Post-Dental Care Instructions for Pets 

What to Expect

After coming home from the clinic, your pet should be kept in a warm, dry, quiet and ideally indoor location in the 24 hours following discharge. They may still be a little bit drowsy after they go home with you. There may also be some irritability or incoordination during this initial 24-hour period immediately after the dental.

The shaved area on your pet's front or back legs is the IV injection and/or IV fluids site. Some bruising to this area may be seen when they go home with you; however, if this persists beyond 72 hours, please give us a call at the clinic. You may also find that the underside of their paw may have been shaved - this allowed the placement of blood pressure monitoring equipment, so that we could monitor their progress under anaesthesia closely. 


Dental Procedure

Any build up of tartar on your pet's teeth would have been scaled off and the teeth polished. This helps to prevent further gum disease. Some pets may also have teeth extracted if there was evidence of a root infection, root exposure and/or cavities. In the 24 hours following a dental procedure, it is normal to notice some blood-stained saliva. 

Specifically for canine teeth extractions, because the root of the canine burrows deep into the bone of the upper jaw, sometimes, after the canine tooth is extracted, a communication is formed between the nose and mouth cavities - this is what we term an "oro-nasal fistula", Usually, the oronasal fistula fills up with scar tissue and the communication between both cavities ceases. However, in a small amount of (usually older) patients, the oronasal fistula persists - this may be manifest as food/water being "sneezed" out while she is eating/drinking. If you notice or suspect that your pet may have an oronasal fistula, please arrange for your pet to be checked over by one of our veterinarians.



Typically, no revisits are required following a routine dental. Your veterinarian will advise you whether a revisit is required following teeth extractions.


Exercise Restriction

Unless otherwise directed by your veterinarian or veterinary nurse at the time of discharge, no change to your pet's exercise regime is required. However, we do recommend that dogs are toileted on a lead and only receive light lead exercise in the 24 hours following general anaesthesia. Cats should ideally remain indoors for 24 hours following general anaesthesia. 



A small portion of soft food should be fed in the evening that your pet comes home with you, and then resume feeding their normal diet and meal portions in the morning. It is not unusual for some loss of appetite to occur in the first 24 hours following discharge from our clinic; however, if this persists, please give us a call at the clinic on (06) 3588675.  If your pet has had a tooth/teeth extraction, soft food should be given for the next 5 to 7 days if your pet has had a tooth/teeth extraction.

You may also consider feeding your pet a prescription dental diet, such as Hill's t/d.  The special dental technology in the Hill's t/d biscuits reduces the accumulation of plaque and tartar on your pet's teeth, thereby increasing their overall oral health and reducing the frequency of veterinary dental cleaning. Hill's t/d biscuits can be purchased from our clinic reception.



The most effective method to reduce buildup of plaque and tartar on your pet's teeth is to brush their teeth daily. Veterinary toothbrushes and toothpaste designed especially for dogs and cats are available for purchase at our clinic. Do not use human dental products or toothpaste for your pet's teeth as these may contain ingredients that are toxic to pets. Please talk to a veterinary nurse if you would like to find out more about toothbrushing for your pets.



Some pets may have oral medications to go home with following tooth/teeth extractions. Please administer all medications as directed on the label; ensure that pain relief medications and antibiotics are given with a meal.



Should you have any enquiries or further concerns about your pet's post-dental care, please do not hestitate to phone us at (06) 3588675 to discuss.



Published by Cahill Animal Hospital on 29 July 2016
The team at Cahill Animal Hospital is here to provide you and your pet with the best possible medical, surgical and supportive care. Our motto "We care as much as you do" is a very important part of our day to day work. We are committed to providing you and your pet with the best options for care.

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