Dogs are predators. Their natural instinct is to never show weakness. This makes it difficult for pet owners to know when their dog has pain from an infected tooth. Fortunately, there are several things they may do that can be signs that they need to be evaluated by a veterinarian to determine if they do have a tooth infection and need to have oral surgery. Here's what to look for.
Appetite Is Non-Existent
When you have a toothache, you tend to eat as little as possible and, when you do, you choose very soft foods. Dogs don't really have an option on what types of foods they want to be given to eat. If you notice that your dog's appetite has reduced or is non-existent, it's a sign that it may have a toothache. Another sign is if your dog will only eat the wet or soft food you give it.
Breath Is Atrocious
When a tooth is infected by bacteria, the bacteria cause an odor that is very noticeable. If your dog's breath is atrocious and there's no other explanation for it (such as if your dog has been digging into the trash and eating rotten food or dirty diapers), chances are your dog has an infected tooth and needs oral surgery for pets.
Conduct Is Cantankerous
If your dog is normally very well-behaved and suddenly it acts aggressive or conducts itself like a crotchety, cantankerous old man, it may simply be annoyed by a painful tooth and unwilling to cooperate. If your dog is acting unusual and is just overall grumpy, particularly if or when you get near its face or jaw, schedule an appointment with a pet dentist or a veterinarian to see if there is a dental problem.
Drool Is Excessive
Another tell-tail sign that your dog is suffering from a dental problem that causes pain is when it drools a lot more than usual. Of course, in some breeds, drooling is normal but, as a pet owner, you can recognize what is normal for your dog and what is not. If your dog is drooling excessively, it's a sign that there may be an infection in a tooth.
If your dog does have a tooth infection and requires oral surgery to remove the infected tooth and root, your pet's dentist or veterinarian will prescribe medication that can help alleviate the pain and swelling until the surgery can be done.
For more information, contact a vet that performs oral surgery for pets.