I have a question. I don't think this is a serious thing. I am sending pictures along.
1) I've been waiting for his upper baby canines to come out but they don't seem to be. Is this common? Will they need to be pulled? From what you can see does it look like they have misaligned the adult canines due to lack of space?
2) His lower adult canines seem to be pointing inward toward his jaw instead of finding that gap in front of the upper canine to protrude from. Does this eventually figure itself out?
3) If his teeth need to be pulled I was kind of waiting to have him neutered at the same time. He's 5.5 months now. What age do they get neutered at or should I get the teeth done right away?
Dr. Marie replied:
Hi there Jay!
I'll await your pictures and wait to give you my opinion until I have had a look.
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Dr. Marie replied:
OK Jay, thanks for some great pictures. For the benefit of anyone who comes across this on a Google Search, I'll post them here:
So it looks like Max does have some retained baby teeth (otherwise known as deciduous teeth). Are the baby teeth loose at all? If they are loose then they will likely come out on their own. But in either case, I would probably go ahead with his neuter and have your vet remove the deciduous teeth while he is under anesthetic.
The next part of your question is a hard one to answer. I see, on the first picture, that the lower canine is pointing more to the inside of the mouth than we like to see. It's hard to say though whether this is going to be a problem for Max. Sometimes, once the baby teeth are removed then the adult teeth just sort of figure out where they are supposed to go.
If you were really concerned you could have your vet take some dental xrays (if they have the ability to do that) to see if there is any damage to the roots of the canine teeth. I think that it is quite unlikely that there is any damage though.
If this were my case I would likely remove the baby teeth and then see what happens with the others. Even if they are not perfectly straight, as long as they are not uncomfortable for Max I wouldn't be worried.
I have seen some dogs with dental deformities where the lower canines are causing a hole to form in the roof of the mouth. These, I would consider uncomfortable. But from what I have seen from your photos I don't think they'll be a problem for Max.
But, as usual, an online visit does not take the place of an in person consult so if your vet is suggesting more action needs to be taken then you may want to consider a referral to a veterinary dentist.
Hope that answers your question!
I have sent 2 more pictures. They may be clearer.
At what age would a dog like him be neutered at?
If (if) the tooth does end up hitting the top of the jaw can they do remedial work (is it outrageously expensive) or do they just pull the canine?
Dr. Marie replied:
Thanks Jay. I still think Max will be ok once the baby teeth are gone.
I usually neuter between 5 and 6 months of age.
*If* work needs to be done, in my practice I would simply remove the tooth. (I would likely wait for a while first though and see if this is necessary.) But, another option would be to see a veterinary dentist for some "remodelling".
thinking about it, the baby canine on the opposing side came out weeks ago. The baby canine on this side came out recently - still can see the wound on the gum. I'm not sure if I makes a difference.
One last thing before I head to bed.
You said it may be ok once the baby teeth are gone... but the baby teeth are on the top jaw whereas the canine pointed inwards in on the bottom jaw.
I will keep you informed.
Dr. Marie replied:
Sorry for the delay Jay.
Even after the baby teeth are gone it may take a few months for the jaw to decide where it is eventually going to settle in, so don't be too impatient!
And yes, do keep me updated.
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Dr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.
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