Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.
Cavalier King Charles Spaniels have a lot of characteristics that make them great pets: they’re small, they’re cute, and they’re easy to train.
But in some cases, they have a unique physical characteristic that might cause concern for some owners. The underbite.
An underbite is when the lower jaw extends longer than the upper jaw, causing teeth to protrude outward from the mouth.
This means that when your dog’s mouth closes, its upper teeth don’t meet its lower teeth properly and the lower jaw is pushed forward.
This can make eating difficult for your dog and affect its ability to breathe.
So what does this mean to you? Do you need to be worried about your Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with an Underbite, and what can you do from here?
Be sure to read till the end to find out all you need to know.
- What Does an Underbite in Dogs Mean?
- Is It Normal for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to Have Underbites?
- Can an Underbite Be Bad for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?
- What Problems Can an Underbite Cause to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
- Are Underbites in Dogs Genetic?
- Can a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Underbite Be Fixed?
- When to Seek Treatment for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With an Underbite?
- How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Dog’s Overbite?
- How to Care for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With an Underbite?
- Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
- In Conclusion: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With Underbite
What Does an Underbite in Dogs Mean?
Canine malocclusion, also known as an underbite, occurs when a dog’s teeth, whether baby or adult teeth, do not fit together properly.
Because dog bites are not consistent in appearance, unlike human bites, determining whether a dog has malocclusion can be difficult.
If there is abnormal tooth-to-tooth or tooth-to-soft tissue contact, your pet may have a malocclusion.
And if this malocclusion is not corrected, this contact might harm your pet and have long-term health consequences.
Doggy says, you might like this too: Can I Use Fairy Liquid to Wash My Dog? Mistakes to Avoid
Is It Normal for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels to Have Underbites?
According to AKC standards, King Charles Spaniels are not supposed to have an overbite or an underbite; however, puppies are known to start out with these, and their teeth will set over time, giving them an even bite.
Occasionally though, this condition persists throughout their lives but generally does not pose much of an issue for them.
The condition is also common in other small breeds like Shih Tzu, Yorkshire terriers, and Pekingese.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Should I Buy a Puppy With an Umbilical Hernia?
Can an Underbite Be Bad for Cavalier King Charles Spaniels?
An underbite isn’t always a bad thing in dogs.
Some puppies are born with this trait, which poses no health risks if their teeth are in good condition.
However, if your dog already has other dental issues or requires oral surgery, an underbite could cause significant problems.
Dogs rarely get affected by underbites because they do not speak like humans; instead, they use their mouths to feed and bark (among other things).
In dogs, an underbite is usually not a cause for concern unless it interferes with their ability to feed properly.
Doggy says, you might be keen to read this too: When do Cavalier King Cahrles Spaniels get their full coat?
What Problems Can an Underbite Cause to a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel?
The severity of the underbite varies between dogs, with some having a mild case and others having a more severe case.
It can also differ from one side of the mouth to the other within a single dog’s mouth.
An untreated underbite can cause a variety of issues for your pet, including:
- Inability to properly eat
- Tooth crowding or misalignment (malocclusion)
- Problems with dentition as your dog ages (the roots may grow into each other)
- Cavalier snoring problems
Are Underbites in Dogs Genetic?
Yes, underbite in dogs is a genetic condition that can be passed down from one generation to another.
The dog’s parents had an underbite and passed it on to their offspring.
If you have a dog with an underbite, it is important that you take good care of their teeth because they can become decayed and infected easily if they are not properly cared for.
In fact, many people who have dogs with an underbite end up getting them extracted because of tooth decay or other dental issues.
If you are getting a new puppy from a breeder and notice this condition, you should speak to them and weigh your options.
A breeder who is ethical should not continue using the parents for further breeding programs.
Can a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s Underbite Be Fixed?
In most situations, an underbite does not require any correction.
However, expert care from your vet is unquestionably required if this issue is endangering the animal’s health.
Canine dental specialists are sometimes available, but you need to be prepared to pay a significant amount.
After determining the extent of the issue and the areas affected, solutions may include removing the problematic teeth, dog braces, and corrective surgery.
Other techniques include moving secondary teeth, interceptive orthodontics, and crown modification.
When to Seek Treatment for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With an Underbite?
An underbite may not need treatment and is generally not considered a dangerous condition.
However, there are some situations where if left untreated, it could make your dog uncomfortable and result in other health issues.
Here are some crucial details you should be aware of:
- Observe your dog’s behavior and biting tendencies, and let your veterinarian know if anything seems off.
- If your dog is in pain, he or she could not respond well to contact (like when you try to pet their head), rub their heads against the walls or with their paws, have trouble picking up or chewing food, or rub their heads against things.
- Malocclusion can result in abnormally bad breath, persistent drooling (which can occasionally contain blood), or excessive slobbering when eating.
- Difficulty in accepting large treats or chewing larger toys
- Not being able to eat hard food (like kibble) as they cannot access their molars
How Much Does It Cost to Fix a Dog’s Overbite?
Since each dog may be different from the others, it is difficult to estimate the exact cost.
As a general rule, tooth extractions might cost anywhere from $100 or more per tooth.
Depending on which tooth needs to be removed, this can go up to $350, and these estimates do not include other fees such as cleaning, hospitalization, and anesthesia.
Prices for crown modifications range from $1500 to $3000 per tooth.
The price for dental braces would probably range from $2500 to $5000.
The recurring expenses for prescription drugs, doctor visits, and testing must also be taken into consideration.
In the end, a veterinary orthodontist will be the best person to provide you with a more precise estimate.
Doggy says, consider reading this too: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Yelps When Being Picked Up?
How to Care for a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With an Underbite?
Underbites in dogs may necessitate additional preventative dental care at home.
While chews and mouthwashes are useful, brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis is always the best option.
If your dog has an underbite, training him to accept daily dental brushing will be beneficial.
Use veterinary toothpaste instead of human toothpaste as it contains fluoride, which is toxic to a dog if consumed.
Furthermore, the minty flavors of human toothpaste are disliked by the majority of dogs.
Veterinary toothpaste is available in dog-friendly flavors such as beef and chicken.
Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)
Will my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel’s underbite get worse over time?
Most of the time, an underbite does not get worse over time and most dogs with this condition are able to live a full life without any difficulties, except maybe having a few awkward photo shoots.
Do underbites correct themselves in dogs?
As the dog grows, this alignment issue may occasionally correct itself. This is especially true for breeds with more prominent muzzles, where underbites are frequently seen. That being said, the majority of tiny dogs who exhibit symptoms as puppies will probably always have an underbite.
In Conclusion: Cavalier King Charles Spaniel With Underbite
It’s important to get to know a breeder before purchasing a puppy. Be sure to meet the litter, and keep an eye out for potential problems.
There is no assurance that you will find a dog that precisely satisfies your needs, but there is no doubt that your chances are increased by doing some research beforehand.
Be a responsible dog parent if you do own a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with an underbite.
It still needs your best love and attention!
Read about other dog care tips such as when to shower a dog after vaccination, can a dog jump on the couch after heartworm treatment, why does a puppy hold pee all night but not during day, and many more.
You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.