Thursday, May 5, 2016

Dental disease in pugs: How to spot the signs

Liam the pug in his bed
Last week, I told you a little about Liam the pug and his upcoming dental disease. I'd seen a few loose teeth on his lower jaw, and I knew he'd need a little polishing in order to get his smile in tip-top shape. At the time, I thought he might need a quick cleaning and a few tiny tooth extractions. (Missed that post? See it here.)

Boy, was I wrong.

During Liam's exam, his veterinarian discovered that Liam had severe tartar on those lower teeth I mentioned. But, Liam also had two cracked molars. One on his upper right jaw and one on his lower right jaw. Both of those teeth had to come all the way out. He also lost two tiny upper teeth and two tiny lower teeth to plaque.

This is a pretty darn significant dental with a lot of digging and scraping and scratching involved. And as you might imagine, Liam the pug is not feeling like his normal, happy self today. He's moving a little slowly, and he's making some strange smacking motions from time to time.

Liam the pug sleeping

Obviously, this isn't something I want him to endure again. But I am not reassured by the prevention handout my vet gave me.

Apparently, the top signs of periodontal disease in a dog include:
Going to the food bowl and not eating
Swallowing food whole
Abnormal drooling

As we pug people know, this tends to be a gobbling little breed. I have met one or two pugs that chew nicely, but most smack and gulp. It's just how they eat. Similarly, I have yet to meet a pug that will go to the bowl without eating. If there is food, the pug will eat it. And, if there is food, the pug will drool over it. That's what they do.

But looking back, I think there are a few things I could have keyed in on. For example, Liam has been resistant to the idea of chewing on rawhide toys lately. And, he hasn't wanted to play tug-of-war with his sister. Normally, he loves to chew and tug. But he's been skipping out on that. Could it be due to dental disease? Probably.

One Liam's mouth heals up, we'll go back to brushing. But I'll work hard to just examine his mouth, too. If he has a problem, I want to know about it.

Final shot: Foster kitten fun! This little guy may look sweet, but he's a really rowdy and rambunctious character. He's spent a lot of time in my lap today and yesterday, so his siblings could get a break.

Foster kitten in mid-meow

Isn't he adorable? And did you miss yesterday's post with more adorable shots? See it here.

Thanks for the visit! And do leave a note so I'll know you were here. I love reading all of your comments.