"Maxx" - Jack Russell Cross with Retained Milk Teeth
Puppies have 28 temporary or milk teeth. These are usually lost between 4 and 6 months of age as they are replaced by the 42 adult or permanent teeth. The roots of the temporary teeth usually resorb as the adult teeth erupt directly underneath. This process allows the milk teeth to be then easily dislodged as the adult teeth emerge.
Occasionally, some milk teeth do not fall out. This is particularly true of the canine teeth which are the large fang like teeth at the front of the mouth. When this occurs, it can result in misalignment of the adult teeth or the development of dental disease (plaque and tartar) due to overcrowding. The best form of treatment is the removal of these milk teeth at the earliest opportunity.
Maxx had already been scheduled for a general anaesthetic to perform his castration at 6 months of age when it became apparent that he had 2 retained milk canine teeth already resulting in the build up of tartar. Careful disruption of the periodontal ligament is required to facilitate extraction as these teeth can be easily broken in the process.
At his post operative check up both of Maxx's wounds had healed well and he was fighting fit although a little disappointed that the canine "tooth fairy" hadn't materialised after all that he had endured. No doubt his owners, unable to resist his obvious charm, will consider a retrospective reward.