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Dr. Kara
Dr. Kara, Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 16518
Experience:  Over 20 years of experience as a veterinarian.
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My 12 yr old female Chihuahua has a very loose canine that I

Customer Question

My 12 yr old female Chihuahua has a very loose canine that I want to pull....can II and with as little paain as possible?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I am really sorry to hear about your girl's loose canine tooth and while I understand the temptation to try and pull it, I don't advise it.

Even though it seems loose there may be piece of a root that is cracked and if you try and pull it that piece will remain leading to an abscess. That will be very difficult to treat. Sometimes we even see small pieces of the root end up in the nose.

Because this is a canine tooth the root of this tooth is extremely long and ends up very near the nasal cavity for a fair amount of distance along the top of the root. When that tooth becomes damaged enough to loosen, the amount of healthy tissue between the nasal cavity and the root socket gets compromised due to inflammation and infection. If the tooth is removed we may end up with an oronasal fistula, or an opening between the nose and mouth. This allows bacteria and food debris from the mouth to enter the nose and we can see horrible infections and bone loss secondary to that.

Your veterinarian can take dental radiographs, making sure the entire tooth and all of its root, is removed, and that the socket is thoroughly debrided and cleaned out, then stitched closed. This will minimize the chances of a bone/jaw infection and/or an oronasal fistula forming.

I advise letting your veterinarian take a look. It may not be as loose as it seems or there may be more than a loose tooth going on.

Rarely a tooth loosens because a tumor, either in the mouth or nasal cavity, weakens the bone around the tooth and allows it to become infected and damaged ad subsequently loosen.

Best of luck with your girl, let me know if you have any further questions.

Expert:  Dr. Kara replied 1 year ago.

Hello, I wanted to check in and see if you had any further questions after reading my response. If you do please feel free to respond with them. If not and you found my information helpful please remember to rate my response positively so I may receive credit for my work thank you, ***** *****