View Full Version : New Puppy Has An Overbite

Mom of Jato
8th February 2008, 02:53 AM
I just took my new 10 week old puppy to the vet today for his first check-up and they told me he has a pretty big overbite. The breeder had informed me also, but didn't make a big deal about it. Just wondering if any of you have a dog with an overbite, and if so, is there anything to be concerned about? The vet said maybe he won't be able to chew well with the back molars, and he may need more frequent teeth cleanings at $350 a visit. YIKES! He is a pet, not for show/breeding, so I didn't think it would be a concern, but now I'm worried.

Cathy Moon
8th February 2008, 04:30 AM
If the lower teeth (especially the canines) are hitting on the roof of the mouth it can be a problem. I would ask the vet to look in his mouth for problems at every office visit until he has grown to adulthood and is known to be problem free.

8th February 2008, 05:41 AM
Our Beauregard has a HUGE overbite... the vets mentioned 'half his jaw is missing' when they first saw him. :eek:

He has some trouble eating certain things and can struggle picking up something 'flat' like a frisbee from the floor... but makes do with what God gave him.

The overbite DOES give him an edge for catching and holding on to small balls. ;)

8th February 2008, 12:23 PM
Our Beau has a significant overbite. It wasn't apparent until after we had chosen him. His breeders pointed it out to us on one of our visits & offered to give us a different puppy, but by this time we had falled too in love with him to trade. They did give us a significant refund as they warned us that his dental bills would be higher & that at some stage he may even need some teeth pulled.

Beau, now at 14 months has had to have his back teeth cleaned (just a few days ago) as he can not chew on them, so all the bones & chew toys in the world are not going to keep them clean. We have just resolved ourselves to the fact that Beau will probably need annual dental cleaning.

YIKES! He is a pet, not for show/breeding, so I didn't think it would be a concern, but now I'm worried.

"Pet quality" dogs often cost much more to maintain that "show quality" because they do sometimes have faults like overbites. I learned a long time ago never to say to the breeders "oh he is only going to be a pet". But that didn't stop me choosing Beau did it? :p

As a matter of interest, when Beau was about 10 weeks his overbit was probably only a couple of milimetres. Now it is probably more than a centimetre, but our vet said he has seen much worse. Thankfully Beau's teeth do not cause him discomfort or dig in, so hopefully the annual cleaning will be all that is necessary. He also has no trouble chewing up his bones. He does take a little longer than Sonny, but not by much.

Barbara Nixon
8th February 2008, 01:11 PM
I know someone whose mil has a cavalier with a large overbite. It doesn't bother him, but eating can be a little messy for his mum.

8th February 2008, 02:32 PM
Beauregard is the ultimate reason none of ours get pigears or rawhide chewy things... because he can't 'tear them' properly and ends up with a big gooey mess unless one of is holding on to it for him. I'm afraid he'll choke.

8th February 2008, 02:42 PM
Get him used to a tooth brush and brush every day, that's what I'd do. :D

9th February 2008, 07:38 PM
Sometimes they correct or improve, sometimes they get worse. They can be a significant and even a serious medical problem or it can be only a minor inconvenience. Your vet is the best to advise. If all that is needed is a larger number of teeth cleanings -- well, that is a good sing; probably isn't too much of a health issue, from the sounds of it. At the same time, it would have been better for your breeder to explain this and I'd certainly at least report back what you have been told.

On whether such costs are surprising in a pet quality dog -- no -- and as Caraline notes, can even be more likely in a pet quality dog, depending on a few factors.

Of my own crew (who I'd consider pretty healthy!), I have Leo with syringomyelia on medications, Lucy has a heart murmur now and has in the past 2-3 years had several tooth extractions and cleanings, Lily's been in to the vet for severe gastroenteritis and Jaspar, my healthy boy, just cost probably as much as a teeth cleaning to get a lump surgically taken off his foot.

A dog or cat always has a good chance of having at least some significant costs associated with it at some point during his or her life. A purebred dog runs a higher probability of the specific health issues within the breed, especially if the breeder isn't truly health focused.

The average cost of a owning a dog is estimated at around $800-1200 in the US excluding any major health problems. There's an interesting table here:


9th February 2008, 08:18 PM
BTW this is from the article (written by a vet) and is such good advice! :) I'm going to add it to the Library sction on finding a puppy.

A dog with hip dysplasia or severe allergies can have significantly higher veterinary expenses and I routinely see people who spend over $2,000 on a single veterinary problem. Chances are your costs will be similar to those I incur, but even with the minimum required care, it is still over $13,000.00.

What do we learn from all this? Well on the positive side we Americans love our dogs and are not afraid to spend money on them. But on the more important practical side we realize that there is no such thing as a 'free' puppy. With this huge investment it only makes sense that we are very careful about choosing a puppy. While I appreciate the benefits of a purebred breed, this highlights the importance of doing your research and getting a puppy that has parents with excellent hips, eyes, legs, disposition, and no history of skin allergies. Research the breeds and choose a breed that matches your lifestyle. Spending a $1000 on a puppy may be a shock at first but if it is healthy, intelligent and guaranteed free of defects, then it is worth every penny. Puppies that are bred for appearance and not structural soundness, intelligence, health, and disposition are a dime a dozen and will often end up costing you much more than the purchase price of a good puppy in health problems and often develop serious behavioral and disposition problems as well. Remember that hard to find breeds can cost $1000 and still be a medical nightmare. When I talk about a $1000 puppy it includes one that is free of all inherited problems including hips, eyes, skin, and legs. The parents and grandparents should be free of all medical problems and the breeder must show proof. The disposition and intelligence of both parents should also be excellent and they should be well trained. To get this kind of guarantee you are going to have to spend a lot of money and time, and in rare breeds, it will even be more, but it can be well worth it. You can pick up any Sunday paper and find a basket full of purebred puppies for $75 to $300 each. It would be very unlikely that these puppies' parents have certified hips, eyes, and elbows, or are free of allergies. The parents are often not well trained and usually the owners have never even seen the grandparents. I see these 'registered' dogs every day in my clinic and they often have hip dysplasia, skin allergies, bone problems, behavior problems, and eye problems. When you see what it costs to own a dog you will see the importance and reason why good dogs cost a lot more. Once in a while an intelligent, healthy dog emerges from the $100 section of the paper, but as a rule, you get what you pay for and ignorance is expensive

cavi lover
9th February 2008, 09:30 PM
My 2 year old blenheim has a significant overshot jaw. His breeder wanted rid of him quick so he came to me. He is not yet showing any problems. I clean his teeth and give him fish skin cubes to munch on which help keep his teeth and mouth in good order.

Many people comment on his attractive face because of his jaw he almost smiles at all the time.
So try not to worry and enjoy your pup.

Mom of Jato
10th February 2008, 04:45 PM
Thanks for the advice. I will make sure the vet keeps me up-to-date on his bite issue. Other than that, he is just perfect! :luv:

11th February 2008, 12:00 AM
It can also look much worse in a small puppy. Amber had a noticeably undershot jaw as a puppy- I have photos of her at 11 weeks where she looks ALL jaw. Now the underbite is pretty much gone. I mentioned it to the vet and he did a double take and checked her teeth again and said that, actually, her teeth alignment was pretty good, and if there WAS still an underbite it was miniscule. It's possible that Amber's milk chin made the puppy underbite look much larger than it was. You can see what she looks like now from my atavar.