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Old 03-26-2013, 05:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included

Hi All,

My Mojo is a 5 month old GSD. He has an overbite. After going over my concern with the breeder, she suggested that in a prior litter with the same sire/dam that she was aware of a potential overbite in one pup, but that it had miraculously corrected itself by 9 months (and apparently the vet of that dog was made to eat his words, as he believed it would not correct itself).

After seeing one specialist about Mojo, and another for a second opinion, both are of the opinion that this will not correct itself. The specialist we decided to work with is of the "watch and wait" mentality. He is not optimistic that it will correct, but doesn't see a problem in letting me wait it out to see if that lower jaw catches up. Apparently if the lower jaw is in front of the bump on the roof of the mouth (sorry, cannot recall technical term) the likelihood of correction is good, if behind the bump correction is very slim (Mojo is behind the bump). His plan, should it not correct, is to pull his top two ADULT canines to make room for the bottom adult canines (and follow up with ball therapy 45 min/day to get those bottom canines to splay).

With that said, today when I was poking around in Mojo's mouth, I noticed that one of his his lower adult canines (about 1/2 emerged...still teething...has one baby canine remaining to lose) is poking a pretty nice hole in the roof of his mouth. Now, I'm all about watch and wait, but is this causing him pain? Should I be concerned about potential infection? I really hate to see him lose those top adult canines....I recognize its an aesthetic factor and that ultimately I just want the best care for him....but still...

I've attached a few pictures. The gap is not large enough for me to stick my pinkie finger in. The last picture I've indicated with a red arrow the puncture to the roof of his mouth.

If anyone has any guidance, experience, thoughts, please do share. I emailed these same images to the dental specialist today but haven't heard back yet.

Thanks,
Andrea
Attached Thumbnails
Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included-photo-1.jpg   Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included-photo-2.jpg   Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included-photo-3.jpg   Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included-photo-4.jpg   Overbite in Five Month Pup - Pics Included-photo-5.jpg  


Last edited by MIShep; 03-26-2013 at 05:52 PM.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Poor little dude!
I would encourage him to chew on some fresh knucklebones if he would(probably in pain though) it may help move the teeth and get that puppy tooth out. I hope the specialist can do the least invasive procedures to get his alignment situated. I have a dog that I adopted at 21 mos. Her alignment is horrid and I wish I'd had her at a younger age so she could have had some help...she has a severe underbite.
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Old 03-26-2013, 06:52 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My last boy had a similar indentation in the roof of his mouth around 5-6 months and he outgrew it and then his bite looked fine for the rest of his life! The hole/dent did not get any worse- did not perforate or bleed.

Someone once told me that German Shepherd puppies' upper jaws grow faster than the lower ones do.
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Old 03-27-2013, 07:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I did do braces in a GSD years ago (Toby) because of such a misalignment resulting in the roof of the mouth being nearly penetrated. We did not, however, have the issue with the lower jaw being short . My issue was related to a lower retained canine pushing the tooth over. The braces made of some plastic the vet molded and other than a soft diet, did not bother the dog one bit.

I would spend the money now to get that retained canine removed; if it has not come out now and is not brown that root is probably still intact and just yanking it out could be dicy and leave fragments behind etc.

I would definitely ONLY let a board certified veterinary dentist touch the canines -Removing the upper canines can be challenging but the lower ones are significant in that the roots are part of the jaw structure and removing those weakens the lower jaw. It is not going to be cheap, I am afraid.

I think there was someone else on the board who actually had a tooth penetrate the palate. You definitely don't want to let that happen so I would be watching every day.
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Old 03-27-2013, 09:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I agree with Jocoyn, the puppy canine needs to be removed as quickly as possible. Its just another issue in his mouth preventing proper alignment.
This many or many not correct to be honest. I have seen some that have and some that haven't. I sold a puppy, a gorgeous 6 month old show prospect with a bite this severe. I had kept him that long, hoping it would fix itself... I sold him, the owners neutered him and at about a year old I saw him again. Yep, you guessed it, his bite had corrected and his mouth/teeth were beautiful.
The lower jaw on all dogs is the "growing" jaw, not just GSD. That is why overbites can correct themselves, without too much intervention. Underbites, where the bottom jaw is longer than top is the real problem that just gets worse
If you decide to have canines removed, don't let them remove bottom canines, although I see your vet recommended the top ones. The bottom ones hold in the tongue and without the bottom canines, the tongue will usually hang out the side of the mouth.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had a Malinois in the past whose teeth looked like that at the same age and she outgrew it and had a beautiful bite in the end. It is nerve wrecking in the meantime. But yes, get that puppy teeth out asap.
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Old 03-27-2013, 11:55 AM   #7 (permalink)
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If it were me, I would get the retained canine removed and then wait a little longer.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thank you for your replies. His last baby canine (on top near the puncture area) is wiggly. If it follows the same course as his other baby teeth, it should be out in the next couple days. At what point should I worry about that lower adult canine that is hitting the roof? I've still not received an email response from the specialist, but I have a feeling he's going to tell me to make a decision soon once he sees the palate puncture. I read so many success stories on here about overbites correcting themselves, I want to believe Mojo will correct as well...but I don't want to damage his mouth or cause him any pain while we wait it out. Rock and hard place. Ugh.
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Wouldn't it be possible to fasten a protective plate over the area that he may puncture to wait out natural correction? I am sure in human dentistry this is done.
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Old 03-28-2013, 10:44 AM   #10 (permalink)
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The dental specialist got back with me yesterday. His response:

Unfortunately it is a work in progress. Long term the palatal trauma will be a problem. Short term - one to two months, not a problem. Lots of tug of war and "ball therapy."
Send me some images in two weeks and let me see any changes.

So we will continue with the waiting game and continue doing the hopeful dance that it fixes itself.
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