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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Would someone please explain to me what you are all talking about when it comes to adult maltese losing their teeth?

My fluffs (that are at the bridge waiting for me) - were 15 and 16 years old - they had perfect teeth - they never lost a tooth (with the exception of baby teeth) - why would it be any different in the Maltese breed?
 

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Allie,

From what I can gather it appears that smaller breed dogs are more prone to tarter buildup and plaque. What is the reason behind this - I am not 100% certain but upon getting Hunter it is one of the first words of caution we received from our vet.

A theory of mine is also there appears to be many more small breeds that are victims of puppy mills than larger breed dogs. These dogs are often in cages (as we know) and due to anxiety can chew the cages and lose or break their teeth (this is what we believe happened to Hunter). Also, if not fed properly they can be deficient in minerals and will chew rocks and other things which again, can cause issues with teeth.

Now, why a properly bred and raised dog will have severe tooth problems may come down to genetics, improper care by subsequent owners, or other reasons that I might not be aware of.

I hope this helps and you get further clarification.

Erin
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Do you mean losing baby teeth as a puppy or losing adult teeth in their senior years?
Sorry Rebecca - I wasn't clear - I have a baby in the hospital, and I'm not thinking clearly.

I was concerned about maltese losing adult teeth. I have read several posts' that refer to missing teeth in adult fluffs.
 

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Dogs are like people, Allie. Some have good teeth and gums, others do not. I think I've heard every possible scenario ... genetics (well bred vs. poorly bred), lack of care, food, size of dog, shape of mouth, and on and on. How many people do you know who get their teeth cleaned every 6 mos. and still lose teeth to gum disease? And then there are people who don't get their teeth cleaned that frequently, never use floss and still have most or all of their teeth? My 13 yr. old rescue gets his teeth cleaned every 9-12 mos. and only has 8 teeth left. He's 10-1/2 lbs. My 12 yr. old lost all of her upper incisors at her first cleaning. She was less than 3 yrs. old. Those teeth were perfectly clean but there was not enough bone to support the roots and the teeth were loose. Since then she's lost another 4 teeth. My 8-1/2 yr. old dog gets his teeth cleaned every 2 to 2-1/2 yrs. and has never lost a tooth. He's under 6 lbs. and eats the same food as the 13 yr. old. I do dentals as needed but never more frequently than every 9 mos. And I brush their teeth and scale off built up plaque in between cleanings. I don't think any one reason, including genetics, is the cause. Like human siblings, one dog might have good teeth and a littermate might not. It does seem to be a more prevalent problem in toy breeds than in large dog breeds but I don't think there is a simple answer.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Erin,

It's Lucy. She is very sick. I cannot talk about it now - it's too much.
It happened late on Saturday - it's her liver. It's heartbreaking. She’s at Tufts.

I couldn't go today with my husband, because I had Barrons birthday plans - I was torn from being happy for Barron and devastated about Lucy.

That little white face, just has to be OK - I will NEVER, EVER have another fluff, it’s too painful.
 

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Erin,

It's Lucy. She is very sick. I cannot talk about it now - it's too much.
It happened late on Saturday - it's her liver. It's heartbreaking. She’s at Tufts.

I couldn't go today with my husband, because I had Barrons birthday plans - I was torn from being happy for Barron and devastated about Lucy.

That little white face, just has to be OK - I will NEVER, EVER have another fluff, it’s too painful.
Oh my goodness, Allie.
I am praying for your dear Lucy.
:prayer:
 

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Erin,

It's Lucy. She is very sick. I cannot talk about it now - it's too much.
It happened late on Saturday - it's her liver. It's heartbreaking. She’s at Tufts.

I couldn't go today with my husband, because I had Barrons birthday plans - I was torn from being happy for Barron and devastated about Lucy.

That little white face, just has to be OK - I will NEVER, EVER have another fluff, it’s too painful.
Oh my gosh...Allie, I'm so sorry to hear this and I am shocked. It must be such a difficult time for you...We are here for you :grouphug: You don't have to talk about it right now but please let us know the moment that Lucy is better, we're very worried about poor little Lucy. Be strong!
 

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Erin,

It's Lucy. She is very sick. I cannot talk about it now - it's too much.
It happened late on Saturday - it's her liver. It's heartbreaking. She’s at Tufts.

I couldn't go today with my husband, because I had Barrons birthday plans - I was torn from being happy for Barron and devastated about Lucy.

That little white face, just has to be OK - I will NEVER, EVER have another fluff, it’s too painful.
I'll be praying for precious Lucy.:prayer:
 

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Allie I had no idea Lucy Lu is ill, my heart is breaking for you. What happened?

Heavenly Father, here I am we need you Lord, something has happened to precious Lucy Lu, you know what's happening with her Liver, Lord you can touch it and bring your healing to Lucy Lu, I'm asking for this, heal her Lord, comfort Allie and her husband, I believe in miracles I have seen many, Lord I thank you in advance. In Jesus name I pray. Amen
 

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I'm so sorry Allie! I was really surprised when I read this. Did this happen all of a sudden? Oh my, I'm in shock. I'll be praying for Lucy and I know she'll be fine, she has to be. When you feel like it please let us know how she is. I'll be thinking about you both.
Hugs to you and your sweet Lucy. :grouphug:
 

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I am so sorry about Lucy :( Hang in there

Well since my maltese lost 27 teeth at age 4 I learned alot about it sadly. I was afraid to put her under and tried petzlife gel for a year thinking it was the miracle thing everyone talked about. I should have had her teeth cleaned at 3. I waited a year and it was the worst thing I could have done as her teeth became loose. When they are loose it affects the teeth next to it as well so it spreads very fast as small breeds have a smaller bone to tooth ratio than humans and big dogs thus leaving them susceptible to losing teeth easier.

I took her to two board certified dentists for consults and went with the one i was most comfortable with and he was excellent. The one was talking bone graphing and all kinds of crazy stuff which scared me and also was all for the dental vaccine knowing a dog she gave it to went lame. I did not feel she was conservative like myself.

I then went to Los Angeles to a dentist many recommended highly and really liked him. I knew demi was bad as i felt the loose teeth. He saved some teeth taking out infected root and reshaping a tooth but he said if it is bad it comes out.

I did cry as he called me when she was under and said not to panic when i picked her up but it was bad. She did great and does great today.

Now DD had a dental at 5 and only lost 5 teeth so go figure and she is a yorkie.

If the breath is bad it is a big sign of periodontal disease as demi had horrible breath but the tartar was not real bad so that can be deceiving.

When they clean the tartar off sometimes all that is holding the tooth in place is the tartar so when cleaned off the tooth becomes loose

Also i learned if someone does not know what they are doing when using the ultrasonic cleaner and if they leave on the tooth too long it can make the teeth loose and many prefer hand scaling to that.

I believe it is genetics as my dad is the most neurotic person about his teeth and has gum disease and he also has heart disease and had open heart surgery for a double bypass and is now going in for a valve replacement soon as he is at 1.1 and they do tie people who have alot of tartar build up on teeth many times have the same build up in their arteries.

Demi has been very healthy so this was a shock to me as i do brush their teeth. I thought feeding raw diet was better but I know someone with a golden who fed raw its entire life and he lost 27 teeth too so again genetics. Demi is on a high grain diet newman's own organic low fat so thought this was the case until i talked to this pet owner.

i spoke to a show breeder who told me she does dental under anesthesia every 2 years and every 6 mos does the non-anesthetic from the time they are 6 mos old she does this routine and it has worked well for her
 

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So what is recommended for prevention? I have been reading all sorts of stuff lately about coordinating their spaying date with a time they can get any necessary teeth removed... Tinker hates when I try to brush her teeth; she turns her head and licks the toothpaste, lol. Should I take them to a dentist? How often should they be brushed? They are just three months old... Tiger Lily still has her baby teeth but the vet said Tinker lost some of her's already and was surprised because she is so young.
 

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So what is recommended for prevention? I have been reading all sorts of stuff lately about coordinating their spaying date with a time they can get any necessary teeth removed... Tinker hates when I try to brush her teeth; she turns her head and licks the toothpaste, lol. Should I take them to a dentist? How often should they be brushed? They are just three months old... Tiger Lily still has her baby teeth but the vet said Tinker lost some of her's already and was surprised because she is so young.
the dentist told me BRUSH - you can use gauze around finger and no tooth paste he said the main thing is brushing and they said we as humans use tooth paste for better breath but brushing is the key. Circular motion

I use chlorhexedine wipes from drs foster and smith as chlorhexedine kills bacteria. Houndstooth told me they use hydrogen peroxide heavily diluted in water. Enzymatic tooth paste as well but the main thing is brushing at least once a day if not twice a day like we do for our teeth.
 

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I used a chlorhexedine solution a few months ago when I had surgery to remove my wisdom teeth so that makes sense.

Twice a day brushing? Wow. I need to start up on that. I had no idea it had to be that often. I will try the gauze instead, too, and probably without toothpaste at first.

Thanks so much for the valuable info!
 

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Erin,

It's Lucy. She is very sick. I cannot talk about it now - it's too much.
It happened late on Saturday - it's her liver. It's heartbreaking. She’s at Tufts.

I couldn't go today with my husband, because I had Barrons birthday plans - I was torn from being happy for Barron and devastated about Lucy.

That little white face, just has to be OK - I will NEVER, EVER have another fluff, it’s too painful.
Oh Allie, I'm praying like crazy that your little Lucy-Lu will be okay. Know how much I love you.
 

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About Maltese and teeth. Here is my experience so far with Micky: We got him 8/08. He had a dental in 2/08 when they extracted 2 teeth. The vet recommended another dental shortly after we got him. Around 9/08, he had 4 teeth removed. Fast forward a year. To 9/09. Another dental. This time he had 3 teeth out. Now, this year, same thing, except this year, he had 5 teeth removed. So each year, he loses teeth. So far its been mostly his little incisors thankfully, but still, its depressing. I do brush when I can. I use either enzymatic tooth paste, petzlife, and the Dr. Foster & smith dental wipes. But it doesn't seem to matter. Micky is only 6. At the rate he's going. He may lose all his teeth eventually. The vet says he has grade 2 periodontal disease. I wish I knew the answers. :unsure:
 
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