Adult rescue dog still has baby canines. Pull or not?
Disclaimer: I'm living in Korea at the moment, and don't have a lot of faith in the vets here for a variety of reasons.
We just adopted a dog from an animal shelter/network here. We've been told by three vets that he's 2 years old. The vet whose clinic was housing the dog said that he was healthy and had no problems.
He came with some fungal infections on his sides that we cleared up, and a cough that has also been medicated away. He's tested negative for heartworm, and is gaining weight.
The vet that we're using seems knowledgeable, however I wanted to check in with COTH about the dental thing. The Internet info that I can find is all aimed at puppies, so: should we get the baby canines pulled or not? He has his adult teeth as well, and they are next to each other, but they don't seem to push on each other. The vet has said that the concern is about cavities. My concern is about pulling big teeth from an adult dog, and how in the world do we keep it clean after? I remember having my own wisdom teeth pulled, and I was left with holes that I had to pack with gauze.
Secondly, the poor boy has been debarked. He also has an occasional raspy cough if he pulls on his leash too much, and has a hiccupping episode a few times a week. The vet has said that these are fine, but what's your take on it? Get a third opinion?
For the record, we're dealing with a well-qualified, popular vet in a fairly posh neighbourhood. He seems competent and has explained what he's been doing and why to us when we have gone in, but I still have reservations about the teeth.
Typically when dogs come in for spay/neuter and they still have their baby teeth, those get pulled and there is no special care afterward for the teeth. They are under anesthesia when the teeth are pulled.
Coughing when pulling on the leash seems normal to me. If you are dealing with a well qualified vet and what he's been advising you has worked and you have had no red flag warnings, I guess I would continue to use is advice.
Yes, get the teeth pulled. They are deciduous teeth and meant to fall out, so the recovery will be NOTHING like an adult human having four four-rooted teeth removed. You may deal with cavities, malocclusion, plaque build-up, etc.
Life-long horse lover, dreaming of the day when I have one of my very own.
I agree, get the teeth pulled. No dire emergency to have them done, but they are going to start to decay at somepoint.
The cough - most likely he's collapsing his trachea. In most dogs its nothing to worry about, as when you relieve the pressure they are fine. Some small breed dogs have a congenital defect where the collapse their own trachea, so with even mild pressure (or none at all) they cough. If this happens it can be very serious and result in an emergency situation. If the dog doesnt cough off the leash, I would be far less concerned.
My Yorkie (who I got when he was 4) retained his entire lower set of deciduous teeth. He looked like a shark.
They were pulled when he was neutered; most of them were dead and came out very easily. The multiple extractions didn't bother him a bit.