Archived Message
Bad underbite

by Kenny Jarels

My maltese is now 7 months old and I noticed he had a bad underbite, I recently had him neutered and brought this to the attention of my vet but he really said that much about it, except to say that this was problem with the smaller breeds. I have one other maltese and she has excellent teeth. Can anything be done about this underbite and if so will it be expensive? My vet did pull two baby teeth that did fall out as the permanent teeth came in.


I have a three year old Maltese (spayed) with a significant underbite. I knew she had a bite problem when I purchased her as a pup. Other than making her look a little "funny," her bite has caused her no problems. She is the most adorable, good natured animal I have ever owned; I wouldn't trade her for all the show dogs in the world.

There are vet orthedontists. One of my good friend's has a Sheltie that she has taken to one. I can't remember exactly what the problem was with her dog's teeth. One was pushed out around the others or something like that. They fit the dog with a corrective wire and it was somewhat expensive $500 for the first time and it may need to be done again. She has run into a problem with the wire snapping when her children play catch with the dog and he tries to bite the ball. I don't know if it would be worth all of that to you, but it is something you could discuss with your veternarian.

Our 7 month old Angel has a double row of teeth on the top and bottom in spots. I know she hasn't lost some of her baby teeth. I am wondering if I need to take her and have them pulled or will they eventually fall out on thier own. If I leave them to fall out on thier own will that cause her bite to get bad? Is this a common problem with Maltese?

My Maltese has a underbite, the vet told me this was the cause of the eyes tearing. A member of my family is a groomer. Her explanation for the tearing/staining is "food". Recently, I changed his food and gave him canned dog food, with meat chunks and brown gravy. His eyes stained worse. Any explanations?
-D'Ann M.

As I am a new Maltese owner I know very little, but I have been reading alot about tear staining in the Archives. You might want to check it out. They name several causes. One being the hair around the eyes, this should be kept clipped. Also mentioned was the teeth. We have only had our little Maltese for about a month now. we really love her she is such a joy. We have to have several play times a day. We play fetch and tug a war with an old sock. She takes bursts of energy and starts running trough the house in circles over and over as fast as she can go then she will colapse on the floor, panting for a few minutes then she is ready to play some more!

Janis, If the double rows of teeth are "baby teeth" that haven't come out, you may need to have them pulled. Lucy had two baby teeth that didn't fall out when she got her adult teeth. When I took her to be spayed, the vet pulled them while she was under anesthetic. Keep an eye on the "extra" teeth and see what happens, but be prepared to have them pulled if necessary.
-cathy brown

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