Sometimes when a tooth needs removal, there’s plenty of time to explain why. However, most of the time, you get a hurried phone call while your dog or cat is asleep. There’s really nothing you can do but trust us.
Let’s pull back the curtain. Here I want to show you, using the latest best practice guidelines, how vets decide when a tooth should be extracted (never pulled), and what your choices are.
The key to a dog’s teeth developing properly is that it isn’t just programming. Sure, their structure and growth are genetic, but a tooth’s final position is dictated by the teeth around it.
When it works well, each tooth finds the gap it needs and they all end up being perfectly spaced. But what you see above is what happens when there are extra teeth in the way. These are persistent deciduous teeth.
Have a look at the rabbit’s teeth in the picture above. What you can see are the lower incisors coming out of the mouth and almost touching the nose. What you can’t see are the upper incisors curling inside the mouth in a similar way.
Much further and any one of them will create a painful wound and prevent eating. Horrible! Why this happens is due to a fact that surprisingly few rabbit owners know.
Every so often I’m reminded that I’m not doing such a great job. As part of a routine health check, I’ll be checking a dog’s teeth. “Wow,” I say, “Good job! You must give him a raw bone at least every week to get teeth this good.”
Cleaning a cat’s teeth? ARGGH. Before you throw your hands up in horror, here’s a secret: it’s easier than dogs! You just need to know how. Here we will tell you what you can do for dental care in cats.