Dog teeth cleaning under anesthesia may have side effects like: Anesthesia reactions, hypotension, aspiration of food, lowered body temperatures, issues with compromised organs, acidic burns of the esophagus, and irritation from a tracheal tube.

Although these dental side effects are rare, they can still appear in some dogs.

Why Do Dogs Need Dental Cleanings?

Dogs need dental cleanings to get rid of plaque, tartar, other dental problems that can lead to something serious in the future.

Some of the activities, such as eating dry dog food, chewing on bones or hard sticks, and indulging in dental treats, can help your k9 teeth cleaning.

By gnawing on crunchy or tough items, the thick plaque build-up is scrubbed off naturally and stops it from attempting to form completely.

The issue is that depending just on grinding to avoid dental problems is not sufficient.

When you check inside your canine’s mouth, you can notice a yellow-brown construct on their fangs and gums.

Poor breath and periodontal disease are caused by excessive plaque build-up.

It contains germs that can cause gum diseases, abscesses, and loss of the jaw.

All these cause your canine to experience severe oral discomfort, which can also be difficult to detect.

The bacteria present in your pet’s saliva can easily travel throughout their bloodstream and create problems with other major organs in severe circumstances. [1]

You may greatly reduce your pet’s chances of having jaw and dental problems with the help of good dog hygiene practices at home and also getting professional regular cleaning to treat serious plaque build-up.

Some breeds are considered to have more dental problems than the rest.

The majority of the dogs are tiny breeds such as pugs and Chihuahuas.

A few large breeds, such as Shetland Sheepdogs, Collies, Greyhounds, and Boxers, are more vulnerable to gum problems than others. [2]

Did you Know?

Bad dental health can cause essential organ failure.

Signs That Your Dog Is Ready For Professional Cleaning Are:

  • Excessive gum bleeding
  • Terrible breath problems
  • Plaque and tartar build-up on teeth and gum line
  • Sudden aggressive chewing in elder dogs
  • Indications of toothache
  • Not able to chew on hard food
  • Nasal discharge and sneezing
  • Teeth are loose or broken

How Long is a Dog Under Anesthesia for Teeth Cleaning?

A dog under anesthesia for teeth cleaning will be sleeping for 60 to 95 minutes.

Dental cleanings can last anywhere from 45 to 75 minutes, which can depend on the state of your pet’s teeth, the number of X-rays taken, and the level of tartar in its mouth.

The anesthesia effect may continue for about 15 to 20 minutes after the operation has been performed.

What Are Some Complications From Dog Dental Cleaning?

  1. Anesthesia Reactions
  2. Low Blood Pressure
  3. Aspiration of Food
  4. Lowered Body Temperatures
  5. Issues with Compromised Organs
  6. Acidic Burns of Esophagus
  7. Irritation from Tracheal Tube

1. Anesthesia Reactions

This is a relatively uncommon event, but it should be noted.

It only arises once per 5,000 to 25,000 cases of anesthesia in humans.

There is a potential for a pup or a person to have an allergic response to the anesthesia, the same way with any other medicine.

The canine may get an anaphylactic shock in extreme situations that can become fatal.

Abnormal heartbeat and hypotension are common in affected pets (which can easily be noted down by the monitors). [3]

Note: The immediate injection of epinephrine can treat Anesthesia reactions. [4]

2. Low Blood Pressure

Low blood pressure, often referred to as hypotension in medical terminology, is among the most severe anesthesia-related problems that can occur in even healthy canines.

Low blood pressure can be caused by a variety of factors, including an allergic response to anesthetic medications, bleeding, exhaustion, excessive anesthetic dose, and underlying cardiac issues, which could be more frequent in senior dogs.

Low blood pressure needs immediate treatment, which includes minimizing anesthesia dose and giving intravenous fluids. [5]

3. Aspiration of Food

The vet’s rules recommend that all meals should be discontinued the morning before the teeth cleaning treatment is going to be performed.

If dogs will eat, the meal may get clogged, resulting in respiratory failure and, in extreme situations, cause death.

A widespread antibiotic is used to treat inhalation.

If your pet has diabetes, you’ll need to talk to your veterinarian about giving no food and what other alternatives are available.

You might be asked to provide a meal a few hours prior to the operation by your veterinarian.

If your pet needs insulin, your veterinarian may be able to tell you how much quantity is required.

Did you Know?

The trachea of canines is not secured when they are sedated.

4. Lowered Body Temperatures

When canines are sedated, they are unable to loosen up like they typically would.

Dental cleaning might also lead canines to become more relaxed due to the number of water rinsing that occurs while their teeth are getting cleaned.

Older dogs could become sick after anesthesia and need more precautions to keep their body temperature stable.

Reduced temperatures under anesthesia have been proven to extend the recovery period.

The veterinarian can help by keeping the canine dry by using heating devices and drinks that have been preheated.

Chilling is more common in young dogs than in older dogs. [6]

5. Issues with Compromised Organs

The respiration, heart, liver, and kidney functions of the canine can all be affected by general anesthesia.

That’s why bloodwork should be done prior to the surgery particularly in senior dogs.

Difficulties can occur if these systems are affected by underlying diseases.

Veterinarians, on the other hand, can take various measures.

If a canine is having liver issues, the veterinarian may use anesthetic medications that are not digested by their liver.

An IV catheter must be placed in all dogs receiving anesthesia so that emergency medicines may be administered quickly. [7]

Note: Ensuring the dog stays hydrated is also beneficial.

6. Acidic Burns of Esophagus

The gastroesophageal wall relieves when a canine is sedated, often to the point that gastric acid escapes and enters the esophagus.

As an outcome, gastrointestinal burning may develop, making dogs uneasy and causing them to throw up.

The longer the dog will vomit, the adverse the burns will become, resulting in a continuation of vomiting.

As a result, it’s critical that sick dogs receive an injection to control vomiting, as well as medicines like acid removers and sucralfate could assist in protecting the stomach.

When canines are under anesthesia, they are more likely to have reflux and higher gastrointestinal acidity, according to research. [8]

7. Irritation from Tracheal Tube

In most circumstances, this isn’t a true problem, but there are chances that it can occur in certain dogs.

An endotracheal tube is inserted into the canines’ throats while they are sedated.

After the professional examination, this tube might create irritation, leading canines to cough, choke, and have difficulty swallowing.

In canines with tracheal collapse, a dog coughing after dental cleaning might be a little more continuous and severe.

It is only one of many unpleasant events that can occur throughout dental treatments.

The endotracheal tube can also irritate the airways, which can lead to a minor infection. [9]

What Are Some Safety Procedures Of Dog’s Teeth Cleaning With Anesthesia?

  1. Anesthesia Monitoring
  2. Tartar and Plaque Removal
  3. Polishing
  4. Documentation

1. Anesthesia Monitoring

After administering anesthesia, experts will place an intubation or respiration pipe in your pup to secure his airway and keep his blood flowing.

Since anesthetic drugs try to slow the cardiovascular and respiratory system, your dog will be continuously monitored by veterinary staff to ensure adequate heart and lung performance.

The staff will monitor your canine’s following health status from the time it is sedated:

  • The speed and pattern of your heart
  • Contractions in the heart
  • Body temperature
  • Circulation of blood
  • Blood pressure
  • Oxygen levels in the blood
  • Rate and depth of breathing
  • Depth of anesthesia

A vet technician or specialist will assist the veterinarian in adjusting the anesthetic units depending on your pet’s health status.

2. Tartar and Plaque Removal

The doctor will remove plaque from your canine’s mouth while he is sedated.

Bacteria will be removed from the molars and beneath the gum line by the veterinarian.

The doctor will also examine for developing gaps, infections, or other symptoms of illness using the X-ray information.

A tooth removal, dental surgery, or gum treatment will be performed if needed by the veterinarian.

3. Polishing

It would be faster for the veterinarian to polish and whiten your pet’s teeth if he is asleep the entire time.

This procedure is necessary since it helps to prevent the formation of tartar and calculus later.

4. Documentation

Eventually, your pet’s mouth would be documented by the veterinarian.

You’ll get documentation of which tooth is damaged or removed, and also important oral health data.

It’s critical to maintain a print of it on hand so you could easily show it to the vet in the future.

How Safe Is A Dog Teeth Cleaning Under Anesthesia?

Since anesthesia is perfectly safe, but you can’t call it completely risk-free anesthesia.

There might be many pros and cons of dental cleaning, but vets will do anything they can to keep them lower the risk.

Veterinarians can use the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) health status category to assess the canine and identify his condition. [10]

Due to underlying problems, certain pets are more in danger than the rest, and extra measures may be required.

Pre-anesthesia tests will be performed to determine the state of the pup’s organs, but if necessary, an electrocardiogram (ECG) would be performed to determine the function of the pet’s heart.

In most situations, the advantages of dental cleaning for most dogs exceed the dangers of the treatment.

We wrote an article why you should not skip the anesthesia for the tooth cleaning for your dog.

Your dog may end up with a trauma and being scarred for life.

It could be worth a trip to a vet clinic that has an anesthesiologist on-site if your pet has serious health issues and poor teeth.

Many health issues, including liver or renal problems, uncontrolled diabetes, and fatigue, might cause a tooth treatment under anesthesia more dangerous, but there are many steps veterinarians can follow to minimize the risk.

In cases of medical conditions the vet may be go for alternatives for anesthesia for dog teeth cleaning.

When canines are kept under anesthesia, they are connected to monitors that send alerts if any symptoms of possible problems appear.

Aside from that, medical professionals keep a close eye on these specific monitors throughout the procedure.

Did you Know?

Elder dogs are more prone to get affected than younger dogs


Now that you know all the possible complications from dog dental cleaning, you can check your pet and talk to your vet if these issues occur in your dog.

You can check out this blog post to see what you can what to expect after dog teeth cleaning.

The cost of dog teeth cleaning may vary depending on what needs to be done.

Your vet will take every possible safety to reduce the chances of any risks and treat your dog according to his health condition.

Training your dog to stay calm might help the vet in focusing and clean your dog’s teeth effectively.