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Please bear in mind when reading topics pertaining to health issues, that most of these questions were answered by helpful Maltese owners with no formal education in veterinary medicine. When in doubt seek a professionals advise.
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teeth operation
by mmj
teeth operation My maltese is only 8 months old and the veternarian would like to operate on her teeth. They seem to stick out the sides. These are only her two top eye teeth (that's what I would call them). I'm not sure what he is talking about, but I can see her teeth and how they are sticking out. Also, he says she needs to be looked at by another vet to check her tear ducts that they might need to be flushed. She is very small only 5lbs and wonderful - then you know that and my children and I are very nervous about having anything surgically done to her. Could use some info on what he is talking about and how high the risk could be of losing her. Thanks.


I am not quite sure what you mean by "sticking out", but one common problem that Maltese have is retained baby teeth that need to be removed.. could that be it? In any case, if the vet thinks its necessary, it probably is. Poor allignment can cause problems with eating and such later on.. and would be harder to fix then. As far as the anesthesia, this is the age when most puppies are spayed (and I'd recommend this if you aren't gonna breed her.. maybe the can do it at the same time to save a second anesthia? ask your vet). There is always a risk when you anesthetize anything (people included), but its considered to be low as long as the dog is otherwise in good health. As for the tear ducts, this is also common in the breed.

mmj: Shayna had a problem with one of her baby teeth and it was removed at the same time she was Spay. She did not show any side effects from the tooth thing, but poor baby also had her Dew Claws removed at the same time. She was down for 3 1/2 days (by down, I mean not herself). All of a sudden we noticed KoKo's top knot was out and we both said "Shayna's back in town". New Years day KoKo had a piece of pencil stuck in her teeth and they had to put her under to remove it. I was so worried, but she had such a bad infection, something had to be done fast. She woke up minutes after the Vet removed the mask and she was fine in a few hours. My point, they know what they are doing, I always joke with them, "This isn't your first day is it?. Get a second opinion if you don't trust what you are hearing, but do what has to be done so your baby can have a long and happy and healthy life. Good luck from KoKo and Shayna.
I know you are worried, but teeth problems are common in small breeds. I got Phoebe when she was fourteen weeks old & two days later had her in the Vet's office for a thorough check-up, she had a couple of teeth that were "off". I freaked! We are in a new area and therefore it was a new vet, but I could see the problem when it was pointed out to me. The Vet assured me she would be fine - she was two pounds and four ounces! They removed four teeth in all, used "Isoflourine" for anestesia & they monitored her very carefully during the surgery. She did have to receive meds for her heart rate dropping, but she came through just fine - better than I did!

I agree that at the age your pup is it would be good if extraction could be done while having her spayed. Phoebe will be monitored regarding her dental progress & I intend to have her spayed at six months, by then we should be able to determine whether or not she needs assistance. That is also the time when I will have her micro-chip implanted & or tattooed.
Leslie R

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