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Thread: Dental problems

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) CaseysMom's Avatar

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    I took Casey to the vet today because I noticed this morning that his gums in the front of his bottom jaw were red and inflamed, to the point where I could barely see his teeth. The vet told me he needs his teeth cleaned, but he has gingivitis and it is rare to see it in a dog this young (he turned 3 in March). They showed me that his gums are irritated and overgrowing his teeth in the back as well; it is so bad that he said Casey will possibly need to have the excess gum tissue cut and removed! Then they said he will probably have to have his teeth cleaned twice a year to keep the plaque down. Then - the best part was when he said that this type of problem in a dog his age means that his immune system must be weak. I was hoping it would be a little swelling/infection we could fix with an antibiotic!

    He doesn't seem to be in pain; is running, barking and playing as usual and is having absolutely no problem eating. However, I know that Pyrs have a very high pain tolerance, so I need to get this done ASAP. The clinic I use is a well-pet, vaccinations and exam type of place and they don't do any procedures requiring general anesthesia, so I'm now going to have to take him to a full-service veterinary clinic. Both dogs need teeth cleanings, but I was advised to get Casey's done first. I see a second job in my future to pay the vet bills!

    Has anyone else had this type of problem with your Pyrs?

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    oh my CaseysMom....it's always something!

    Rudy had to have his teeth cleaned last Fall...but that was in addition to getting some foxtails out of his ears. His teeth had a bit of plaque on them, but that was all.

    When the vet did Rudy's teeth I vowed to brush his teeth, even if it's only a quick brush...he hates it...
    the other thing I do is give him Science Diet T/D large nuggets for treats...I get it at the vet's office, around
    $20 a bag...but they are treats to him...specifically after his meals, it has helped keep the plaque down.

    I hope there is a clinic that will work with you on cost....

    hugs to you...pets to Casey

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    My previous maremma had this problem. She had an epulis removal and biopsy. An epulis is just an abnormal growth of the gums that covers the teeth. If left untreated, it would interfere with chewing. I had it done with her dental cleaning. I think she developed this around age nine. My vet said it is common in middle aged or older dogs. Unfortunately it came back a year or two after the surgery and her teeth were covered again. I think this is a genetic problem that doesn't have much with food or maintenance on your part. I'm sorry this really sucks. I wish I could tell you it was inexpensive and easily preventable. If it is gingivitis, it would be much easier to fix with regular brushing and perhaps raw food. I heard it helps get rid of plaque.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Jewel's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    An epulis is just an abnormal growth of the gums that covers the teeth.
    Wow, one more thing I've learned from these forums. Didn't know anything about this condition before. Thanks for sharing!

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) Tsunibear's Avatar

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    I was talking to a Pyr breeder once and they told me that it was a common breed trait. I don't know about the twice a year cleaning though that doesn't sound right to me.

  6. #6
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) CaseysMom's Avatar

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    [QUOTE=snow0160;97542]My previous maremma had this problem. She had an epulis removal and biopsy. An epulis is just an abnormal growth of the gums that covers the teeth. If left untreated, it would interfere with chewing. I had it done with her dental cleaning. I think she developed this around age nine. My vet said it is common in middle aged or older dogs. Unfortunately it came back a year or two after the surgery and her teeth were covered again. I think this is a genetic problem that doesn't have much with food or maintenance on your part. I'm sorry this really sucks. I wish I could tell you it was inexpensive and easily preventable. If it is gingivitis, it would be much easier to fix with regular brushing and perhaps raw food. I heard it helps get rid of plaque.[/QUOTE

    Thanks for posting; I hadn't heard of this before either. The vet told me I could just have a cleaning done to see if that would work, but I don't want Casey to have to go under anesthesia twice. Were you able to take your dog home the same day? How long was the recovery period?
    I've gotten recommendations from friends (but it doesn't help when they say, "_____ is a good vet, but she's expensive.") The clinic vet told me it was gingivitis, but his gums are growing over his teeth. He told me that after the cleaning I will need to brush his teeth regularly and give him those Greenies things to help keep his teeth clean. Unfortunately, some of Casey's parents' puppies have had genetic issues; one had to be euthanized at about a year old due to a congenital hip joint problem which was causing lameness and severe pain, and it broke my friend's heart.
    I'm sitting here looking at my sweet boy (they always look sweet when they're sleeping, right? ), and he deserves the best after his rough start in life. I may call around tomorrow and see if I can get him in to be examined by a full-service vet. This isn't going to get any better on its own, and since I'm taking the day after Labor Day off I may plan it for that long weekend.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    I am so sorry but genetic illnesses are really unfair to the pup. How old is Casey? I am actually dealing with a genetic issue right now with my puppy. She is 8 months old and has a malformed vulva, which makes her prone to bladder infections. She currently has a kidney infection but thankfully all of this can be corrected from surgery.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) CaseysMom's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by snow0160 View Post
    I am so sorry but genetic illnesses are really unfair to the pup. How old is Casey? I am actually dealing with a genetic issue right now with my puppy. She is 8 months old and has a malformed vulva, which makes her prone to bladder infections. She currently has a kidney infection but thankfully all of this can be corrected from surgery.
    Casey just had his third birthday in March. I don't talk about it much on this open forum, but I get very angry when I think about backyard breeders who don't neuter their dogs and run the females into the ground having litter after litter of puppies with no consideration of the breed standard and the passing on of genetic defects which are not apparent when people see Pyr puppies (and there's nothing cuter in my opinion) but can lead to heartbreak further down the line; and you're right, it's NOT fair to the pups. The area in which I was living was infamous for this; dogs are used as money-making opportunities. Then so many people buy that cute little puppy but when it grows to the size of a miniature horse, the Pyr rescue organizations have to clean up the mess when these beautiful, sensitive dogs are turned into shelters (if they're lucky). I won't go into further detail in this arena, but I'm so relieved that I'm out of that part of the state and back into a more progressive area. Okay, I'll get off my soapbox now, but I saw so much in the last three years that I've connected with a Pyr rescue group in Houston to do whatever I can to help.

    I'm sorry to hear about your puppy's issue and relieved to know it can be corrected. I got good news about Casey when I took him to the vet yesterday. She used a long clinical term for the overgrowth of gum tissue, but after examining him she said it wasn't as severe as I thought, and she believes it should be correctable with a dental cleaning. She also saw several teeth which felt a little loose, but she believes in being conservative, so we're taking it one step at a time. I scheduled his cleaning for the last Friday in August and will be vigilant about tooth brushing and dental chews from then on.

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    Old Dawg (Senior Member) snow0160's Avatar

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    I'm glad that Casey is going to be ok and it isn't very severe because she is so very young. My dog Kit came from a very reputable breeder who tested both parents OFA for hips and elbow. Unfortunately, genetic testing minimizes health issues rather than eliminate them. I know someone who got a dog from a great breeder who has several generations of OFA testing and both the parents were show dogs. Her dog ended up with hip dysplasia despite all of this. Kit's pedigree shows multiple champions in both her parent's bloodline. Hypoplastic vulva seem to be common in giant breeds and I suppose it is like a innie vs an outtie bellie button. If what I am reading is correct, sometimes this goes away after the first heat cycle. Other people experience this from spaying their dog before they are done developing. For specific issues like this or epulis, I am not sure breeders can know ahead of time.

  10. #10
    Old Dawg (Senior Member) nick's spirit's Avatar

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    CaseysMom...nice to hear that the vet thinks Casey's cleaning will help him & surgery won't be needed!!!

    those dental chews should really help keep his teeth pearly white!!

    let us know how things go for him

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