Most dogs have no more
deciduous (temporary, puppy) teeth by 8 months of age. Yet in
this rare case, this tea-cup Yorkshire Terrier had 14 puppy
teeth that should have dropped off.
The permanent teeth erupts in an abnormal position as their
place is occupied by the puppy teeth. He resisted strongly
when I tried to open his mouth as he had a very painful mouth.
If only he could talk. Tartar had formed in the retained
canine teeth and soon, there will be tooth decay.
Many Singapore owners don't bother with such dental problems
due to economic and anaesthetic risk reasons. What if the
puppy dies under general anaesthesia?
This mindset is unfortunate for the puppy. General anaesthesia
is safe in puppies over 3 months old. Much depends on the
selection and experience of the veterinarian. Worried owners
have to look for more experienced vets if they are worried
about anaesthetic risks.
Timely removal of the
retained deciduous teeth enable the permanent teeth to erupt
in normal position and angle. In older dogs, food and dog hair
get trapped between the permanent and retained teeth, leading
to tartar formation. Bad breath. Painful mouth. But the
uneducated owner just ignore such dental problems. Teeth start
dropping off. So what? The dog gets his food and water. What
more can a dog want?
The introduction of the internet has benefited many puppies
through education of the newer and younger owners. Compared to
10 years ago, more lady owners and young couples are aware of
the future dental problems in retained puppy teeth and have
got them extracted.
After checking that his heart is OK, I used general
anaesthesia isoflurane gas prior to extraction of the puppy
teeth. Intubation was done. Still it took >30 minutes to
extract 14 teeth. After extraction, I note that it was not
such a difficult struggle to open this Yorkshire's mouth for
I am happy for this Yorkshire Terrier as he will be able to
chew and bite without oral pain anymore. Tooth brushing ought
to be done and should be easier nowadays.
His market value is S$2,500 - $5,000 as Yorkshires are very
rare in Singapore. It is difficult to import too as they don't
take well to air travel. Some airlines permit hand-carrying of
"Where did you get this Yorkshire?" I asked the lady. He was a
present. A present equivalent to a branded handbag!