Forum: Arts / Pets

Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By pointeprincess4
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 04:58 AM

My dog is due for a dental clean/extraction in a couple of weeks and I'm terrified something will go wrong. He'll be anaesthetised as he's bitey and while under they'll be cleaning his teeth and possibly extracting a few. The vet said there's some risk, due to his age (he's a 10 year old Maltese x Shih tsu). He'll be having a blood test prior to check if there's too great a risk with the anaesthesia.


Has anyone's dog ever had its teeth cleaned while under anaesthetic? I really need support, I'm concerned the risk is too high even though my rational mind knows it's better to have his teeth cleaned.


Thank you in advance.

10 Replies to Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)

re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By imadanseurPremium member
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 06:09 AM
My lab went under for a dental cleaning when she was about 10 years old. Everything was fine...but there is always a risk when they go under. There is a huge risk of infection that kills dogs when their teeth are bad, so if they are thinking they may have to extract them I think the risk of the anesthesia is worth it to keep your dog around for many more years.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By Luthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 06:12 AM
im an intern at a vet clinic and my dog is due for dental cleaning tomorrow, im gonna do it myself.
Your dog will be monitored while he is asleep and he gets a breathing tube and narcotics through that tube as well to keep him asleep.
He wont feel a thing. They most likely will set an IV to make him sleep, which goes alot faster than giving him the sleepmedication in the muscle.
The cleaning itself doesnt involve many risks, its not much work and wont take up alot of time either.
The extractions is something the vet does and might involve a bit more risk, bloodloss etc.
But overall dental cleaning isnt a very high risk procedure. Weve seen dogs come in at 10 years old for dental cleaning and everything went fine. I think its good that your vet ordered a bloodscreen just to be safe (if there arent any known ilnesses, we wouldnt do that). And all in all the entire procedure will take about 1hour, 1,5hrs depending on how many extractions your dog needs. The first few days after the cleaning you get pain medication for him to use at home and he requires soft food only then. If he needs sutures because of the extractions they use sutures that dissolve completely as the tissue heals so he doesnt need to come back in for that.
I think your dog will be fine, vet's know what they are doing and they wouldnt do this procedure on your dog if he wasnt healthy enough.
Hell we had dogs with heartproblems going through this procedure just fine.
All operations involve risk, and so does this one, but i think your dog will be fine. Will you stay with him as he wakes up? For dogs thats usually pretty nice since they get to see a familliar face then when they wake up, also bringing along a blanket or a cuddle toy might help.
After the procedure they give him meds to wake him up again and then its goes fast, he can be on his toes within 30min.
So really its not that scary, and your dog will be just fine.
Goodluck!
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By pointeprincess4
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 06:31 AM
Thank you both for your speedy and thoughtful replies! They have definitely eased my mind about the procedure. :)


imadanseur, I'm definitely doing this for his long term health. I'd hate myself if he passed away from a painful death that could've been prevented, especially considering the longevity of smaller breeds. How old is your lab now?


Luth, the vet didn't mention anything about being there when he wakes up. I'll have to call and ask her about it. Do you have any tips for after care or things to look out for after the surgery? Anything you can offer would be appreciated.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By Luthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 10:56 AM
As far as aftercare goes; the first few days only give her soft food to eat, chewing will still be painful for her so the less chewing the better.
As soon as everything starts to heal you'll notice that her mouth is much much better and she can eat and chew better.
IF they do extractions you might wanna check up on the sutures once in awhile to see if they dissolve and dont hang out of her mouth. Theyre usually non coloured so pretty difficult to see, but if they dont dissolve you'll notice it.
And if your not allowed to be there when she wakes up (its possible) then maybe a blanket from home or a cuddly toy is nice for him, then he has something familiar around him when he wakes up.
Here every dog gets a heatlamp on the cage to keep his temperature up, that might be the case there too.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By MarlaSingermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed Jan 11, 2012 12:54 PM
My dog gets dental cleanings done somewhat regularly, always under anesthesia. Last year he did have a couple of small teeth removed as well. It's pretty straightforward. Either my husband or I drop him off early in the morning, and then they call us when he's done, usually around 3:00 PM or so. Then one of us goes to pick him up. And that's it. After the cleaning, they put him in their little kennel area while he wakes up, and they don't call us until he's already awake. They like to monitor the dogs while they came out of the anesthesia to make sure they're all right.

This most recent time, when he had the teeth removed, he had an antibiotic and a pain medication that I had to give him. That was the only thing that was different than when he's had just the cleaning. He was back to eating normal food very quickly, I want to say the next day, but it might have even been that same night, and he was a little sleepy when I picked him up, but within a few hours, he was as active as he normally is.

I will say that my dog has been having this done since he was probably around two years old, and he's now six years old, so not as old as your dog, but I'm a little unclear as to why the dog's age would make it more risky. And overall, I do think the risk to the dog's health of not getting the procedure done is far greater than any risk he might face from the anesthesia.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction) (karma: 2)
By Luthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Thu Jan 12, 2012 03:57 PM
The older the dog is, the bigger the risk of complications. A young dog heals much faster than an older dog, same with humans really.
Also older dogs develop complications through a procedure much more easily than younger dogs, and older dogs tend to breathe differently when under anaesteshia (typo).
That being said; You have a small dog, and small type dogs like teckels,terriers, Shit-Zu's etc. get alot older than the bigger dogs like german shepherds,labs etc. Dont ask me why. Your dog isnt considered that old, since those dogs can age up to even 18years.

I did the dental cleaning and surgery on my dog this morning and she is already fine again, she woke up pretty good, we were able to set an IV so she went to sleep pretty fast, the cleaning went well too, she wasnt in any pain, her breathing was good. And only when they do extractions they give you pain medication to take home, with simple cleaning they dont, its not necessery then.
Things might differ a bit in your country though Im not sure about that.
I got to monitor my own dog whilst waking up. Usually they take your dog's temperature after surgery to see if a heatlamp or something similar is necessery. During surgery the temperature of an animal drops, here we have these heating mats we put under the dogs during surgery to keep them warm.
Also a smaller dog needs less medication, less anesteshia (big typo again), its just a bit more difficult to clean since they have smaller teeth than a big dog, then again Ive done dental cleaning on cats too, now thats a challenge ;)
But your dog will be fine, its one of the more standard procedures in a clinic.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By girlwithghilliesmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Thu Jan 12, 2012 09:34 PM
I'm in sort of the same situation. My beloved almost-14 year old kitty has to have some dental work done anesthesia soon too. I'm honestly not too worried - I took him in today for his checkup and mentioned to the vet that I've noticed a recently developed facial tremor. I hadn't even considered that it might be his teeth, but sure enough that looks like the guilty culprit. I was so relieved, because tremors don't tend to bring great news.. I also have a lot of confidence in my vet. My sister did a sort of volunteer/work experience project there years ago. She was in the operating room and got to see the breathing tubes, IVs, and very attentive monitoring (by multiple people) of the patient. the quality of care was very, very high. Honestly, I think a lot of veterinarians do a better job with their patients than people-doctors with theirs.

I agree that if your vet says so, it's better to do the cleaning. there's a ton of research going on regarding dental health in humans, and they're finding that it has a surprisingly large effect on the rest of the body. Getting the cleaning done may not only remove the dental issues, but could potentially improve his overall health. If it helps, remember that dental cleaning is very routine, so the vet is likely great at it and therefore can devote a lot of her attention to how your dog's doing. She sounds very careful and aware of any risks, which should be a comfort. Also, consider how often people get put under anesthesia. I bet you and/or a bunch of people you know have had wisdom teeth out, tonsillectomies, that sort of thing. I know it's not exactly the same thing, but it might help to think of it that way. Hope all goes well :)
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By highlandrebelmember has saluted, click to view salute photos
On Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:50 PM
Edited by highlandrebel (182229) on 2012-01-14 22:50:33
As with all surgeries, dental cleaning/extraction does have risks and dental procedures require much longer anesthetic than most surgeries as well.

But dogs can handle much more than we give them credit for. Unless there is significant heart disease present, I cannot think of any otherwise healthy animal of any age that I would not be comfortable anesthetizing, even for a prolonged period of time. If the vet and staff has the tools and training, senior anesthesia is not much different than young pet anesthesia.

I would not recommend senior anesthesia be done anywhere that does not utilize (not just have, but USE) blood pressure monitoring and does not catheterize and provide IV fluids under anesthesia for senior pets.
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By pointeprincess4
On Fri Jan 20, 2012 11:16 PM
Edited by pointeprincess4 (129202) on 2012-01-20 23:22:33
Just in case anyone is curious, my dog had his surgery yesterday. It went swimmingly and the blood test indicated that he's in excellent health for a 10 year old. The vet said his front teeth were crowded due to genetics, so as he ate, bit and chewed through the years they became loosened. He had 4 teeth extracted and the rest were cleaned.

Now he's home and doing really well. He's not entirely back to his old self yet, but he's getting there. He has a voracious appetite, despite having teeth removed just 24 hours ago! He's drinking properly and eating without a problem. He isn't entirely used to having less teeth yet and flicks his tongue out like a lizard. :P Thank you kindly to everyone who took the time to respond, your reassurance meant so much to me and I was very optimistic in believing he'd be fine and come out of it ok. :)
re: Doggie Dental Cleaning (And possibly extraction)
By Luthmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sat Jan 21, 2012 04:51 AM
Im glad it all went well! Because he has no more dental problems he should love to eat food right now so thats great that he has such an appetite, shows that the procedure really worked for him.

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