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Cat Tooth Extractions: What to Expect & What to Watch For

Your vet may suggest a tooth extraction if your cat's tooth is beyond repair. Today, our Zeeland vets discuss what to expect from a cat's tooth extraction surgery.

When is Dental Surgery Necessary in Cats?

Dental surgery, including tooth extractions, becomes necessary in cats for various reasons. Common issues include severe dental disease, fractured teeth, or persistent infections.

Periodontal disease, which affects the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, is a primary reason for cat dental surgery.

Additionally, resorptive lesions, where the body starts breaking down the tooth structure, often require extraction. Regular visits to a cat dentist can help identify these problems early, ensuring timely intervention and preventing further complications.

The Necessity of Removing Cat Teeth

If a tooth is damaged beyond repair, it's important to remove it to prevent infection and pain caused by the dead tooth. Periodontal (gum) disease usually causes this decay.

Gum disease is caused by a buildup of plaque on your cat's teeth, which eventually hardens into a substance called calculus or tartar. If not removed, the hardened tartar can cause pockets of infection between the gum line and the teeth, leading to gum erosion and tooth decay. You can help prevent gum disease with at-home dental care and regular professional dental appointments.

Cats are also at risk for a condition called feline tooth resorption. This occurs when painful erosions develop on a cat's tooth or teeth and start breaking down the tooth structures. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent feline tooth resorption, and the affected teeth usually need to be extracted.

Cat Tooth Extraction Process 

When your cat needs a tooth extraction, it will be given general anesthesia to ensure its safety and comfort. Before the procedure, your vet will likely recommend diagnostic tests such as bloodwork, X-rays, or an EKG to ensure your cat is healthy enough for the anesthesia. 

During the surgery, a veterinary technician will continuously monitor your cat, administer pain medication, and ensure its vitals remain stable. Depending on the size and location of the teeth being removed, the vet may use various techniques for the extraction.

How to Take Care of a Cat After Teeth Extraction

Proper post-operative care is crucial for your cat's recovery after dental surgery. Here are some essential tips:

  • Follow the Vet's Instructions: Adhere strictly to your vet's post-surgery care guidelines, including administering prescribed medications on time.
  • Soft Diet: Feed your cat a soft diet for the first few days after surgery. Wet food or specially formulated soft foods are more accessible and less likely to irritate the surgical site.
  • Monitor Eating and Drinking: Ensure your cat is eating and drinking adequately. Dehydration and lack of nutrition can hinder the healing process. Contact your vet if your cat is not eating or drinking enough water after dental surgery.
  • Oral Hygiene: Once your cat has healed, maintain regular oral hygiene to prevent future dental issues. This may include brushing your cat's teeth and providing dental treats.

My Cat is Not Sleeping or Eating After Dental Surgery

After dental surgery, it is common for a cat to have trouble sleeping or eating. They may experience pain and discomfort, and anesthesia can also cause nausea. It's essential to administer pain management medications as prescribed because the area where the extraction took place can be very sore, making it difficult for them to chew.

Cat Tooth Extractions

Cat dental surgery, including tooth extractions, is a standard and often necessary procedure to ensure your feline friend's oral health. Understanding what to expect and how to care for your cat post-surgery can help facilitate a smooth recovery. If your cat is not sleeping or eating after dental surgery, consult your vet to address any complications promptly. Regular check-ups with a cat dentist can help maintain your pet's dental health and prevent the need for future extractions.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Are you concerned that your cat may require a tooth extraction? Contact our Zeeland vets to book an appointment today.

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Zeeland Veterinary Service is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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