Dogs teeth need just as much care as every other part of the dog. Imagine having toothache daily and no let up of pain. Some breeds of dogs such as toy breeds loose teeth much earlier than HPR breeds. One vet told me years ago Pugs rot from the inside out. Talking of teeth that is,
We should check our dogs teeth regular so we know what’s normal and know what’s abnormal.
Did you know dogs have 42 teeth in their head ? Unless you show dogs or judge you probably wouldn’t even know. In Europe they count teeth carefully. In the UK judges tend to look at bite and thats it.
The normal bite for a Vizsla is called a scissor bite. This is the front teeth slightly overlapping the bottom set.
The normal bite for a Frenchie is a slightly under shot mouth. This means the bottom jaw is longer than the top set of teeth. Any Brachycephalic breed of dog will have a slight undershot jaw. This is normal for these breeds.
So what is not normal ? Very large undershot jaw in any of the breed, with a large gap. Over shot so top teeth over lap by a long way the bottom teeth with big gap between. Pigeon mouth is where the top of the mouth is arched causing abnormality. Wry mouth which is where the bottom jaw is twisted to the top. Also check for redness of the gum or any rubbing from misaligned teeth.
Puppies mouthes change, and if for example a dog has two close a scissor bite it can turn a level bite once the adult teeth come in. Dogs with a slight gap may look goofy but can end up with the proper scissor bite once adult. You need some patience. Also as dogs grow older teeth can change again.
Some dogs are born with teeth missing, which is incorrect.
Some dogs are born with canines cutting into the gum. Be patient though as when the dogs head changes shape the teeth will change also. Never be too quick to do operations on the mouth on a puppy. Their is a current trend with in vets to mis diagnose mouth issues, operate. When if you leave the mouth for a time it could totally alter. A friend of mine sold a puppy and her vet had checked pup. Next vet said dog needed operation. So she had puppy back and took it back to her vets. They confirmed their was nothing wrong with the bite. A lot of vets do not even know that some breeds of dog can be overshot and its normal. You dont get a boxer head, frenchie head shape with out a slightly undershot jaw, its what defines the short muzzle.
So what do we need to do for our dogs teeth? You need to keep them clean. Now it is near impossible to clean pugs mouthes as they clamp the jaw down. You can add supplement to diet called plaque off which can help keep plaque away. You can have your dogs teeth cleaned at the vets.
For a vizsla we use a tooth scraper to remove any tartar build up. Dogs fed raw meaty bones have less dirty teeth compared to complete dried fed dogs or tinned meat dogs.
Rub a microfibre cloth inside the dogs mouth to check what it feels like, if you notice lumps appearing on the teeth then it probably needs a scale and polish you can also put doggy toothpaste on a brush or micro fibre cloth and clean your dogs teeth.
If you own a Pug however you may well have to ask your vet to clean the teeth after a few years and have teeth removed also.
I have written this as a reminder as today one of my pugs had dental work done. He was in pain from his teeth and several were removed. He already feels so much better. I’m so grateful to our vet who did it, as it was not a straight forward job. The dog was either over dosed as a youngster by a different vet during a GA and it caused him to die on the table, or he had an allergic reaction. They never recorded the drugs used or what happened, which is actually against the law. But we are thankful that our vet took time to slowly sedate him with no problems what so ever and he came around nicely from the drug and is now laying on my bed fast asleep, happy to be home. Pugs will always need dental being done from the age of 6 in some cases.
Mrs Rachel Savage