How to Treat Dogs With Antibiotics for Tooth Infections

Antibiotics can treat tooth infections in dogs.
Antibiotics can treat tooth infections in dogs. (Image: pills and pill bottle image by Effie White from

Tooth infections in dogs can cause excessive drooling, extremely bad breath, swelling of the face or gums, lack of appetite, irritability and pain, according to Vet Info. Common causes of tooth infections include an abscess, a buildup of plaque or a gum infection, such as gingivitis. Regular cleaning of the teeth, either at home or at your veterinarian’s office, prevents infection. Tooth infections are usually painful for dogs, and treatment with antibiotics is usually necessary to clear up the problem.

Take your dog to the veterinarian for a checkup. Tell the vet about your dog’s symptoms and that you think it might be a tooth infection.

Complete the course of antibiotics prescribed by your veterinarian. Hide the pills inside tasty food treats, such as American cheese slices. If your dog refuses to eat the pill in the treat, open the dog’s mouth by pressing on its back gums. Quickly place the pill at the back of the dog’s mouth, near its throat, and close the dog’s mouth. Hold the dog’s snout upward and rub its throat gently to encourage swallowing.

Take your dog back to the veterinarian if the infection remains after the initial course of antibiotics. Your dog might need a different type of antibiotic or a longer course of medication to clear up the infection.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not give your dog any type of antibiotic or other medication without the approval of your veterinarian.
  • Never attempt to treat a canine illness without a trip to the veterinarian.

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