If your dog is undergoing a tooth extraction, you may be interested in learning more about complications after a dog’s tooth extraction. A tooth extraction in dogs is done under general anesthesia, and often dogs are prescribed medications afterward. While in many cases things go perfectly well and dogs feel better without the problem tooth, as with any surgical procedure, there may be risks for complications. Being aware of these complications can help you stay a step ahead so that you can recognize early signs of trouble and report to your vet as soon as possible.
Dog Tooth Bleeding After Extraction
As with extractions in humans, a dog’s gums may be prone to bleeding after an extraction. It’s not uncommon for a dog’s saliva to be tinged with blood and to have slight bleeding after surgical extractions, explains veterinarian Dr. Altman.
Monitoring the bleeding is important and steps should be taken to lower the chances for further bleeding, such as limiting food that can aggravate the sutures in the mouth and keeping the dog quiet as high blood pressure increases bleeding.
How much bleeding from a dog’s tooth extraction though is too much? Generally, if it’s amounting to 1 to 2 tablespoons of frank blood, that is, pure blood and not blood-tinged saliva, that would be concerning and worthy of seeking an emergency center so to stop the bleeding and possibly close the incision if it happened to open up, further suggests Dr. Altman.
“If extractions were performed, do not be surprised if you notice a small amount of bleeding from your cat or dog’s mouth. You may notice a small amount of blood in the water dish, too, after your companion takes a drink of water. Although a small amount of bleeding may be expected following dental extractions, significant hemorrhage is NOT expected.”~Arroyo Animal Clinic
Incomplete Extraction of Dog Teeth
When a dog’s tooth is extracted, there are chances that some part may be left behind and this can lead to potential problems. For instance, a dog who has an incomplete extraction will still suffer from persistent problems such as nasal discharge, pain and damage to nearby teeth.
For this reason, it’s important for veterinarians to have x-rays done right afterward extracting the dog’s tooth, to ensure that the whole tooth and its root has been extracted. So if your vet asks you whether you want to have x-rays done after the tooth extraction procedure, you may want to say yes, so your vet can ensure a complete extraction.
Damage to Nearby Structures
In veterinary medicine the term “iatrogenic” is used to depict damage caused by medical treatment. Ironically, it’s when you’re trying to fix something and end up breaking something else. In this case, during a dog’s dental extraction damage may be sustained when using high-speed drills, sharp dental elevators can cause damage to nearby structures should they accidentally slip off their intended location.
Some examples? Trauma to a dog’s eye may occur when a vet is working on extracting an upper premolar or molar and the instrument used slips during the extraction, explains veterinarian Dr. Vicky Lamb. Although uncommon, this could result in blindness if severe enough and not addressed immediately.
Another possibility, is a fracture to the dog’s mandible when extracting teeth, especially when it comes to extracting the large lower canine teeth and first molars, explains veterinary dentist, Dr. Tony M. Woodward.
“In patients with severe periodontal disease, careful opening of the mouth during oral exam and intubation is warranted since a pathologic fracture may occur after placing minimal force on the diseased mandible.”~Dr. John Lewis, veterinary dentist.
As seen, complications during extractions are a possibility, but fortunately they are not too common. Complicated extractions though should be referred to a veterinary dentist.