What is recovery like when a dog has teeth extracted?
July 5, 2010 7:22 PM   Subscribe

Our beloved nine year old part Poodle part Shitzoo (sp?) will be getting his back molars extracted because of severe gingivitis and infection. The vet said anywhere from ten to twelve will be extracted. What can we expect regarding recovery? Will he be in considerable pain for a long time?

He is in otherwise great health.

He was my sister's dog up until a year ago when she left her husband. I know that this could have been prevented had he been taken in for regular cleanings, however it's a mute point now. I just want all of us to be aware of what to expect by someone that's been through this.
posted by cleo to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
My dog had a few teeth pulled last year due to a gum infection. She drooled bloody drool the first night and had to eat soft food for a few weeks. She didn't ever seem to care about the missing teeth, and was actually happier without her pain meds. (I think they made her feel strange -- she'd cry for half an hour shortly after taking them, then fall asleep, then wake up and cry for another half hour, and then be her regular self. Without the pain meds, there was no crying.) Mostly she was just glad to see me when I picked her up from the vet.
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:00 PM on July 5, 2010

My friend's dog had about that many pulled and he (the dog) seemed a lot happier and his appetite returned. The bad breath went away too.
posted by jmmpangaea at 8:08 PM on July 5, 2010

Oh yeah, forgot to mention that the dog had 10x as much energy after the teeth were out, and was much happier with life!
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 8:58 PM on July 5, 2010

Datapoint from my dog, elderly, but only a few teeth out:
Immediately upon being picked up: Awake, but unable to find her feet. Rest of the night: Groggy, but happy to be home. Next couple of days: A bit subdued. After that, normal and happy. The vet should be able to advise you about soft food, be sure to ask.
posted by sageleaf at 9:08 PM on July 5, 2010

Ask your vet about their pain management plans. Where I work (and I am not a vet, nor is this professional advice, etc.) we would likely send a dog like yours with a procedure like this home on an anti-inflammatory like Metacam or Rimadyl (unless there were contraindications), plus Tramadol and/or gabapentin (both if there were a lot of teeth out) - at least 5-7 days of pain meds (proper pain management is essential, even though many vets are decades behind the times when it comes to this). They should also be using local anesthesia and pre and intra-op pain meds. Your dog should be on IV fluids and should have at least blood pressure monitoring during the procedure (and your vet should know what to do if there is a problem with the blood pressure).

Plan on canned food for the next couple of weeks (or softening his dry food with water). A bit of bloody drool is common. He will likely be a bit dozy and whiny for the first 24 hours or so (the whining is likely just him complaining about feeling weird, it should not be pain related if they have a decent pain protocol). Watch him around stairs and jumping on and off things for the first 24 hours or so. Older dogs can take longer to recover, but it shouldn't be more than a couple of days. Good for you for taking care of your dog, too many vets and owners ignore or minimize the significance of oral health, you are likely going to improve both his quality of life and quantity of life by managing his dental issues.
posted by biscotti at 9:33 PM on July 5, 2010

Hey, not to guano, but does anyone know the price range for this kind of service? My aging chihuahua needs some dental work (pretty sure) and I'd like some idea of the kind of debt I'm going to be going into for it... Plus, I'm new to town (LA), so I don't have a trusted vet, so I don't want to naively overpay.
posted by lalalana at 12:36 AM on July 6, 2010

(sp?) Shitzoo = Shih Tzu.

posted by freya_lamb at 1:32 AM on July 6, 2010 [1 favorite]

When dental work is done properly (i.e. surgical extractions, full-mouth x-rays, proper anesthetic management, etc.) it is very time consuming. Pricing is usually based on time. It really depends on where you are, but major dental surgery (i.e. multiple extractions of big teeth) can be very expensive (i.e. over a thousand dollars). Cheaper is not better.
posted by biscotti at 8:38 AM on July 6, 2010

One of my childhood dogs needed some teeth pulled at one point. I felt sorry for her that she was going to have her teeth pulled. I remember being shocked at how happy she was after the teeth had been removed. I don't remember her being in any pain after the teeth were pulled. She just seemed happy. All dogs are different though.
posted by parakeetdog at 1:01 PM on July 6, 2010

I have in front of me a write up from my vet for a two tooth extraction for my 10 year old dog. It comes to $336.40.
posted by sourwookie at 1:39 PM on July 6, 2010

Actually now I see it's for three teeth.

Dental Prophy $249
Surgical dental extraction (3) $72
Clindamycin Caps 150 mg (14) $15.40

And I keep hearing about how their mood and energy seems to improve after the procedure.
posted by sourwookie at 1:45 PM on July 6, 2010

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