A police dog in Port Alberni is now armed with four titanium teeth.
Police dog Jammer recently underwent a dental procedure to replace all four cracked canine or “front fang” teeth with titanium crowns, according to Port Alberni RCMP.
“We are thinking of our boy Jammer today as he is recovering from some dental work this morning,” RCMP said last week in a since-deleted Facebook post. “Jammer is now the proud owner of four titanium teeth.”
The social media post sparked some pushback online via Reddit threads, including one thread exceeding 49,000 “votes” and 2,000 comments and another with more than 700 comments.
RCMP says it recognizes the original post and photo “caused some confusion and misunderstanding,” prompting police to publish a follow-up post on Sept. 16 “to take some time to explain more about Jammer.”
According to RCMP, the procedure was not done for vanity or to cause harm to the dog but rather to ensure its comfort and health.
“Recently, during a routine visit to the veterinarian, it was learned that Jammer had several cracks in the enamel of his teeth. Left untreated, this could cause infection which could be fatal,” RCMP said in the post.
“To ensure Jammer’s health, his veterinarian recommended he receive crowns on the cracked teeth. This is a procedure similar to what your dentist would do. Jammer’s crowns are similar to his originals in size and shape.”
VCA Canada has animal hospitals across the country, including in Victoria, Ladysmith and Nanaimo, and says a crown acts as armour for protection but does not strengthen the tooth.
“The crown needs to withstand the rigours of daily chewing and play. Metallic crowns composed of titanium, chromium, and stainless steel are most commonly used,” according to VCA.
“While any tooth can be crowned, the most common teeth to receive crowns are the canine or front fang teeth.”
The animal hospital says veterinary dentists often recommend crowns to protect broken teeth from further trauma, noting they should last for a dog’s lifetime.
“We apologize for any misunderstanding and confusion our original post may have caused,” Port Alberni RCMP added.