Tuesday, October 9, 2007
FAQs about my overbite
Has your overbite changed as you've grown older?
Mom's and Dad's research showed that sometimes puppies "grow into" their overbite, meaning that it will be less apparent and less problematic the older a dog gets. This hasn't been the case with me, though.
How can an overbite be fixed?
Dog braces, tooth filing, and tooth extraction are all ways to fix an overbite. These tactics would only be used if the overbite seriously impedes the dog's ability to function. My overbite is pretty extreme and our vet never once advocated any of these procedures. I can eat any type of food just fine. Too fine, if you ask Mom and Dad.
Is your overbite visible all the time?
Most people I meet never realize I have an overbite. The only way they would know is a) if Mom or Dad tells them, b) when I'm upside-down, or c) from the side (if someone pulls up my upper lip or if it gets stuck in a faux-snarl).
Is an overbite a red flag signalling further health problems?
This was Mom and Dad's biggest concern. Poorly-bred dachshunds can have all sorts of genetic health problems, especially back issues. Overbites are thought to be hereditary, and a reputable breeder wouldn't knowingly breed a sire or dame who posessed or carried for this trait, as it falls short of the dachshund standard. Mom and Dad didn't care if I conformed to a superficial "ideal," but they didn't want a dog with other, more sinister health problems, either. That is why they researched my birthplace very carefully. An overbite isn't a red flag, but any of the following should be:
-the breeder sells more than one type of breed
-they won't provide references from people who purchased puppies from previous litters
-those aforementioned references aren't glowing
-they can't provide a pedigree for a puppy tracing back several generations
-they aren't honest about the breed's strengths and faults
-they aren't honest about an individual puppy's strengths and faults
-when you visit their kennel, your gut tells you something is wrong