Do I have to give antibiotics after oral surgery?

Dr. Jeff

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<blockquote>I finally had my dog’s tooth extracted and everything went well. There wasn’t any abscess before the surgery but they gave me antibiotics for prevention. After some research and talking with others who have been through it.. I decided not to use them.

They sent him home with antibiotics and I can’t decide if I should use these either. I understand about bacteria possibly getting into his system and causing more problems. But if he hasn’t had an abscess yet, why would he get one now? I’m also giving him a herbal immune system booster and detoxifier so wouldn’t that take care of any bacteria anyway..

Jen</blockquote>

 

Dr. Jeff

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There is some evidence for use of antibiotics *immediately* after dentistry or especially after dental surgery or tooth extraction. The mouth is full of potentially harmful bacteria. Intact tissues in the mouth as well as strong local and systemic immunity help maintain equilibrium. When the mouth-blood barrier is breached (such as with the bleeding present in dental surgery) bacteria can enter the blood stream. Antibiotics are given prophylactically ("just in case").

Of course, there are no studies that show that this practice is warranted clinically, and I almost never recommend it (perhaps I would in an immune-compromised individual). Anti-biotics can do more harm than good.

When a patient is responding well to a carefully chosen homeopathic remedy, is eating a species-appropriate diet and is not getting over-vaccinated or suppressed the “terrain” of the body is optimized. These individuals rarely get secondary infections of any sort.

Bottom line in this situation (whether to use “prophylactic” antibiotics) is that you should educate yourself about the options, and then talk to your vet about this topic (and others like diet, suppressing symptoms, vaccination, etc.). It is very important that the two of you are on the same wavelength so that you can help your dog get the best health care possible.

Dr. Jeff
 

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