Preventative dentistry chapter
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Pre-treatment Antibiotics



Before the dental procedure it is wise to consider the role of antibiotics. Their role is two fold. Primarily they will prevent the haematogenous seeding of dangerous pathogens during a dental procedure.

Secondly, they will reduce the pathogenicity of the aerosol the operators are exposed to during the procedure.



The use of antibiotics is a clinical decision. They will not be required in every case.


Do You Need to use Antibiotics?

  • Fit and healthy animals undergoing routine scaling and polishing will usually not require any antibiotics as their reticulo-endothelial system can easily handle pulses of bacteraemia from scaling.

  • With moderate to severe cases of periodontal disease, start antibiotic therapy at the time of the premedication injection. Give ampicillin or amoxycillin i/m or clindamycin per os at least 20 minutes pre-op.

  • Severe cases may require up to one week pre-treatment to prevent bacteraemia during surgery.

Remember that whatever antibiotic is dispensed post-operatively the owner will have to be able to comply with your instructions. If the mouth is painful and the patient is uncooperative it may be wise to select an agent on the basis of its palatability and ease of administration.



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