What to Expect Following a Pet Dental Procedure

Worrying about your pet’s well-being is normal when considering putting them through major oral surgery. These fears stem from the unfamiliarity of the pet’s problem. Major surgery is complicated to contemplate for the elderly and their close companions. Your experiences with pets, or those of family members and friends, have raised additional concerns. Each person’s human-animal bond is unique but typically very strong. There may be times when family and friends disagree on whether you should proceed with major oral surgery for your pet. Guilt feelings may arise from discussions with others about major oral surgery for your pet.

Should I worry about this type of procedure?

Dental and oral surgery consultation will be provided to help you work through these emotions by giving accurate answers to your questions based on our clinical experiences. Knowledge of the true nature of the issue and the likely outcome of any proposed treatments is crucial for making the right choices. The initial surgical consultation with the information provided below can be highly beneficial. It is your chance to gather the information you need to make rational decisions. Taking your time is acceptable; however, treatment procrastination can fail.


Many factors influence the answer; however, if trauma has occurred, major surgery may be life-saving. Patients with oral and maxillofacial tumors may also benefit from life-saving surgery. Before deciding on significant surgery, it is critical to evaluate these patients thoroughly. Veterinarians can perform CAT scans or MRI imaging, and a radiologist and an oncologist can determine the best treatment option. You and your vet surgery can collaborate to make difficult decisions.

Post-Surgery Discomfort

Oral surgery for your pet requires careful pain management. To manage pain effectively, read on. Several factors make pain recognition difficult. Animals instinctively hide the pain from vets. CUPS, feline stomatitis, jaw fracture, oral tumors, and TMJ fracture cause moderate to severe pain in most pets requiring major oral surgery.

Dentigerous cysts, open-mouth jaw locking, and TMJ ankylosis require less painful oral surgery. Surgery anesthesia involves the selection of pre-operative, intra-operative, and post-operative pain medications based on the patient’s current pain status and the planned surgical procedure. Pain is avoided or reduced. Many clients are impressed that their pets seem less painful after major oral surgery. Feel free to click here for more information about dental surgery.

Post-Surgery Diet

For major oral surgery, dissolvable sutures are typically used. After surgery, vets recommend using canned food or moistened kibble for 10-14 days. It may take some time for your pet to adjust to the changes caused by the surgery when it comes to eating.

To get through the adjustment period after major oral surgery, it is usually beneficial to encourage pets to eat from your hand. Some messes will be caused by salivation, food, and water lapping. After major oral surgery, most pets can eat within 6-12 hours. For the first 24 hours after surgery, it is recommended to feed small amounts of food every few hours.


After major oral surgery on the lower jaws, the pet still looks remarkably normal, even after a mandibulectomy procedure. Where bone has been removed, the tongue may protrude from the mouth. This may become less noticeable over time. There may also be an increase in saliva flow following major oral surgery. 

Some pets may experience facial swelling, which usually resolves without treatment within a few weeks. Because the upper and lower teeth come occluded when closing the mouth, clicking is common after partial mandibulectomy procedures. After a few months, the clicking sound in most pets becomes significantly reduced or disappears.

Post-Surgery Care

After major oral surgery, most pets require no nursing care other than love, attention, and hand feeding. Some surgical procedures involve the placement of feeding tubes to ensure that the pet receives the prescribed food, water, or medication. In these cases, written instructions for feeding tube management will be provided. The owner or caretaker’s primary responsibility is to keep the feeding tube clean and to feed at appropriate intervals. 

Only some owners find managing feeding tubes difficult or inconvenient. If nursing care is required and the owner cannot provide it, you may contact professional veterinarians who can assist with problems or offer the necessary services.