Age: 3yrs old
Breed: Staffy X
History: Tilly came to Wilston vet for her regular annual vaccination. During her pre-vaccine health check Dr. Nichola Hinchy noticed something strange happening with her teeth. Tilly was unfortunate enough to have a malocclusion of her jaw resulting in a noticeable “under bite”. This means the lower part of her jaw protrudes further forward than the top.
As a result of her under bite, Tilly’s teeth were not aligned correctly and this was causing her upper incisor teeth to rub on her lower canines resulting in severe wear of the lower canine teeth on each side of her mouth. If left for long enough, Tilly would be faced with the painful exposure of tooth’s pulp requiring root canal surgery, so the decision was made to extract the problem teeth. Tilly was booked to have her teeth out under a general anaesthetic later that week.
Examination: Upon closer examination of the teeth while Tilly was asleep, Nichola was left with two options. Firstly, the canines could be removed but they were not damaged enough to warrant such a big, long procedure. The most practical fix was to remove the incisors resulting in a shorter anaesthetic time and easier, less traumatic procedure.
Treatment: The shorter process of removing the incisors was started, after the incisors were removed the craters in the gum were stitched closed and Tilly was sent home with some pain relief and antibiotics.
Follow up: She returned for a check of her mouth a week later and the results looked impressive. Her gums were starting to heal and although Tilly still has her jaw malocclusion, her bite had improved.This meant that now her lower canine teeth would not undergo any further wear from the malocclusion and they would be preserved.
This really shows the importance of regular checkups, even in young dogs like Tilly.