'Doggie dentist' gives a pooch braces

Posted at 6:09 PM, Mar 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-02 23:27:08-05

A six-month-old Golden Retriever puppy is getting relief in his mouth thanks to a set of braces.

The Harborfront Hospital for Animals in Spring Lake, Michigan, posted photos Saturday on Facebook of the dog, Wesley, outfitted with braces.

“February is National Pet Dental Health month, so we thought this was a good time to let you know about the importance of your best buddy's dental health,” the veterinary clinic captioned the post, which has been shared more than 270,000 times.

The puppy belongs to Molly Moore, the daughter of the clinic’s veterinarian, Dr. James Moore, who is called a “doggie dentist” in the Facebook post.

“He wasn’t able to fully close his mouth and chew well and he stopped playing with his toys because of the pain and started losing weight because he couldn’t eat,” Molly Moore told ABC News of Wesley.

The braces were put on Wesley on Feb. 19 and should come off this week, according to Moore.

“I think the only way he realizes anything is different is because we had to take his toys away so he doesn’t pull the braces off,” Moore said. “He’s still as puppy-ish as ever.”

Moore added that her dad sees a lot of “unique cases” in his practice.

“He does a lot of oral procedures and different orthodontia for dogs,” she said.

A spokeswoman for the American Veterinary Medical Association told ABC News that, as with people, dental problems for dogs can lead to other, more serious health issues.

"Veterinary dentistry includes the cleaning, adjustment, filing, extraction, or repair of animals' teeth and all other aspects of oral health care in animals," the spokeswoman said. "Veterinary dentistry is a function of veterinary practice because it requires diagnosis and treatment, and, to be fully effective, demands extensive knowledge of anatomy, anesthesiology, pharmacology, physiology, pathology, radiology, neurology, medicine, and surgery that is part of the graduate veterinarian's training."