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Post-op Care Home > Patient Support > Post-op Care

Your pet has had a dental procedure under a general anaesthetic. We expect a rapid recovery to normal behaviour within a day or two. To help you take care and understand what has been done we have prepared some notes for you.

What has been done, what will I see?

We will clip a small area of fur from the front leg in order to inject the anaesthetic. If a drip was used this area will be larger. We will cover this with a tape bandage which you can remove after an hour or two at home. You may see some bruising but this will fade quickly and the fur will grow back over 1-2 months.

We give your pet some sedative and painkiller before the operation. Your pet may still be a bit sleepy from this, but should be able to walk. You can expect this to wear off over the next 24hrs.

During the anaesthetic we usually place a rubber tube in the windpipe to protect the airway and help the breathing. Sometimes this means your pet will cough a little in the next few days but it should soon stop.

When the teeth are cleaned or polished we often see some bleeding from the gums. This is more marked if any teeth have been extracted. You may see bleeding from the mouth or blood stained saliva for the first few days. This is normal but should stop soon and not be excessive or persistent.

If teeth have been extracted sutures may be placed in the gums, these will dissolve away naturally and do not need removing.

What shall I do?

On the first evening do not be worried if your pet is a little quiet or sleepy. Allow him or her to rest comfortably. She should be much brighter by the next morning.

Offer some food and water in the evening. Do not worry if he or she does not want it or eats less than normal. The appetite should improve by the next day. If teeth have been extracted you may prefer to feed canned food or soaked dry food for the next few days.

Medication. It is important to start any medication at the time planned and to complete the entire course. We will often prescribe a course of antibiotics or pain killers after a dental treatment. If you can not give this or think you may have difficulty ask us if there are any alternatives available.

Dental care. Once the mouth is healing, after 2 or 3 days it is time to start brushing and caring for your dog's teeth, and cat's teeth, to help keep them as clean and healthy as possible. Pictures of tooth brushing are here. After this you can start to feed some dental diet such as Hills t/d or Royal Canin dental diet.

Is my pet in pain?

Every animal and every procedure is different. Animals have an instinct in the wild to hide any signs of pain and injury. This means it is difficult to tell just by looking if an animal is in pain. If we would expect a procedure to cause pain then it is best to assume the animal will be at risk of feeling pain. We should then dispense a course of painkillers. It is best to complete this course even if the animal appears normal. More about pain relief here.

What to watch out for?

If your pet vomits repeatedly, becomes excessively dull or lethargic, or appears to be becoming ill in the next few days contact us immediately.

If the breath seems smelly there is salivation or signs of worsening discomfort, contact us.

Post Dental Planning

10 days after the dental treatment we will normally ask you to return for a re-examination. This will allow the vet to examine the mouth and check that.

  • Your pet has fully recovered from the anaesthetic
  • Any sutures or repairs look stable
  • You know how to slow down the return of any dental problems
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