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jrid

overbite

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I have an 8 1/2 week old puppy that has what I consider to be a fairly bad overbite. I am taking him to the dog dentist this afternoon to see if there is anything that can be done to help him. I was wondering if any one else has had a puppy with a bad bite and what was the outcome with their bite as an adult dog.

 

thanks

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By the way, my plan for this puppy is that he gets neutered. I just don't want him to have to endure mouth pain his entire life.

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I have a friend with a rescue that has an overbite. Near as I can tell the only issue she has is that she's a bit sloppier when eating. It's an obvious overbite, but without seeing your pup's overbite, it would be hard to say. Perhaps ask your vet when you go in for a well puppy check?

 

J.

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I had a puppy that had a very bad overbite (lab, not a bc). When he was around 4-5 months old I took him to a dog dentist who explained to me all of the things they could do and what I should be looking out for in his mouth (it's amazing what they can do with dog teeth). Ace (the puppy) also was starting to get his adult teeth in and had a few baby teeth lingering and the dentist urged me to get them out asap because they could impede the teeth coming in. He wanted to charge me about $800 to take out the teeth and x-ray Ace's mouth. I called my regular vet and told her and she said she'd pull them out when she neutered him so I just got him in to be neutered earlier than I had intended and she pulled them out for nothing. I did keep taking Ace to the dentist periodically until he was done growing because there was a chance for real problems as the adult teeth came in. I got lucky in the the canine teeth (which were a concern because of their positioning) came in ok and they line up enough on the top and bottom. The only other concern was the teeth in the very front and them putting pressure on and causing ulcers in his upper palette (the front bottom teeth lined up with the roof of his mouth) which hasn't happened. Ace is now 3 and still has about a 3/4 to 1 inch overbite but no problems in his mouth except that he has a hard time picking up flat things from the ground, like frisbees, because of the overbite. I think I made the right decision by taking a wait and see attitude instead of trying to fix the bite at all. There were several things that could have been done to change the overbite and the position of his teeth but in the end they only would have been cosmetic.

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We've had rescues (adults) with bad overbites. It's a simple recessive genetic defect (I think) and one of the good reasons to not only view the parents of a litter you are consider, but also adults from previous litters or close relatives if that's not possible (first time cross, for instance).

 

You can only judge the severity of an overbite after the pup is pretty well-grown. Overbites appear between eight and twelve weeks and then go away as the jaw settles into its adult form - this is normal. I do not believe any correction would be done until this happens, except in extreme cases. I'd only be concerned about an overbite at this age if it was interfering with eating or there was a specific danger from the mismatched dentition.

 

Later, a severe overbite can be corrected with surgeries that involved breaking the lower jaw and extending it with plates. We had one dog, littermate sister to my Ben, who had to have this done. Thankfully, she was adopted by someone willing to do this for her, though CBCR certainly would have come through. To give you some perspective, you could see a clear two inches of the roof of her mouth when you viewed her head from below. Kibble would fall out of her mouth and I had to do some experimenting to find something that she could eat (I ended up combining kibble with canned so that the canned food stuck the kibble together).

 

I've seen a couple more that were fairly bad but surgery was not recommended on these dogs. I hope that helps. Don't do any surgery at this age without a second opinion, if possible.

 

Also, be sure to tell your breeder about the overbite if it turns out to be a real defect rather than a growth issue. Your pup's parents will continue to produce bad bites and should not be bred to each other again.

 

Good luck!

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I've seen young pups with really bad overbites. An agility friend has one and had it corrected. Dog is doing OK!

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My Petie, now 13, has a horrible overbite. I mean really bad. He was still a puppy when his lower canines started pressing into his upper palate, causing infection. I took him to the vet school, and the number one soft-tissue surgeon said we needed to wait a short time, but his plan was to remove the tops from the lower canines, trimming the teeth to make them lower, then cap them. Root canals, basically. I think we waited 2-3 months.

 

I took him back, left him for surgery, and got a phone call about half an hour later. His lower canines had deflected outward so much that he no longer needed the surgery. Now, he has one ugly mouth, and he eats in a funny way, and he has bad breath, but he hasn't otherwise been bothered by it.

 

I had already planned to neuter him (and did).

 

Many years later, I took Cap to a canine dentist at a nearby specialty hospital. I noticed that the soft-tissue surgeon was now practicing there. I told the dentist about Petie, and she laughed. Now when they see a problem like Petie's, they send you home with a hard ball and a "prescription" to have the dog chew on the ball a certain amount of time each day. That makes the teeth deflect outwards, like Petie's did, and surgery isn't needed.

 

Edited to add: This all happened before Petie was a year old.

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Thanks everyone for your replies. I took my puppy to dog dentist yesterday. He took a wait and see approach and told me to get the puppy a kong ball to chew on. At the present time his canines are deflecting out enough that the vet thinks they might be okay. I will take the puppy back to the dentist at about 5 1/2 months and see

how it is going. Let's hope the ball works!

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Just keep an eye on the lower incisors to make sure they don't start damaging (digging into) the upper palate. If they do, you might have to have the lower incisors pulled. A friend who just went through this with her pup said that the dentist she used went ahead and pulled them in hopes that "lack of any interference" would enable the lower jaw to go ahead and grow to its max before the adult teeth were in and set.

 

Question for the group...Is this something that is a common genetic fault in Border Collies (certain lines?). The only dental problems I ever saw in Goldens were a "level bite" (or slight underbite) and missing pre-molars, which I know are genetically passed, but cosmetic for the most part.

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I do have a dog with a severe overbite. I chose not to have the dental work done that would "correct" her condition as it was quite extensive and I didn't want to put her through it. Her canine teeth at a very early age were pushing on her upper palate. They did a reduction and sealing process, that I have to have checked periodicly. They opted to not do a vital puplotomy at the times since she was so young and the teeth were healthy. So far it has worked great, and she has had no problems. Her canines early on would have caused severe damage to her upper palate. Also her overbite makes it hard for her to eat sometimes and she drinks differently than the other dogs. She's spayed so it won't get passed on.

Andrea D.

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