Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sharkey Dane pup bites his own lips

Princeton inherited his lips from his grandpa Xander Moloseum, (courtesy of Great Plans Danes and Shabrea Great Danes)

Our puppy Princeton has gotten sores from biting his classic Dane lips. Great Danes have handsome overhanging upper lips that hang down to make their muzzle look square.

Princeton’s grandsire, the Polish champion Xander Moloseum, has truly amazing lips as you can see in his photo. It looks like our puppy has inherited these impressive lips.

Princeton had cuts on both sides of his upper lips when he came to us. At first we thought his littermates bit him, but at his first check-up, the vet figured out that Princeton bites his own lips! We're treating the sores with ointments and trying to keep them clean, but they still haven't healed. Even if he isn't biting at his lip, it gets irritated when he chews things, which is whenever he is awake.

The vet says that this problem solves itself when the adult teeth come in because they're not so sharp -- or he said we might want to pull his puppy teeth! (Seems too drastic -- we don't want to!)

The breeder and her circle of expert were all dumbfounded. They figured it must be Princeton’s Euro lips. And I couldn’t find any info on the Internet about this problem -- zero! -- so it must be rare. The breeder’s vet said tooth removal would be an absolute last resort, and it will all change as he gets older, outgrows the teething stage, and his lips grow.

Princeton’s breeder added, “He must be a aggressive chewer when he chews.”

Ha! We laughed at that comment. That’s an understatement! Trying to get him to stop chewing is like trying to get him to stop breathing. He loves to bite so much that we started calling him Sharkey.

Request to readers: Let me know if you have any good ideas about how to handle the lip issue!


Shannon said...

I'm having a similar problem with my 4 month old pup of a different breed. If you have any advice as to what worked for you please email me: doomfaeryshannon at yahoo dot com. I'd love to hear it!


KC said...

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for commenting at my “My Great Dane Princeton” blog about the problem of puppies biting their own lips. My heart goes out to you because it is a difficult problem and upsetting to see the sores on your sweet pup’s mouth. Princeton still has scars from it now at age 10 months.

It did help to put antibiotic ointment (Neosporin) on the sores on his lips 3 times a day. What finally healed the sores completely was when Princeton also took antibiotic pills and drops internally. The vet prescribed it for diarrhea, but it also worked on his mouth sores. Princeton had the sores for about a month. We did not have to wait until he lost his baby teeth for the sores to heal.

Reducing stress on your dog helps, too. Princeton tends to bite his lips when he’s under stress, so it also helped when he got used to living with us in his new home. Apparently he first bit his lips to the point of bleeding when the breeder took him away from his mom and littermates and drove him over to us.

He still chews his lips when he’s very upset, but he’s learned not to bite down hard.

Jessica Patterson said...

my pitbull does this all the time. She is 2. So she isnt teathing and has her asult teath. She is not much of a chewer. She is a lazy puppy and doesnt care about toys and we find her chewing her lips all the time. We cant get her to stoped and we searched the web and foumd nothing

Dobie said...

I know this is a very old comment, I cannot find anything else on it. This is happening to my 8 week old Dane. He has bitten a hole all the way through his lip. It's pitiful. What age did your pups lip begin to heal?

KC said...

Dobie, it seems like Princeton was about six months old when his lips healed. I'm sure they were better by the time all his adult teeth came in when he was a year old. He is now 9 years old and still has a small hole all the way through his lip from when he bit through it as a puppy. Good luck with your new pup!

KC said...

Dobie, I just remembered that the wounds where Princeton's lips finally healed when the vet gave him antibiotics for another problem (diarrhea, I think). As I see it, the wounds on his lips were sore and itchy from a mild infection, so he kept on biting them, and then stopped when the infection cleared.

I had asked the vet for antibiotics months earlier when he first started biting his lips, but the vet refused, saying, "I'm not going to prescribe antibiotics for that little place!" Knowing what I know now, I would have fought harder for antibiotics or given him a natural antibiotic such as colloidal silver.