Data Shows Prevalence of Oral Disease in Dogs

Banfield pet hospitals say yearly cleanings and at-home dental care are critical.

Posted: February 24, 2010, 2 a.m. EST

Dog with toothbrushWhen it comes to dental health, your dog may have some work to do. New findings show that 78 percent of dogs age 3 and older have oral disease, according to Banfield’s Applied Research and Knowledge (BARK) team.

The BARK team conducts ongoing research in the field of veterinary medicine based on data from the more than 120,000 pet visits to Banfield hospitals each week. In conjunction with February’s National Pet Dental Health Month, the team has released the latest information to help veterinarians and pet owners maintain and improve the health of their pets’ teeth and gums.

Jeffrey Klausner, D.V.M., MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield, said more needs to be done to educate the public on the prevalence of the disease and how to reduce the damage it causes, starting in veterinary practices. Veterinary professionals, he said, can do better at educating clients on the importance of yearly dental cleanings and at-home care.

Such preventive measures are crucial, and it’s up to veterinarians to make a strong case for professional oral care, Klausner said.

All breeds are at risk of developing periodontal disease, and according to the new research, the top canine breeds predisposed to the disorder include the Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pomeranian, Shetland Sheepdog, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Papillon, Standard Poodle, Dachshund and Havanese.

“Although dental disease can occur rapidly at any age, risk factors for developing periodontal disease in dogs include increasing age, small breed size and neutering,” he said. “Periodontal disease has also been associated with changes in a pet’s kidneys, liver and cardiac functions — in short, unhealthy teeth can lead to an unhealthy pet.”

Pet owners should not wait until the disease develops into a serious problem before visiting their veterinarian. Preventive care is key to taking better care of animals, according to Dr. Karen Johnson, D.V.M., vice president and client advocate for Banfield.


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Stephanie   Webster, TX

3/2/2010 10:43:15 AM

It's good to start brushing your dog's teeth when he is a puppy. It saves a lot of money later on down the road if your dog gets peridontal disease.

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Anna   Maple Grove, MN

3/1/2010 8:15:59 PM

Those are some sobering statistics! Thanks for the reminder of how important it is to take care of our dog's teeth.

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Galadriel   Lothlorien, ME

2/28/2010 6:33:54 PM

Very deadly. The same diseases will occur in humans but most of us avoid them by brushing our teeth daily.

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John   Three Oaks, MI

2/28/2010 4:58:04 PM

Dental treats do help.

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