Indexed on: 03 Sep '14Published on: 03 Sep '14Published in: BMC Veterinary Research
Periodontal disease (PD) is the most widespread oral disease in dogs and has been associated with serious systemic diseases. The disease is more prevalent in small breeds compared to large breeds and incidence increases with advancing age. In prevalence studies 84% of Beagles over the age of 3 and 100% of Poodles over the age of 4 were diagnosed with PD. Current knowledge of the rate of progression of PD is limited. The objective of this study was to determine the rate of PD progression in Miniature Schnauzers, an at risk small breed of dog. Dogs (n = 52, age 1.3-6.9 years) who had received a regular oral care regime prior to this study were assessed for levels of gingivitis and periodontitis around the whole gingival margin in every tooth under general anaesthetic. Assessments were conducted approximately every six weeks for up to 60 weeks following the cessation of the oral care regime.All of the 2155 teeth assessed entered the study with some level of gingivitis. 23 teeth entered the study with periodontitis, observed across 12 dogs aged between 1.3 and 6.9 years. 35 dogs had at least 12 teeth progress to periodontitis within 60 weeks. Of the teeth that progressed to periodontitis, 54% were incisors. The lingual aspect of the incisors was significantly more likely to be affected (p < 0.001). The severity of gingivitis in periodontitis-affected teeth was variable with 24% of the aspects affected having very mild gingivitis, 36% mild gingivitis and 40% moderate gingivitis. Periodontitis progression rate was significantly faster in older dogs. Only one dog (age 3.5) did not have any teeth progress to periodontitis after 60 weeks.This is the first study to have assessed the progression rate of periodontitis in Miniature Schnauzers and highlights that with no oral care regime, the early stages of periodontitis develop rapidly in this breed. An oral care regime and twice yearly veterinary dental health checks should be provided from an early age for this breed and other breeds with similar periodontitis incidence rates.