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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Dog
Satisfied Customers: 8689
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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I have an 11 year old maltese who went in for a dental

Customer Question

I have an 11 year old maltese who went in for a dental cleaning. The vet called midway through and asked if she could remove some extra skin that was under her tongue. I said okay after she assured me there were no risks involved. She still wasn't really eating much after 3 days and I took her back in and the vet said she was still really swollen so gave me some pain meds. She started to eat canned food a few days later but in doing so bit through the side of her tongue. It is now a gray color and looks to be necrotic. They seem to think they will have to sedate her and remove the dead skin. Could they have hit a nerve during the dental cleaning and removal of the skin?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Dog
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Absolutely. The potential always exists for a nerve to be compromised during skin removal and for there to be secondary complications from it. I do doubt, however, that your vet could have predicted this. Typically we associate nerves with deeper tissue and most skin growths won't have a nerve present within them and so close to the surface.

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Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Is it typical that the wound would start to become necrotic after 24 hours? Maybe the nerve is just damaged from the amount of swelling present. Do you think it is a good idea to put her under again on Friday to remove the gray dead skin? Could that bring on more complications? This has been a nightmare. I knew that removing the skin was not a good idea! It never bothered her before.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

If the tissue is compromised, yes, we can see tissue dying off that quickly. I think debridement would be wise as the tissue is going to slough anyhow. Complications are a risk with this procedure too, but hopefully more limited with the removal of non-viable tissue this time around.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

Checking in, Laura. How is your girl doing today?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
It looks like the dead, gray part of her tongue is gone. Maybe as she was eating it came off??? I am going to take her back to the vet so maybe she won't need the debridement. She still is having difficulty eating as I think her tongue is still numb. Hopefully that isn't permanent.
Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.

I agree, it sounds like that area may have come off while she was eating. Hopefully this is not permanent. Many dogs who do have nerve damage will regain some feeling and hopefully that's the case for her. Please keep me posted on her progress.

Expert:  PitRottMommy replied 11 months ago.