Milly and Molly are two very sweet little Yorkshire terriers who came to see us last month. Dr Cathy had vaccinated them both a few weeks prior to their visit and noted that they both had retained baby teeth. Unlike humans, dogs and cats are born with a set of deciduous (baby) teeth which fall around 4-6 months of age as the adult permanent teeth erupt.
Sometimes, however, the deciduous teeth do not fall out as the permanent teeth push through and this can cause significant dental disease. The teeth sit next to each other and food and other matter get caught in between them, leading to tartar and plaque formation and gingivitis. The retained teeth can also push the adult teeth into an abnormal position, causing further problems with poor occlusion of the teeth.
Unfortunately both Milly and Molly had retained their deciduous upper teeth so these needed to be extracted. The lovely little dogs had a day stay with us, their retained teeth removed and the rest of their teeth cleaned and polished. They now have lovely looking teeth and let's hope the tooth fairy visited them that night!