Clinical research: the oral microbiome for earlier disease detection


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Content submitted by Basepaws, a Zoetis company and dvm360® Strategic Alliance Partner

National Pet Dental Health Month has arrived. The mouth is the gateway to the body, and oral health is an important factor in a pet’s overall health. Information gathered from the oral microbiome1 may also help tailor individualized care for dogs and cats.

Basepaws is a Zoetis company2 that provides oral microbiome screening tests for common dental diseases, including feline periodontal disease and tooth resorption. The company also conducts clinical research3 on the state of the oral microbiome as a powerful indicator of these dental conditions and other common diseases in both dogs and cats, such as atopic and food allergic dermatitis.4

Chronic feline gingivostomatitis presents a challenge for veterinary practitioners, including etiology, how to diagnose, what to tell clients, and the best way to treat. The oral microbiome is altered in cases of periodontal disease, tooth resorption, and chronic gingivostomatitis. Gathering and examining salivary swabs to sample the oral microbiome may be one of the keys to unlocking the mystery of tooth resorption and stomatitis in the cat—presenting a unique screening tool for essentially matching the patient’s oral microbiome findings with peer-reviewed, evidence-based oral microbiome controls for the common oral diseases in the cat. —Jan Bellows, DVM, DAVDC, DABVP, FAVD

A simple swab of a patient’s mouth collects genetic information on risk for potentially developing disease, as well as data on oral microbial communities that points toward a current, active disease state. The interplay between host genetics and the oral microbiome opens up a new area of research that can support earlier detection of disease in cats and dogs.

3 easy steps to participate

Basepaws is highlighting its canine periodontal disease and feline stomatitis clinical programs for Pet Dental Awareness Month, and they are actively recruiting veterinary partners to participate in these and other studies. All oral swab kits are provided, and compensation is offered for every sample that matches Basepaws’ program criteria. The company provides a straightforward process to participate with 3 easy steps:

  1. Follow a simple study protocol to collect oral swab samples from qualifying patients,
  2. Fill out a basic screening form for each sample, and
  3. Share patients’ clinical records.

Interested veterinary professionals in a practice or university research setting who would like to participate in Basepaws’ clinical programs for canine periodontal disease, feline stomatitis, or a range of other programs, can fill out a short form on the Basepaws webpage for veterinarians at to receive more details.


  1. Bellows, J. What’s new in the clinical practice of dentistry? The oral microbiome. dvm360. March 23, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  2. Zoetis completes acquisition of Basepaws, an innovative leader in petcare genetics, to Strengthen its Portfolio of Precision Animal Health Solutions. Businesswire release. Business Wire. June 22, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  3. Basepaws clinical research programs. Basepaws, a Zoetis Company. Accessed January 27, 2023.
  4. Basepaws seeks participants for feline and canine dermatitis research. dvm360 May 23, 2022. Accessed January 27, 2023.
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