Prevalence of dental disorders in pet dogs

https://doi.org/10.17221/5654-VETMEDCitation:Kyllar M., Witter K. (2005): Prevalence of dental disorders in pet dogs. Veterinarni Medicina, 50: 496-505.
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Oral disorders of the dog represent for veterinarians a medical challenge and an important field of interest from the economical point of view. Although many epidemiological studies on dental diseases in beagles bred under controlled conditions have been realized, information on frequency of these alterations in populations of pet dogs, especially in Central Europe, is far from complete. The aim of our study was to assess the prevalence of the most common oral diseases in dogs in a Czech urban region. A total number of 408 dogs, presented at a private Czech urban veterinary hospital for different reasons, were analyzed. Site specificity and severity of dental diseases were assessed using modified indexing systems. Dental alterations could be found in 348 out of 408 dogs (85.3%). The most frequent diseases were (i) periodontitis (60.0% of 408 dogs), (ii) calculus (61.3%), (iii) missing teeth (33.8%), and (iv) abnormal attrition (5.9%). Furthermore, single cases of caries, tumors and enamel hypoplasia could be observed. Periodontitis occurred preferentially in the upper jaw of small dogs and increased with age. The labial/buccal side of teeth was affected more severely than the lingual/palatinal side. Differences between left and right side could not be observed. Malocclusion and insufficient oral hygiene care seem to predispose to periodontitis. As periodontitis, dental calculus occurred preferentially in small dogs and increased with age. The prevalence of calculus formation did not differ between left and right side. However, the upper jaw showed a higher degree of affection than the mandible. On the labial/buccal side of the teeth, a thicker calculus layer could be observed than lingually/palatinally. Interestingly, the degree of calculus formation and of periodontitis did not correlate in all cases, supporting the hypothesis that supragingival calculus per se is not an irritant. The pattern of tooth loss was the same between left and right side and between upper and lower jaw. Most commonly, the first premolars were missing followed by incisors and other premolars and molars. Tooth loss for other reasons than periodontitis and single cases of tooth agenesis has not been detected in our study. (Abnormal) tooth wear was detected only in older dogs and affected mostly canines and premolars of large breeds. Age estimation based on dental attrition should be carried out with care, because tooth wear depends on keeping conditions and feeding of the dog. Our study confirmed the high prevalence of oral diseases in dogs. Veterinarians could improve the effectiveness of treatment concentrating their diagnostic efforts on age groups and types of teeth at highest risk, as assessed in this and other reports.
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