It’s come to our attention that IrishCentral readers are massive animal lovers, what with the love you showed the Donegal Donkey Sanctuary, this delighted grinning donkey rescued from the flood waters in December 2015 and of course, your love for Irish dog breeds.
With that said, you may want to brace yourselves for what you’re about to see, as this adorable little pup with some dental problems is going to break your heart.
Six month-old golden retriever Wesley and his owner Molly Moore are a very happy pair. They do all the normal things that a puppy and his best friend owner do:
Take baths ...
Have loads of cuddles ...
and take some thinking time in the sun.
Molly, who lives in Spring Lake, MI and has a love for animals that runs in her family, works in her Dad Jim’s veterinary clinic.
As little Wesley started to grow, however, Molly noticed that something was up and the golden-haired beauty was having some problems fully closing his mouth.
“Once his adult teeth started coming out, we noticed they were coming in wrong and he was unable to close his mouth fully,” Molly told BuzzFeed News.
Poor Wesley was far from the happy, carefree pup he once was and his teething problems were stopping him from playing with his toys and causing him to lose weight.
Concerned about her perfect pooch, Molly decided that something had to be done: “It was very worrying for me, and we needed to do something for him to be pain free and live a happy puppy life.”
Luckily, her Dad Jim just happens to be a specialist in veterinary dentistry i.e. a Doggy Dentist, and he came up with the perfect solution for setting Wesley’s teeth straight: Puppy braces!
Braces can really help dogs with dental problems, although it’s an “unusual technique” and rarely performed, only when it’s preventing normal eating functions or causing pain.
Moore said that he performs the procedure only about four times a year for those pups suffering as Wesley was. The golden retriever's dental woe is known as malocclusion, according to the American Veterinary Dental College, and it occurs when teeth do not fit comfortably in the mouth when it is fully closed.
But don’t worry, you’re not about to see all and sundry placing braces on their prized pooches to give their pet that perfect Hollywood smile to match their own. Puppy braces are only for those who really need them.
“We don’t place braces or any oral appliances in the mouth for aesthetics,” Jim said. “We do this for pain or function.”
“A lot of people don’t understand,” his daughter added. “They think we did this so he won’t get picked on in the playground, but there’s a serious medical reason.”
To get his gnashers fixed up, Wesley was placed under anesthetic while the wire and braces were affixed.
And although he may have initially wanted to hide his new brace-face from the world …
Wesley eventually showed of his new, if a little awkward, smile.
“He’s just so cute with them on,” Molly said. “I feel like that’s what I looked like when I got braces at 12.”
The golden retriever will have to sport his braces for just a few weeks and in no time he’ll be back to his normal loveable self!
*Originally published March 2016