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Discussion Starter #1
Hello

I have a four month old pug mix puppy, Levi. During our first vet appointment, our vet told us that Levi has an under bite and suggested we make an appointment with her partner who is studying dog dentistry. We just had that appointment with that vet last week and she told us the under bite looked severe. She's just a puppy and this vet is trying to 'sell' us on the idea of possible up coming surgeries to pull baby teeth. Both my boyfriend and I were uncomfortable with the way she was "selling" us the idea of future surgeries. Both because she was guilting us and because we don't like the idea of putting our dog under the knife twice while she's still so young (she has her spaying coming up in a couple months and we don't want to have to put her under anesthetic more than is necessary)

The vet took some pictures and is showing them to the 'dog dentist' that she is studying under and is going to give us the verdict on what they think she needs done to fix the under bite. I've been trying to do some research for the past four days on under bites, so I can understand more about the situation before the next appointment comes up, but can't seem to find any good resources. Does anyone know of any good websites, articles, or books that touch on under bite issues?

Also, any experiences that people have had with their dog's under bite would be greatly appreciated! This is my first time having a small dog and this vet has told me that small breeds have dental issues out the wazoo...

Thanks!
 

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What? Sounds like a crackpot to me...I think I'd be getting a second opinion.

I own boxers, which have a undershot jaw - and they don't need surgery. ;) Do you have pictures? Is it causing him problems?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
That's how my boyfriend and I feel — like it's a little unnecessary. Our actual vet told us she has a chipped tooth, but said it was very minor and not a problem, however, the other vet, said that a chipped tooth just means more chipped teeth down the road. Levi doesn't seem bothered by it, she eats her food just fine and chews her toys plenty. The only thing I notice is every so often when she's relaxing on my lap I'll hear her grind her teeth for a second or two. Other than that, I haven't noticed any sign of pain.

I'll try and take some pictures this evening and post them.
 

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My Pug Chloe has a "slight" underbite, but my vet and a specialist didn't see any further action necessary. She just may have a silly looking smile when she's older.:)

What were their reasons for pulling the teeth?? I know a bunch of pugs that do just fine eating and are in great health, plus have regular vet visits that didn't require any surgery for their underbite.

Maybe get a second opinion from another vet who isn't so close to this doggie dentist!

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
She just told us that they may need to remove the teeth that 'are in the way' and further surgeries may involve taking out teeth that may become chipped, get infected. She then gave us these outcomes of cysts forming and adult teeth decaying before they grow in — probably worst case scenarios, but she made it seem like it was more likely to happen than it probably does.

Once I go for the consultation on whether or not they think she needs surgery, I plan on digging for more answers. In the meantime, I'm trying to arm myself with all the information about under bites, so I know the right questions to ask and so I have some information behind me in case she is "selling" me a surgery that isn't necessary.
 

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if you can read medical jargon there is a great site that is a library of veterinary articles called www.ivis.org it's free to sign up
search key words like "overshot jaw" (sounds weird but overshot is the correct term for an under bite it means the lower JAW over shot the skull)
"corrective dentistry" things like that.

Before getting surgery i would go to a few vets that specialize in dentistry. I would think the overshot would have to be very severe and at risk of impairing eating later in life for a vet to recommend surgery.
 

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if you can read medical jargon there is a great site that is a library of veterinary articles called www.ivis.org it's free to sign up
search key words like "overshot jaw" (sounds weird but overshot is the correct term for an under bite it means the lower JAW over shot the skull)
"corrective dentistry" things like that.
Nope, that's not correct.

An overshot jaw is one where the upper jaw extends beyond the lower jaw.

And undershot jaw is where the lower jaw extends past the upper jaw. This underbite is very common in brachycephalic breeds like the boxer, pug and bulldog...to name a few.

Example from the boxer standard:
http://www.americanboxerclub.org/standard.html

Bite and Jaw Structure: The Boxer bite is undershot, the lower jaw protruding beyond the upper and curving slightly upward. The incisor teeth of the lower jaw are in a straight line, with the canines preferably up front in the same line to give the jaw the greatest possible width. The upper line of the incisors is slightly convex with the corner upper incisors fitting snugly in back of the lower canine teeth on each side. Neither the teeth nor the tongue should ever show when the mouth is closed.
 

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Nope, that's not correct.

An overshot jaw is one where the upper jaw extends beyond the lower jaw.

And undershot jaw is where the lower jaw extends past the upper jaw. This underbite is very common in brachycephalic breeds like the boxer, pug and bulldog...to name a few.

Example from the boxer standard:
http://www.americanboxerclub.org/standard.html
you are indeed correct, i just double checked myself :eek:
 

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My guy has an underbite, when my vet told us this he said underbites are nothing to worry about, your dog just may always look like hes frowning like my dog...never trust anyone trying to sell you on it...let them inform you then make the decision on your own.
 

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No probs with my 2 dogs and they both have underbites. I say definately get a 2nd opinion. Sounds like your vet is trying to make his friend some money.
 

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Sounds like they want $ to me. Surgery might be required in certain cases but you should be able to at least somewhat tell if your dog has a serious under bite that makes it difficult for them to eat and such. I have some dogs with under bites which are just fine. In some breeds they are very common or even required by the standard. Though in some of these breeds it does cause dental problems not every under bite is cause for concern. I've also had pups which had a slight under bite that cleared up as they grew into adults. You said your dog is just a pup so I would wait to make any major decisions until they are a little older.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Sorry for reviving this thread! I just wanted to give an update and say thanks for the posts! They helped!

My vet called and said she thinks that Levi will need 3 surgeries (including her spay). She had left a message on my machine saying that they will try to pull some teeth during her spay, but probably won't be able to finish, so Levi will need a second surgery to get more baby teeth pulled, then will need another surgery after her adult teeth come in to correct the underbite again. Needless to say, I'm very unimpressed with this vet for two reasons. First, I don't think that putting my puppy under anesthetic for preventative dental reasons twice after her spay is a good idea. And second that she assumes there will need to be a surgery for her adult teeth before they've even come in...

When my puppy goes for her spay surgery, she's not having teeth pulled and I'm going to get a second opinion about her underbite in the meantime.

Thanks for the tips!
 

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I'd get a second opinion. I'm not ultra keen on preventative surgeries when there's a good chance the dog will have no problems arising from a conformational or structural defect. Many dogs live perfectly normal lives with an underbite.

That said, small breeds + a smooshed in face can create a disaster when it comes to teeth...so your vet isn't necessarily a crackpot or just out to get your money. Mother nature never intended to have all those teeth fit into a small, flat space...so it's not uncommon for pugs or frenchies or other similar sized brachycephalics to need teeth pulled in order to have a more normal mouth. Another example of how our desire for looks overrides what is best for dogs.
 

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I'd get a second opinion. I'm not ultra keen on preventative surgeries when there's a good chance the dog will have no problems arising from a conformational or structural defect. Many dogs live perfectly normal lives with an underbite.

That said, small breeds + a smooshed in face can create a disaster when it comes to teeth...so your vet isn't necessarily a crackpot or just out to get your money. Mother nature never intended to have all those teeth fit into a small, flat space...so it's not uncommon for pugs or frenchies or other similar sized brachycephalics to need teeth pulled in order to have a more normal mouth. Another example of how our desire for looks overrides what is best for dogs.
I totally agree! I think you do need to get a second opinion. I'm no dentist, but while an underbite is normally not a problem, in some cases it can be major & detrimental. I hope that's not the case with your little pug, but I would consult with some kind of specialist.
 

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Eleven year old thread. I don't think any of the participants are still here.

And yes, an undershot bite is considered correct in several breeds.
 
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