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Teeth troubles in tiny dogs

News
Article

A study explores the rate of prevalence for periodontal disease in extra-small dog breeds to giant breeds and everything in between

Papillon. (fast_9 / stock.adobe.com)

Papillon. (fast_9 / stock.adobe.com)

Researchers from the Waltham Petcare Science Institute examined the correlation between dog breed size and periodontal disease. The study, published in The Veterinary Journal,1 analyzed over 3 million dog medical records from Banfield Pet Hospital with 60 popular dog breeds across the United States.

The data showed that smaller dog breeds were more predisposed than larger breeds to develop periodontal disease. Extra-small breeds (<6.5 kg/14.3 lbs) were up to 5 times more likely to be diagnosed with periodontal disease than giant breeds (>25 kg/55 lbs). Other risk factors for periodontal disease included a dog’s age, being overweight, and time since last scale and polish.1,2

“Regardless of the reasons that smaller dogs have increased risk for periodontal disease, knowing the true magnitude of the risk across breeds is an important step in providing quality care for all dogs, both in the veterinarian’s office and at home,” stated Corrin Wallis, PhD, Microbiome Workstream Leader, Waltham Petcare Science Institute, and co-author of the study.2

With a prevalence between 10% and 20%, periodontal disease is one of the most common diagnoses in primary-care practice, even though it is often not caught.1,3 Because it is still under diagnosed, experts predict its prevalence would actually be between 44% and 100% if the disease was more accurately diagnosed in all patients.1,4 The Waltham Petcare Science Institute researchers believe this disparity comes from most diagnoses taken from a visual examination rather than a deeper evaluation of the bone loss with periodontally probing and charting every tooth present, and obtaining dental radiographs with general anesthesia.1,2

Here is the breakdown of the average rate of periodontal disease across different-sized dog breeds:1,2

Extra small breeds (<6.5kg)

  • Papillon 29.7%
  • Toy poodle 28.9%
  • Pomeranian 26.4%
  • Maltese 25.4%
  • Yorkshire terrier 25.4%
  • Miniature pinscher 22.2%
  • Pekingese 21.7%
  • Shih tzu 16.9%

Small breeds (6.5-9kg)

  • Dachshund 28.1%
  • Bichon frise 27.9%
  • West Highland white terrier 26.6%
  • Fox terrier 25.6 %
  • Miniature schnauzer 23.7%
  • Jack Russell terrier 22%
  • Rat terrier 22%
  • Brussels griffon 17.7%

Medium-small breeds (9-15kg)

  • Shetland sheepdog 30.6%
  • Cavalier King Charles spaniel 27.3%
  • American cocker spaniel 25.3%
  • Beagle 23.2%
  • Pug 21.9%
  • Standard schnauzer 21%
  • Welsh corgi 20.2%
  • French bulldog 8.3%

Medium-large breeds (15-30kg)

  • Basset hound 25.3%
  • Standard poodle 16.9%
  • Border collie 15.4%
  • Australian shepherd 14.3%
  • American husky 10%
  • Boxer 9%
  • American Staffordshire terrier 8.9%
  • English bulldog 7.3%

Large breeds (30-40kg)

  • Greyhound 38.7%
  • Weimaraner 14.3%
  • Golden retriever 13.8%
  • Labrador retriever 12.6%
  • Akita 11.4%
  • Doberman pinscher 10.1%
  • German shepherd 8.1%
  • American bulldog 6.1%

Giant breeds (>40kg)

  • Bernese mountain dog 15.5%
  • Great Pyrenees 11.4%
  • Great Dane 10.5%
  • Bloodhound 9.3%
  • Newfoundland 8.8%
  • Saint Bernard 7.8%
  • Bullmastiff 7.0%
  • Cane corso 4%

References

  1. Wallis C, Saito EK, Salt C, Holcombe LJ, Desforges NG. Association of periodontal disease with breed size, breed, weight, and age in pure-bred client-owned dogs in the United States. Vet J. 2021;275(105717). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tvjl.2021.105717
  2. Small dog breeds at highest risk for dental disease, largest study confirms. News release. Waltham Petcare Science Institute. February 29, 2024. https://www.waltham.com/news-events/oral-health/small-dog-breeds-highest-risk-dental-disease
  3. Lund EM, Armstrong PJ, Kirk CA, Kolar LM, Klausner JS. Health status and population characteristics of dogs and cats examined at private veterinary practices in the United States. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1999;214(9). https://doi.org/10.2460/javma.1999.214.09.1336
  4. Kyllar M, Witter K. Prevalence of dental disorders in pet dogs. CAAS Agricultural Journals. 2005;50(11):496-505. doi: 10.17221/5654-VETMED
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