German Shepherd Dog > Fractured Teeth- Schutzhund (14 replies)
Fractured Teeth- Schutzhund
by waldo2121 on 19 October 2011 - 14:01
|My 7 month old GSD fractured one of his small premolars on the bottom jaw this past weekend. After visiting a veterinary dentist, he recommended that the tooth be extracted due to the root being visible and to prevent any infection. We are doing schutzhund with him (he is still in the early stages of bitework-not on the sleeve yet), so we are concerned that having the tooth extracted (although the vet told us it was a non-esstential tooth when it comes to bitework and chewing) will affect his grip on the sleeve and his bite moving forward. The vet said that becuase of his age, root canal therapy and a metal crown wasn't really an option due to the thinness of the tooth enamel at this age and the size of the root inside. He said that if this had happened when the dog was 2 years old or once the enamel has a chance to thicken than that would be an option, but becuase of how young he is, the only real option is to have it extracted. Does anyone have any experience with this and any thoughts on if it will affect his bite/grip down the road if we have it extracted? Our first priority is his health and secondly it is his schutzhund work. Any thoughts are much appreciated!|
by piercea785 on 19 October 2011 - 14:32
|I had one that also fractured a tooth and it was removed. It was also a premolar and it never stopped her from doing bitework. She only needed about a 10 day rest period where we didnt do bitework, then she was back to normal.|
by waldo2121 on 19 October 2011 - 15:17
Thanks for the reply! Mostly what we've heard is that is the case, that they go right back to normal as if nothing happened, but we had a few folks in the schutzhund world tell us that their dogs were never quite the same on the sleeve once a tooth was removed. We're hoping that becuase he's so young that he'll compensate for it and think that it's normal for his mouth to feel the way it will without the tooth.
by Ace952 on 19 October 2011 - 15:40
|one word...............wait for it....................wait for it............................................Titanium|
by Hired Dog on 19 October 2011 - 16:22
|My dog had that same thing happened to him when he was about 7 and already a Sch III. It was a canine tooth though and it had to be extracted and a root canal done. I did put the titanium tooth on the broken one and it was the worse decision I made.|
His bite was never the same, but, remember, different tooth, and he was not competing anymore, so, that was not the problem. The problem was that after I gave him a bite on a SOFT sleeve about 2 months later, the tooth came off. Putting it back required having the dog go back under general and such, did it again, no more bites...walked to the bathroom one night in the dark and stepped on something sharp, yep, it was the tooth that fell out again and I never put back either.
$2500 wasted for nothing but lesson learned, never again.
by GSDPACK on 19 October 2011 - 16:30
|If you are panning on showing and breed surveying your dog, then have this event recorded... or you will not be able to get decent koer.|
Good luck. I am sure your puppy will be just fine without one tooth
by waldo2121 on 19 October 2011 - 16:44
Thanks for the thoughts everyone! We documented all his teeth when they came in and are having the vet take pictures before and after he extracts the tooth. Our vet is also writing a letter stating that the fractured tooth was due to an injury and resulted in the extraction of the tooth and not a birth defect or missing from birth. This way we can prove to a judge down the road in a breed survey or conformation. Hopefully, that covers us.
by mirasmom on 19 October 2011 - 18:33
|Maybe this can put you at ease....|
This is my girl Mira who will be 11 years old in acouple of months, playing with
her son Theo who is six and Mira's great-grand daughter running about.
Mira is missing a few teeth here and there, but you sure as heck wouldn't know it!
by OGBS on 20 October 2011 - 22:51
|I would make sure your dog has plenty of tasty steaks to eat.|
He'll never think about the tooth if you do this.
by karen forbes on 21 October 2011 - 03:10
|Rorie had two teeth pulled in Febuary-they were fractured. Attempted to have a root canal done but it wasn't successful- It hasn't affected her bitework|
by ShelleyR on 21 October 2011 - 03:14
|Get a copy of the x-ray, pre-extr4action, with all the dog's numbers (tattoo, m/chip, AKC reg., date), so you'll have it for the Kormeister come breed survey time. The premolar, once the jaw and gums are healed, should have no effect on the bitework. Don't do any work or play involving th4e dog's mouth until you're POSITIVE there is no pain.|
by alaman on 21 October 2011 - 03:23
Or you could go to a vet who specializes in broken teeth. One of mine broke a tooth on a sleeve and my vet sent us to a specialist. The root was showing. He did a root canal and capped the tooth just like occurs with humans. It was a fang or whatever it's called. Five years later he still bites hard and the only sign of the incident is the tooth is smaller than normal. No different than what happens to humans who break a tooth; they don't get pulled, they get capped with a root canal if necessary. No reason to treat a dog's tooth that a human tooth.
by hunger4justice on 18 January 2012 - 17:52
|I know this is an old post but I am commenting after one of my dogs had 5000 dollars worth of dental surgery (two k9 extractions and two lower k9 root canals). The original poster's vet was exactly right, when they are young, their tooth pulp is very blood rich and the enamel is very thin. Any trauma can result in blood filling the tooth space and the pulp can die without immediate intervention. This blood is a rich source of food for bacteria so if there is a break in the tooth or if there is dentin showing, you could get an infection that could kill the dog. My dog's surgery was almost 6 hours with a dog dentist (actually a human endodontal specialist that now does root canals on animals, and another vet).|
Because the enamel is thin in young dogs, any crown still leaves a tiny part of the tooth below the crown and above the jaw that is not covered and the tooth will break off there if it is traumatized again by bite work. That is why crowns can work well and the dog can keep working when put into an adult dog with fully thickened enamel and almost never in a young dog. If I were to also allow the lower K9s to be removed the dog could do bite work as the back teeth are what the dog grips with, but I chose to not use this dog (in my avatar) for Schutzhund. If the tooth is a non K9 tooth, extraction will allow the dog to have a sport/law enforcement career. If the dog is fully mature, a crown or extraction will allow the dog to continue. But anytime you crown there is a weak point below the crown that can break so extraction eliminates that issue. Lower k9 extraction (why I don't do it in my dog) involves very difficult surgery that can break the jaw and the lower k9s help the tongue to stay in the mouth.
This is also why I am very paranoid about having only a highly experienced helper work my other dogs and never letting them chew things that could cause a breakage or wear their enamel (like tennis balls or rough toys).
by B.Andersen on 18 January 2012 - 23:10
|Titanium crowns and root canal is not the way to go. Anyone that has done this usually will agree. They break quickly as the tooth is not stable. I have a few dogs with pulled teeth no difference in bitwork. Better that than a dog that will not bite as their teeth hurt.|
by heiko1 on 18 January 2012 - 23:30
|My 15 month old broke an incisor, had a root canal and filling, no cap as they can break off. Cost was around $1,900.|
No problem with his bitework at all.