Thursday, March 8, 2012

I Laughed When I Heard This, But Then …

On March 8, I was at the hairdresser with my mom.  The very talented stylist who does my Mom’s hair weekly (and squeezes me in when I take her to the salon) was telling about her three Italian Greyhounds.  The day before she and her husband had taken them to doggy daycare so they could romp and play and enjoy the companionship of other dogs.  At the end of the day when the dogs were picked up to go home, each had a Behavior Report for the day.  The youngest one’s said he had played hard all day long and really enjoyed being with the other dogs.  The oldest one’s said he had enjoyed sunbathing all throughout the day.  We giggled about their Doggy Report Cards.

Then she noted she had recently taken one of the three for a check-up.  The veterinarian told her the dog had a slight overbite, but that it could be corrected with braces.  At that we both laughed out loud, shook our heads, and wondered why anyone would put braces on a dog.  Much money is involved in regular checkups, immunizations, heart worm medications, and other sicknesses and/or injuries that might befall one’s pets.  So, neither of us could quite fathom putting braces on a dog.  However, wanting to know more, I googled “teeth braces for dogs”  and learned a lot.

Sometimes a dog’s teeth are so misaligned that when closed together, bottom teeth can injure the soft palate.  Crooked teeth can also result in gum disease, making the dog susceptible to infections that not only affect the tooth, but may spread through the blood to vital organs.  The website cautioned that all dogs are not and should not be candidates for braces.  There are many factors involved, such as the shape of the dog’s face and jawbone, the severity of the misalignment, injuries inside the mouth due to the crooked teeth, his or her ability to drink, etc.  You can read much more about dogs and the reasons, cautions, and decisions to be made about braces in their lives at this site:   http://www.mypetsdentist.com/site/view/113680_bracesorthodontics.pml  After reading this information, I wasn’t laughing anymore.  Braces for dogs are not for aesthetic, but for medical reasons.  That I could understand.

You can see photos on the website above of real dogs.  But I just want to share a few public domain dog faces showing the various shapes, faces, and snouts.  They are from here http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/gallery_Dogs_m59-sb_id-so_descending-page1.html?view=0&so=0

smiling dog

chichuahua two
pekinese tooth cleaning two
sheltie puppy face two
As members of the Crafting4Animals Guild work to make items for dogs and cats, support charities to help those animals in need, volunteer at shelters, and more, we can be thankful for the advances in orthodontics that permit dogs who really need them to have braces.  And we can be thankful for all of our pets who do not require such procedures.

This post was written by Pam Todd, a member of the Crafting for Animals Guild on Artfire, who dearly loves all the pets she has had in the past, and Eddie, their big guy Boston Terrier who makes every day fun.  Pam is owner of Bags and More by Pam on Artfire, where she creates hand-crocheted items for people, pets, and homes.  She also is a supporter of The Elephant Sanctuary in Hohenwald, Tennessee.

2 comments:

Creative Critters said...

It's amazing what they can (and will) do for animals these day! It's wonderful that vets work so hard to improve the lives of the animals they treat. I've heard of dogs whose mouths were so deformed, or teeth so misaligned that they were unable to eat or drink on their own. If we'll do it to make people's lives better, why not do the same for the animals we love?
-Michelle of CreativeCritters

3 Peeps Designs aka Mona Ahleman said...

What an interesting article and perfect timing as we are taking our 7 year old dog to have her teeth cleaned next week. I'm a bit anxious as she will need to be knocked out for a bit, but the vet said her teeth weren't too bad and none of them looked like they would need to be pulled... but in this tooth cleaning adventure I never would have thought of braces for dogs ;-)