Complicated Crown Fracture
German Shephard

November 2004
Dr Gerhard Steenkamp

A 4 year-old German Shephard dog is presented to you because the owner is very concerned about his discoloured canine. The discolouration was noticed recently but the dog is otherwise healthy and still eating like always.

A What is your diagnosis?

B Discuss the pathogenesis in this case.

C What treatment, if any, is indicated in this dog?


A Pulpitis and chronic wear on the distal aspect of the canine.

B This wear pattern of the maxillary canines is commonly seen in dogs that grab and pull on fences or cage doors. The wire is caught behind the maxillary canines and as the dog is pulling back, the wire is wearing the enamel and dentine away. Pulpitis may occur during these traumatic events or by exposure of the pulp (in severe cases).This may be so severe to expose the pulp cavity. The pulp, being walled in by dentin, cannot expand during inflammation and the breakdown products of haemoglobin is therefore forced into the dentinal tubuli. This leads to the pink-blue discoloration of the tooth. After this incident, the colour will change in time to a more blue-grey colour.

C Treatment is aimed at:
Behaviour - the adverse behaviour should be stopped
Endodontic (root canal) treatment as most of these cases the pulp is necrotic
and will lead to periapical pathology like abscessation.

Picture DSC 3185


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