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Baby teeth in animals can cause permanent problems

Dental problems, especially in dogs are becoming increasingly more common and luckily the modern dog owner recognises that veterinary intervention is necessary at an early stage.

One common problem we see here at East Bundaberg Veterinary hospital is that puppies are not losing their deciduous canine teeth at the right time (this means that as the permanent canine tooth comes through and it is not pushing out the baby canine tooth out properly) 

If the permanent canine is disrupted in the normal path it is supposed to take by the retention of the baby tooth – this can then lead to major occlusion problems for life. This occurs especially if the permanent canine is forced INSIDE the baby tooth.

If the tooth can not mesh properly with the other canines then often the food is forced into the opposing jaw. This is especially seen if the bottom canine is involved – it is forced into the hard palate of the upper jaw – this can stop the jaw from closing properly of even in some cases the tooth is forced into the nasal cavity.

We are seeing quite a few dogs with this problem in the last few years and if they are left too long then serious problems can arise later in life. Also if they are left too long then to fix the problem it is a specialist job and can become very expensive.

The best time to minimise the cost and get it fixed is when the permanent tooth is trying to come through. The treatment at that time is to simply remove the baby tooth as so that it does not disrupt the passage of the canine tooth

It is obvious in some dogs that they can or will have problems – even as puppies they have obvious problems in the bottom jaw where the mandible (bottom jaw) is narrower than the maxilla (top jaw). These dogs should all have their temporary canines removed at six months of age before they cause problems with the permanent canines.

Otherwise, all puppies should be examined by their owner at this crucial time of 5-7 months to watch if and how the permanent canines are erupting. If there appears to be some form of disruption to the passage of the new tooth especially if the baby tooth is forcing the new tooth inwards – then it is my advise that you get veterinary intervention as soon as possible

A minor cost initially could save you a major cost later in life

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