K9 Tooth Extractions
Hi, meet Ranger!
Ranger, an 8yr old Chihuahua mix, presented to Pet Dental with his owner Julie. Ranger was a rescue dog that had never previously had any dental care, and his new owners knew something was wrong because he had a horrific odor from his mouth and he continually sneezed and had discharge coming from his left and right nostril.
During the comprehensive dental exam, we found a severe 8mm periodontal pocket around both of his upper K9 teeth and pus/blood dripping from the nares while charting was performed. The x-rays also showed significant bone loss. These findings are consistent with something called an oral nasal fistula.
Oral Nasal Fistula
The bone separating the tooth root and nasal passageway is thin around some roots, especially the K9 tooth (many times less than a few millimeters). In small breed dogs that have advanced periodontal disease, the separation becomes non-existent, just like Ranger. There can be an open communication (a hole) where oral bacteria, water, food, debris, etc. can get into the nasal passages (nose) and cause irritation/infection.
Not to worry, this is treatable with surgery! Ranger’s upper K9 tooth was extracted and the fistula was sutured closed in order to reestablish the separation between the oral cavity and nasal passageway, much like patching a hole in the wall.
Recovery time for Ranger was about 3-5 days of downtime with good pain medications. He was fed soft food and not allowed to chew on anything hard for 2 weeks while the surgery site healed. His owner Julie was excellent in keeping his mouth clean with the provided oral rinse that was sent home and Ranger came back after 2.5 weeks completely healed. He had actually gained weight, and his owner noted that all the discharge from his nose had stopped.
Way to go Ranger!
Pre-op photo of left K9 tooth
Flap showing extraction with repair