If you’ve noticed your dog coughing after teeth cleaning, you may be wondering what could be causing this.
While it’s not uncommon for dogs to experience some discomfort or side effects after dental procedures, persistent coughing can be concerning.
In this article, we’ll explore the possible reasons behind dog coughing after teeth cleaning and provide some helpful insights for dog parents and owners.
Can Bad Teeth in Dogs Cause Coughing?
Yes, bad teeth in dogs can indeed cause coughing.
When a dog’s teeth are not properly cared for, they can develop periodontal disease, which is a bacterial infection that affects the gums and teeth.
This infection can spread to the respiratory system, leading to coughing and other respiratory symptoms.
Additionally, the accumulation of plaque and tartar on the teeth can cause irritation and inflammation, leading to coughing and gagging.
Understanding the Dental Cleaning Procedure
Before we delve into the potential causes of dog coughing after teeth cleaning, let’s first understand what the dental cleaning procedure entails.
During a dental cleaning, your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination of your dog’s mouth, remove any visible plaque and tartar, and clean the teeth using specialized tools.
In some cases, dental X-rays may also be taken to assess the health of the teeth and gums beneath the surface.
Possible Causes of Dog Coughing After Teeth Cleaning
While dental cleanings are generally safe, there are a few potential causes for dog coughing after the procedure.
It’s important to note that not all dogs will experience these symptoms, but it’s good to be aware of them:
1. Irritation from Intubation
During the dental cleaning procedure, your dog will be placed under anesthesia, and a tube will be inserted into their airway to assist with breathing.
This intubation process can cause temporary irritation to the throat and airway, leading to coughing and gagging. This irritation should subside within a few days as your dog’s throat heals.
2. Allergic Reaction to Anesthesia
In some cases, dogs may have an allergic reaction to the anesthesia used during the dental cleaning. This can manifest as coughing, wheezing, or difficulty breathing.
If you suspect your dog is having an allergic reaction, it’s crucial to contact your veterinarian immediately for further guidance.
3. Pre-existing Respiratory Conditions
Dogs with pre-existing respiratory conditions, such as chronic bronchitis or collapsing trachea, may be more prone to coughing after dental cleanings.
The stress of the procedure and the intubation process can exacerbate these conditions, leading to coughing and respiratory distress.
4. Infection or Inflammation
In rare cases, a dental cleaning can lead to an infection or inflammation in the respiratory system. This can occur if bacteria from the mouth enter the airway during the procedure.
If your dog’s cough persists or worsens after a dental cleaning, it’s essential to consult with your veterinarian to rule out any potential infections or complications.
What to Do if Your Dog is Coughing After Teeth Cleaning
If you notice your dog coughing after teeth cleaning, there are a few steps you can take to help alleviate their discomfort and monitor their condition:
- Monitor the Cough: Keep a close eye on your dog’s coughing episodes. Note the frequency, duration, and any accompanying symptoms. If the cough persists or worsens over time, contact your veterinarian for further evaluation.
- Provide a Calm Environment: Create a calm and quiet space for your dog to rest and recover. Avoid exposing them to excessive physical activity or environmental irritants that may exacerbate their cough.
- Offer Soft Food: If your dog’s throat is irritated, they may have difficulty eating dry kibble. Consider offering soft or moistened food to make it easier for them to swallow.
- Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: To prevent future dental issues and minimize the need for frequent dental cleanings, establish a regular oral hygiene routine for your dog. This can include brushing their teeth, providing dental chews or toys, and scheduling routine dental check-ups with your veterinarian.
- Follow Up with Your Veterinarian: If your dog’s cough persists or if you have any concerns, it’s crucial to follow up with your veterinarian. They can assess your dog’s condition, provide appropriate treatment if necessary, and offer guidance on preventive dental care.
While it’s not uncommon for dogs to experience some coughing after teeth cleaning, it’s essential to monitor their symptoms and seek veterinary advice if the cough persists or worsens.
Understanding the potential causes and taking appropriate measures can help ensure your dog’s comfort and overall oral health.
Remember, prevention is key, so prioritize regular dental care to minimize the need for extensive dental procedures.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Can my dog cough and wheeze after dental surgery?
A: Yes, it is possible for dogs to cough and wheeze after dental surgery.
This can be due to various factors such as irritation from intubation, allergic reactions to anesthesia, pre-existing respiratory conditions, or infection/inflammation.
Q: How long does the coughing usually last after a dental cleaning?
A: The duration of coughing after a dental cleaning can vary depending on the individual dog and the underlying cause.
In most cases, the coughing should subside within a few days as the throat and airway heal. However, if the cough persists or worsens, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian.
Q: Should I be concerned if my dog coughs up blood after a dental cleaning?
A: Coughing up blood after a dental cleaning is not normal and should be a cause for concern. It could indicate a more serious issue such as an infection or injury.
Contact your veterinarian immediately for further evaluation and guidance.
Q: Can I give my dog cough medicine after a dental cleaning?
A: It is not recommended to give your dog any over-the-counter cough medicine without consulting your veterinarian first.
The underlying cause of the cough needs to be determined before administering any medication. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the appropriate treatment if necessary.
Q: How can I prevent my dog from coughing after dental cleanings?
A: While some dogs may experience coughing after dental cleanings, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk.
Maintaining good oral hygiene through regular brushing, providing dental chews or toys, and scheduling routine dental check-ups can help prevent dental issues and reduce the need for extensive dental procedures.
Q: Is it normal for my dog to gag after a dental cleaning?
A: It is not uncommon for dogs to gag occasionally after a dental cleaning, especially if they have had an endotracheal tube inserted during the procedure.
However, if the gagging persists or is accompanied by other concerning symptoms, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian for further evaluation.