Animal Dentistry and Oral Surgery Specialists, LLC

2409 Omro Road
Oshkosh, WI 54904-7713


Cage Chewer Syndrome


Cage chewer syndrome is a problem that develops from cage or fence chewing; however, the underlying problem is frequently behavioral.  Getting help from a board certified behaviorist is always appropriate if available to the owner.  These patients can cause variable degrees of dental abrasion (enamel or enamel and dentin) and possibly tooth fracture. 

Preventing dental fractures is only possible if the dental wear is recognized early.  If abrasion is observed, finding the source of the problem is logical.  Allowing these animals to chew hard objects (e.g. "bully sticks", nylon bones, animal bones, cow hooves, rocks and fences) must be avoided and preventing cage chewing is essential to reduce the incidence of dental fractures.

Treatment of cage chewer syndrome


Dental radiographs are necessary to determine whether the worn teeth are vital (alive) or non-vital (dead).

The non-vital teeth must be treated endodontically (by root canal therapy).  Vital teeth may or may not require endodontic therapy.  Some operators prefer to treat these teeth prior to performing crown therapy.

Digital dental radiograph used to evaluate tooth prior to endodontic, or crown therapy.

Crowns can be full or provide partial coverage of these teeth.  Treatment planning for crowns are made case by case for individual patients.  Considerations are made with regard to providing the strongest possible tooth-crown combination.

Right upper canine with dental abrasion.

Left lower canine with dental abrasion.

Right lower canine that fractured due to dental abrasion from cage chewing.  This dog was extremely painful.

This is a different patient with dental abrasion and no fractured teeth.  Metal 3/4 crowns were used to help protect this patient's teeth!

View of upper dental arches with 3/4 crowns.

Right side view with 3/4 crowns of upper and lower canine teeth.

Right upper canine.

Right lower canine tooth.

Right lower canine; alternate view of 3/4 crown.

Front view.

Right side view.

Left side view.

Alternate view.

Right side view.