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The Whole Tooth

Caring for Your Pet & Their Teeth Post-Cleaning

Your pet just had their teeth cleaned. Now what?

Here are a few tips from our experts for how to care for your best friend, post-op.

Post-Op Checklist

1. Take it Slow: R&R
Your pet just underwent surgery that included anesthesia, and that means he or she will most likely be a little lethargic for the next 24 hours. Sometimes it takes pets two days to fully recover from the procedure, and you should prioritize rest and relaxation at this time. Don’t push long walks or vigorous play sessions until your pet signals that they’re ready for exercise.

2. On the Soft Side: Feeding

Try to feed your pet a small meal after the cleaning. If he or she refuses food at first, that’s normal. Your pet’s teeth and gums will be tender for a while, so if you feed your pet kibble, you’ll want to water it down for a few days. Wet canned food is also an option. Make sure your pet drinks plenty of water after the cleaning. Hydration is key to recovery. You can even add a little ice to the water bowl to help numb sore gums.

3. Tender Loving Care: Medications

You may be sent home with additional pain control medications and/or antibiotics based on your pet’s individual needs. It’s crucial that you administer the medications as prescribed, even if your pet is back to his or her normal self. If you’re worried about how to best to give your pet the medication, don’t hesitate to ask for advice.

4. Following Up: Post-Op Appointment

Your vet might want to see your pet post-cleaning to make sure the post-op recovery period is going as it should. At this appointment, your pet’s mouth area will be thoroughly inspected for any signs of infection or inflammation. A short physical exam will also be conducted. If you have any questions about your pet’s dental health or reaction to his or her cleaning, this checkup is a great opportunity to pose them. We are here to help!

5. It’s Complicated: Watch for Worrying Signs

It’s incredibly rare, but some pets will have adverse reactions to either the anesthesia or the cleaning itself. Keep a close eye on your pet during the first 48 hours following the procedure and if you’re concerned, call us immediately.

Symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Loss of appetite that lasts for more than 24 hours
  • Extreme lethargy or disorientation
  • Bad breath
  • Excessive drooling
  • Aggressive behavior when the face is touched
  • Pawing at or rubbing of the jaw area
  • Changes in breathing
  • Vomiting

We recommend that you establish a regular tooth brushing routine to keep your pet’s mouth healthy between cleanings. Clenz-a Dent mouth rinse can help, as can Greenie chews and Healthy Mouth Oral water additive, just to name a few. We carry a wide array of home dental health products in our online and onsite pharmacies. Ask your vet or a member of our staff today about how these could benefit your pet’s pearly whites, and don’t hesitate to give us a call at (318) 686-5945 if you need advice on how to care for your pet after his or her teeth cleaning.