The incidence and severity of dental disease increases
with age, however some very young patients can be quite
drastically affected by a number of developmental problems.
Malocclusion (abnormal interlocking of the upper and lower
teeth) is a very common finding and can involve a variety
of discrepancies in relation to the length of the upper
jaw (maxilla) to the lower jaw (mandible).
Where the maxilla is relatively short in relation to the
mandible, this can in certain breeds (e.g.. Boxer, Shih
Tzu) be encouraged as the "breed standard"! Fortunately,
in most cases these "abnormalities" do not appear
to adversely affect the patient.
Daisy's jaws however were actually both of the correct
length. Her problem was that the lower jaw was very narrow
and the large canine tooth was positioned at an abnormal
angle resulting in this tooth traumatising the upper hard
palate. Were this left untreated it would continue to cause
considerable pain and discomfort and would eventually penetrate
the nasal passage.
It was only when "Daisy" came in for her routine
"spaying" procedure that one of my eagle eyed
nursing staff, Tracey
Clarke, who has advanced qualifications in dentistry
spotted the deep ulcer that was developing in "Daisy's"
upper hard palate.Further discussions with Daisy's owners
did in fact reveal that she had started to struggle with
The treatment was straight forward enough: remove the offending
tooth and the cause of pain and discomfort disappears. The
extraction of these teeth however is never an easy task
as the tooth is fundamentally healthy and very securely
attached. Consequently, it requires a considerable degree
of effort and patience.
Fortunately the hard work has paid off and Daisy can get
back to doing what dogs enjoy most "having a good chew!"