink within six to 12 hours after surgery. Many pets salivate excessively after oral surgery. The dog may have swelling in the gums, cheeks or lips if an extraction has taken place but the swelling will begin to reduce within 24 hours. Owners are often advised to use hot and cold packs to help reduce swelling. The vet will also prescribe pain medication for the owner to administer.

Major Oral Surgery

Major oral surgeries for large tumors may require that a feeding tube be placed in the dog's mouth and throat to feed the dog until swelling goes down. The dog will need to stay at the veterinary hospital until the tube can be removed. Malignancies often require the removal of the jaw or pieces of the jawbone which can alter the dog's appearance drastically.

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