Yesterday when I untangled my hand from Via’s teeth the blood coating my skin, for once, wasn’t mine. Yay! Let the teething begin.
Teething discomfort may cause a puppy to whine, seem fearful, show irritability, loose her appetite and / or have diarrhea. Via is MORE mouthy that she used to be, if you can believe that. But she doesn’t apply any pressure. She is also “restless” at night which is new. For teething puppies chewing and gnawing are also ways to relieve the pain and pressure in their gums, when their teeth are erupting.
Relieving Via’s pain or discomfort during the teething stage is a priority, as well as protecting everyone’s possessions from the chewing compulsion. So far everything that Via had put in to her mouth has been played with and paraded. Because teething makes chewing compulsive, we now store shoes and boots in Rubber Maid bins (with lids) to limit the temptation.
All dogs are born without teeth. Between the ages of 3 and 6 weeks, however, a dog will get its milk, or deciduous, teeth. On emerging, these 28 teeth are sharp enough to help the animal transition to eating solid foods. Deciduous teeth last between four months and a year, during which time the dog’s permanent teeth gradually replace them, absorbing the roots of the milk teeth as they do.
This replacement process is known as teething. When it’s completed, the dog will have 42 adult teeth.
Although dogs experience the discomfort of teething most intensely between the ages of 2 and 7 months, minor discomfort may occur for as long as a year until the adult teeth have fully emerged. Dogs get their permanent incisors between the ages of 2 and 5 months. Their premolars will erupt at between 4 and 6 months, while their canine teeth and molars appear between 5 and 7 months.
There are several simple solutions to the chewing and nipping that result from teething.
Hard rubber chew toys, in addition to their pain-relieving properties, have a pacifying effect on some dogs. Via is not interested in the rubber toys, unless they are stuffed with can dog food or ground meat and frozen. I have also frozen chicken or beef broth soaked grain free kibble in her Kongs. Some people let there dogs chew a washcloth or rope toy that has been dipped in water, twisted, and frozen to numb the inflamed gums. I worry too much about Via eating the thing to do that.
Via has an endless supply of frozen Kong toys, frozen bully sticks and ice cubes made with water, chicken, beef broth or Aloe Vera juice. She gets frozen rib bones or pig tails for recreational chewing. I serve her raw meet meals mostly frozen.
I give Via a gum massage. I sit her, use one hand to support Vee’s chin while softly stroking the outside of her mouth. Once she relaxes, I gently raise her upper lip and massage the upper and lower gums in a circular motion. Sometimes I rub her gums Aloe Vera juice. Get some aloe vera juice from a health food store and freeze it in a small paper cup. Once it is frozen, you can peel back the paper cup and rub the frozen juice on the puppy’s gums. This soothes the discomfort in the gums. Via seems to enjoy the taste.
For the first time I am trying Homeopathy. Instead of using the herb chamomile, I give her the homeopathic remedy Chamomilla as a calming agent two or three times per day. It is thought to be particularly effective in calming young animals during teething age. However, I have not seen much change in Via’s activity level since introducing it.
“This too, shall pass” is my mantra.