When Should You Seek Dental Surgery for Your Pet?

For pet owners, the health of our furry friends is a top priority. We’re always looking for signs of discomfort or illness because we know they can’t tell us when something’s wrong. One area of pet health that doesn’t always get the attention it deserves is dental care.

Dental issues in pets can lead to severe health problems elsewhere in the body, so it’s crucial to know when dental surgery might be necessary. In this article, we’ll navigate the ins and outs of pet dental health and surgery so you can keep your four-legged companion happy and healthy.

Understanding Pet Dental Health

Like us, pets require regular dental care to prevent disease and pain. Dental disease is among the most common veterinary diagnoses, and it can affect pets of all ages and breeds. Poor dental health in pets can lead to bad breath and tooth loss, significantly impacting their overall well-being. Routine check-ups and cleanings are critical, but sometimes, pets need more than just a clean – they need dental surgery.

Signs That Dental Surgery May Be Needed

How do you know when to consider dental surgery for your pet? Look out for these telltale signs:

  • Persistent bad breath

  • Difficulty eating or loss of appetite

  • Swollen or bleeding gums

  • Loose or missing teeth

  • Pawing at the mouth or face

  • Noticeable plaque or tartar buildup

  • Changes in behavior, such as increased irritability

If you notice any of these symptoms, it’s time to seek advice from a vet. They will assess your pet’s dental health and recommend the best action, including surgery.

Emergency Veterinary Care

Sometimes, dental issues can become emergencies. If your pet is in severe pain, has difficulty breathing, or has uncontrolled bleeding in the mouth, it calls for immediate attention. In such cases, locating emergency vet clinics in Bellevue or your nearby area is vital. Quick access to medical care can make all the difference for your furry friend’s health and comfort. It’s always helpful to have the contact details of your local emergency vet clinic on hand, just in case.

Types of Dental Surgery for Pets

Dental surgery for pets covers a range of procedures. Here’s a snapshot of potential surgeries your pet might need:

  • Tooth Extractions: Badly decayed or broken teeth may need removal to prevent infection and relieve pain.

  • Gum Surgery: This is often required to treat advanced periodontal disease that affects the soft tissue surrounding the teeth.

  • Jaw Fracture Repair: Injuries can lead to fractures that must be surgically repaired for proper healing and function.

  • Oral Tumors: Growths in the mouth may need to be surgically removed and biopsied to determine if they are malignant.

The type of surgery your pet may require can only be determined by your vet after a thorough examination.

Veterinary Dentistry and Dental Surgery

Veterinary dentistry is an essential branch of animal healthcare. It includes regular cleanings, adjustments, fillings, extractions, and more complex procedures like root canals and orthodontics.

When more serious issues arise that routine dental care can’t fix, vets often recommend dental surgery to correct the problem. It’s essential to discover more about how these surgeries are carried out, the risks involved, and the care your pet will need post-surgery.

Preparing for Your Pet’s Dental Surgery

Preparation is vital when it comes to pet dental surgery. Here are some steps you should take:

  • Have a detailed discussion with your vet about the procedure, including the need for anesthesia, potential risks, and recovery time.

  • Follow your vet’s instructions on withholding food and water before the surgery if necessary.

  • Ensure you have a comfortable and quiet space at home for your pet to recover.

  • Arrange for transportation to and from the veterinary clinic.

Surgery can be stressful for both the pet and the owner, but proper preparation can help alleviate some of that stress.

Caring for Your Pet After Dental Surgery

After dental surgery, your pet will require extra care and attention. Depending on the type of surgery, your pet may experience pain, grogginess from anesthesia, and a reduced appetite. To ensure a smooth recovery, consider the following:

  • Provide a quiet, comfortable space for your pet to rest away from noise and high-traffic areas.

  • Give medication as prescribed by your vet to manage pain and prevent infection.

  • Feed your pet a soft diet, as their mouth will likely be sensitive after surgery.

  • Keep water readily available to keep them hydrated.

  • Monitor your pet’s behavior and recovery, watching for any signs of complications.

By being attentive and responsive to your pet’s needs, you can help them heal more quickly and comfortably.

Long-term Dental Care for Your Pet

Once your pet has recovered from dental surgery, it’s essential to maintain a consistent dental care routine to prevent future problems. This can include regular brushing with pet-friendly toothpaste, dental chews, and routine check-ups and cleanings by your vet.

Compassionate Animal Hospital

Finding a veterinary clinic specializing in dental care can also contribute significantly to your pet’s oral health. If you’re in the Bellevue area, obtaining quality dental care for your pet is feasible at Aerowood Animal Hospital. The right animal hospital will provide expert care and a compassionate approach, ensuring your pet is as comfortable and stress-free as possible throughout treatment.


Taking care of our pets means being vigilant about every aspect of their health, including dental care. Knowing when dental surgery is necessary and how to care for your pet afterward can save them from pain and health issues. Stay in tune with your pet’s dental needs, consult your vet regularly, and always be prepared for the possibility of surgery. Our pets rely on us to help them live their best lives; proactive dental care is a big part of that responsibility.