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Retained Deciduous or Baby Teeth in Dogs… Symptoms, expectations and costs!

Something we feel pretty safe assuming is that most folks don’t know that some dogs retain their deciduous Teeth or “baby” teeth.

In fact…

It’s not as uncommon as you would think, particularly among dogs with very small jaws. And while it may not seem like a big deal, this is actually considered a periodontal disease which simply means that it occurs in the mouth.

And while…

The term “retained deciduous” may sound a little complicated it really isn’t. Deciduous teeth simply refers to what we might call “baby teeth” in humans and when dogs suffer from this condition they do not lose their baby teeth, forcing the adult teeth to grow in the wrong place.

As a result…

Dogs with this condition have too many teeth in their mouths in their younger years, but as the baby teeth finally do come away they are left with a malformed bite which can make eating difficult and lead to other periodontal conditions.

And…

If the baby teeth are left to rot in the mouth then they will also require extensive dental treatment, often with the pup needing to be unconscious for the duration. And just as a general rule of thumb, it’s safe to say that an unconscious dog in any procedure is dangerous, so you can see how this condition might result in either a lifetime of pain and discomfort or an operation to correct it.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet wanted to take a closer look at Retained Deciduous Teeth and find out exactly what it is and what we can do about it.

What is retained deciduous teeth in dogs, and where does it come from?

Retained deciduous teeth in dogs are thought to be genetically inherited from parents. They most often occur in the canine teeth and can be present in both dogs and cats.

That said however…

This condition almost never happens in the molars because dogs do not replace their pre-molars and molars as humans do, but all other teeth are subject to this strange periodontal disease.

In this disease…

The baby teeth, or the Primary Teeth, are still in the mouth when the adult teeth emerge. It is usually evident when puppy stages are drawing to a close and may affect several teeth or just one tooth. The canine is the most often retained tooth, leading to an eternal hampering of your dog’s bite.

Additionally…

Retained baby teeth can cause pain in the mouth and gums, and can also lead to permanent malocclusions, where the teeth have large gaps.

This condition starts…

When the “milk teeth” fail to naturally fall away through regular wear and tear and the normal teething process. The adult teeth then erupt underneath and push the milk teeth aside. The adult teeth will grow in regardless of which direction they face, and this can impact the surrounding teeth and force them to protrude too.

This condition is…

Typically, first detectable between the age of four and seven months while your dog is still a puppy. Since it is an inherited condition, check with your breeder before you buy if the dog’s parents have any family history of retained deciduous teeth.

A deciduous canine teeth…

Are usually the worst of the retained culprits. Canine teeth are used for ripping and tearing into meat, so when this tooth is misaligned the dog is left at a serious advantage when it comes to tearing into those bones – particularly when it comes to the upper canine teeth.

In cases like these…

Extraction of the baby tooth root from the jaw before tartar rots them is essential, and dental surgery will be required to correct it.

This is why…

One of the first things your vet is going to want to examine during your dog’s first check up is their teeth.  During this initial examination, your vet will want to check your puppy’s mouth and jaw just to make sure there are no clinical signs of Retained Deciduous Teeth. Doing so will catch the problem before there are any permanent issues.

Unfortunately…

There is little we can do to prevent it. It is treatable and, if caught in time, it can be prevented from doing any awful permanent damage to your little dog’s mouth.

Affected breeds

There are a number of breeds associated with this condition because it is inherited. It is more common in brachycephalic dog breeds (that’s those with shorter snouts) as they have smaller jaw-lines and less room for teeth to erupt. That being said, the known breeds to suffer from this condition are:

  • The Boston Terrier
  • The Boxer
  • The Lhasa Apso
  • The Maltese
  • The Pomeranian
  • The Poodle
  • The Shih Tzu
  • The Yorkshire Terrier

Treatment Options

Your Vet will want to do some dental X-rays to diagnose this condition for certain. Once done, they will want to rush your dog through dental extraction of the milk teeth as soon as possible in order to prevent the adult teeth from coming through at odd angles and forming malocclusions which could further damage your dog’s jaw over time.

Once the procedure…

Has been completed your dog should go on to live a happy and carefree life. Without the procedure they will have a lifetime of troubles when it comes to chewing. Surgery can be expensive but it is very, very worth it.

Which brings us to…

Were we like to remind folks that we here at IndulgeYourPet are not doctors, veterinarians or medical professionals.  All we are is a bunch of folks who just happen to be passionate about animals and only want what’s best for them.

This is why…

If you feel like your pet may have Retained Deciduous Teeth (or any other health issue for that matter) the first thing that you’re going to want to do is have him or her check out by a vet ASAP!

Because…

The truth is, an early diagnosis will often lead to the “best” medical outcome for your pet regardless of what is bothering him or her, but beyond that diagnosing a medical condition early could save you a bundle in medical costs!

And while…

Suffering from retained “baby teeth” may not be life threatening, they can certainly become quite expensive to deal with particularly if they become recurring issues.

This is why…

We here at IndulgeYourPet also recommend that any new pet owner take a moment and see what it might cost for you to purchase a pet insurance policy for your new animal.

Now will a pet insurance policy be right for everyone?

No, probably not.  But until you fully understand what these policies “will” and “won’t” cover and how much these pet insurance policies cost, how will you know if one might be right for you?

For more information on who we feel currently offers the “best” pet insurance policies out there, we would encourage you to check out our Best Pet Insurance Policies article.

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