Owned by Pugs

Monday, September 8, 2008

Pearly Whites?

Well, as promised, here is the follow up to Luna’s day at the dentist last week.  I have been putting off writing this post because things did not go quite as expected on her teeth cleaning day. We knew her teeth were not in super shape as she did suffer from doggy halitosis or as we call here in the OBP household “stink breath”.  When we got Luna her breath was terrible, but that was mainly due to other medical concerns.  Well, this time, her breath was awful because her teeth were terrible.  We just didn’t know how bad it really was. 

She has severe periodontal disease.  She lost a total of 4 teeth in the process of her teeth cleaning, one of which just fell out during the procedure and the other 3 were extracted.  She lost one around the house last week, too.  So, she is down 5 teeth this week.  This has been a mortifying experience for us and a painful one for her.  We don’t get around to brushing the pugs’ teeth each day.  However, we usually work in a brushing at least once a month and during the brushing Luna is by far the worst in terms of cooperation.  Plus, her mouth is tiny which gives us almost no room to work.  So, I guess you can say we aren’t very diligent about brushing their teeth.  The boys have had this type of teeth brushing routine their whole life and we had never experienced anything like this before with the boys.  Henry’s teeth are actually pretty good while Benny’s are a little worse, but apparently nowhere near as bad as Luna’s. 

The only real saving grace in all of this was that the vet said that there was no way for us to tell just how bad her teeth were until she was under sedation.  When you look at her teeth, from above the gumline, they look alright.  The vet saved her teeth and we have them here now.  She showed how terrible and decayed they were under the gumline.  She did say that her past life history plays a contributing role and that Luna’s tiny mouth of course play a part, but it definitely makes us feel like bad pug parents when we have our little girl in for routine care and when she comes out we have this overwhelming feeling that we have been neglecting her.  It is just so disheartening.

We knew when we rescued her that we would be giving a spoiled forever home but feeling like we dropped the ball on her dental care is just devastating for us.  We feel like we let her down.  Our goal was to have her be just as healthy as the boys once we “got her up to speed” and we felt like we had finally done that once we got her on a good diet, found a specialist for her eye care and got her eye medications regulated.

The silver lining around this gray cloud is that we are more aware than ever as to what we have to do to be sure that Luna keeps her teeth.  (We will of course do the same for the boys and Cupid, too.)  We have always known that poor dental health leads to other medical issues,but somewhere we got side tracked and we are ready to get back on track.  It is even more important in pugs to maintain teeth brushing and dental care because their teeth are such a jumble in their crowded little pug palate. 

So, we took a couple of days to have a pity party for Luna and kick ourselves a little bit, but now we are ready to get serious about good dental health.  We can’t get back her lost teeth, but we certainly can keep her other teeth in tip top shape.

Here is a picture of the teeth that Luna had extracted.  The points on top of the teeth are below the gum line, and as you can see, the area that was actually below the gum line show the most signs of decay.

Luna's teeth

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Sophie and Dixie


OH you guys… there is NO way you could have repaired the damage done before you got her!!! We have the same problems with the Bugg (and Sophie slightly) and it’s hard to know that because of their time before us, they will have dental problems… Dixie recently had two extractions, that didn’t need to be extracted only 6 months prior. But the best thing to do is keep her happy and comfortable- which you are doing- and I know she loves you for it! Don’t beat yourself up… beat up the horrible people who abuse and neglect pugs! (LOL- don’t ACTUALLY beat them up… but mentally, go right ahead.)



Please quit beating yourself over the head about this.  Yes, maybe, more diligent brushing might have helped, but you don’t know that for sure.  Her past probably contributed much more to her present dental health than you did.  Now you will be more attentive to her daily dental care, but the past may still catch up with her.  Just know she is being given tons of love and care. It really is not all your fault.  Hugs and kisses.

It is impossible for me to brush Romeo’s teeth, and I mean impossible.  He has some teeth problem, but even the vet doesn’t want to put him under, just has his teeth scraped a little, which he tolerates at the vet.  He goes to the vet often enough that, so far, it hasn’t created a major problem.



I agree with the previous posts—don’t beat yourself up!  My little Birdy was a rescue and I had the same issues, her teeth were in terrible shape.  Sleighbelle does not tolerate brushings…I have had her teeth cleaned at the vet a couple of times and I think I’ll have it done again in February (the month my vet does dental discounts).
Sophie and Dixie, I must disagree with you a bit, I think we should actually beat up people who neglect and abuse animals—especially little puggies!



Ditto.  I’m sure you’ll still feel guilty over this, no matter what we say, but as Pumba would say, “You gotta put your past in your behind” lol Seriously, I’m amazed at the amount of stuff you get done in your life as it is.  You really do take good care of Luna, spending even more time on her with her eyes.  So, yes, it’s a terribly sad thing, but think of all the pugs that will enjoy better dental care after their moms and dads see the picture and hear Luna’s story.

To Luna:  Sweetie, don’t worry, if all your teeth fall out, they will give you soft food…like PUMPKIN BREAD! xoxo

ps:  y’all know how I love the coincedences of the captcha’s with the blog.  The one below is “her57”.  How appropriate.

Darci and Abbey the Pug


I truly believe everything happens for a reason.  I believe part of Luna coming into your lives was to educate other pug and future pug owners about possible health issues of pugs.  I’ve learned so much about pug eyes from Luna and now about teeth too.  Maybe part of her losing her teeth will be education for some of us who might not otherwise have taken such good care of our fury children’s teeth.  She is such a good ambassador and from how it sounds, she is in the best care possible (vets and parents alike).  Take pride in knowing that you have provided her with a fantastic home, insurmountable love, great health care, and fun brothers.



Luna had definately been thru alot, and is most definately grateful for coming into your lives.  As loving, caring pug owners, there probably isn’t any of us that aren’t angered by what previously happened to Luna.
Some children have dental problems no matter what, and now that you know Luna’s situation, you know what you will have to do to help her ongoing dental care.
As Darcy said, you have educated the rest of us with pug issues, I am very grateful to you and the gang, and all the helpful advice,
that I have received thru this site.  Please do not beat yourself up over her dental issues, you saved her from a horrible fate, and you shall overcome this issue too!
You & Luna, and the boys are in my thoughts ( all the time!!)



First of all, I’m so sorry that you and Luna had such a hard, sad day.  It was sure a rough one.

Second, you are exemplary pug parents! That’s a fact.  We all know it!

Third, Little Luna’s past has caught up with all of you (her vet included) on this one.  Hang on though, because now you know what you’re dealing with, and will be able to go forward in the best way possible.

And Fourth, just as pugs are wonderful, so are pug people!  I loved reading all the posts of love and concern and encouragement from everyone!  You’ve heard a lot of wise advice from everyone about not beating yourself up—try hard to follow it.

Karen B


I wholeheartedly agree with all of the above!!  There is no way any pug parents can be perfect, anymore than we can be with our human children.  The important thing is to learn from the past and go ahead with your head held high!  C.J. was only 2 or 3 and on his routine check up, was found to have a severely fractured tooth.  So in the hospital he went, (again), to have this one extracted and the others cleaned.  I do take the precaution of have them on the Hill’s Science Diet t/d which is a dental diet that they recommended for puggies with crooked teeth and funny “bites”.  Hopefully it will help some.

Love to Luna and OBP parents and I think you are great, loving pug folks!



You can’t foresee something like this. Luna has all of your love and support and now your education (and ours) on the importance of keeping theirs (and our) teeth clean and what can go on in there when we don’t want to put them under and have them done (It took me two years to take my benee and he too lost 4 teeth…) Now I do my guys non-anesthesia once a year.
We also put Plaque off in their food (this does’t get rid of current plaque build up but prevents it)
I am happy to hear that Luna is on the mend and she is in fantastically good loving hands with OBP!!



Oh my gosh! I feel so bad for Luna and for you. I can imagine how you must be feeling because we all know how much you love your babies. I hope Luna is feeling okay. It is such a blessing that she has you to take care of her. You are giving her the absolute best.
I’m truly grateful that you share the pugs adventures with us, because of course, it’s a reminder for all of us to take care of our babies and their teeth.
We love you Luna!



I agree with previous posts in that you are wonderful dog owners and it’s obvious that you care so much about your babies! Unfortunately it’s just not possible to prevent every single thing that can go wrong—I’m dealing with this now as I battle a pug eye infection. I’m terrible about teeth cleaning as well, and this serves as a good reminder. I should probably schedule a teeth cleaning while I’m thinking about it…



because of severe foodallergies both my ollie and his little sister pippa aren’t allowed any tasty soft rawhidebones but the positive side is that now the real bones that i cook or can buy at my petshop really keep their teeth so much cleaner!
ps i am from holland and i love your site and all the pug-spirit.



You know what?  Some dogs just have bad teeth. She wasn’t taken care of as a puppy during development, and you can only do so much.  My sister brushes her poodle’s teeth every single day, feeds her a dental diet, and so on.  Her last cleaning she lost several teeth.  Her vet confirmed, there is only so much you can do.

Now, give Luna a kiss for us now that her breath is fresher wink

Lisa Jacques


Awww….. wonder if the pugtooth Fairy will come tonight?



Please don’t blame yourself for poor Luna’s dental problems.  You give your dogs a wonderful home where they receive love and fantastic care.  Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience - I’ve learned more about caring for pugs reading this blog over the past couple of months than I have in the nearly two years that I’ve had my Bubba.



I’m late to the game, but I second all the sentiments above…You have absolutely nothing to feel badly about.  Luna has The Best forever home and care she could ever have…She’s one lucky little lady.

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