Post Op Dental Care Sheet
Your pet has had a full dental assessment under general anaesthetic. Any teeth with irreversible damage will have been extracted and the healthy teeth will have been given a thorough scale and polish so that they are completely clean.
If your pet has had a scale and polish, they can be offered food and water when they get home. They may be a little bit drowsy after the anaesthetic but should be back to normal within 24hours.
If a tooth extraction has been performed, the pocket from where the tooth was extracted may be sutured closed with dissolvable sutures. In some cases, if it is very small, it may be left open. We advise that you feed your pet soft food for 2-3 days after the dental and extractions have been performed. Your pet may be sent home with medication for pain relief or possibly antibiotics if there is a severe infection. It is important that you give this medication as prescribed and finish the course.
Home Dental Care
We recommend waiting for a week before starting with home dental care. If no dental care is done at home tartar will start to build up again and your pet may end up needing another dental sooner than expected, by starting a dental care programme we can delay and hopefully prevent further dental issues going forward.
Daily tooth brushing is the best method for protecting your pet’s teeth. We recommend that you use a soft toothbrush designed for cats or dogs. You can choose between a traditional long-handled toothbrush or a rubber brush that is worn over your finger. Make sure that you use a special pet toothpaste as the fluoride in human toothpaste can be toxic to pets and most don’t like the flavour or foaming sensation. Veterinary toothpastes come in fish and poultry flavours and are safe to be swallowed.
Start off by introducing your pet to toothpaste by applying some to your finger or a toy. Let them lick the toothpaste and give them lots of praise and fuss. Repeat this every day for three to five days. The next step is to place your finger with the toothpaste on it into your pet’s mouth and gently massage the teeth and gums. This will get your pet used to the toothpaste and the sensation of having their mouth handled. Once your pet is comfortable with these sessions introduce the toothbrush. Begin with just a few teeth and gradually build up the number of teeth brushed. You need to lift up your pet’s lips so that you can brush the outside surface of each tooth. However, you do NOT need to open your pet’s mouth and brush the inside of the teeth – most pets will not tolerate this, and it is rarely necessary since the tongue tends to keep the inside of the teeth fairly clean.
If you find it impossible to brush your pet’s teeth as described above, there is some benefit to using a mouth gel. This gel can be squirted into the mouth of your pet, or placed on a cat’s paw to be licked off. The gel sticks to the teeth and gums and helps to break down plaque and control the levels of bacteria in the mouth.
Dental chews and treats
If your pet is completely uncooperative, or if you simply do not wish to brush your pet’s teeth every day, there is some benefit to using specially designed dental chews/treats/foods instead. These are designed to gently scrub the outside of the pet’s teeth as they chew.
Prescription diets are available that will help to slow down the build-up of tartar on your pet’s teeth. These may work by mechanically rubbing against the tooth surface to work away the plaque, or by containing ingredients which slow down tartar build up and inhibit bacteria in the mouth. These diets are dry foods which can be purchased in the clinic
Please contact the clinic if you need any further information or would like advice on home care.