PROVET CLASS STUDIES - Key
DENTAL HYGIENE IN PETS 2
Investigation into tooth loss in pets
As part of Responsible Pet Care owners should check their pets regularly for
signs of illness or disease. Dental care is just as important for our pets as it
is for us, yet many owners do not realise how common dental problems are. Tooth
loss can occur due to several reasons
- Dental disease
- Removal by a veterinarian
study should help students realise the importance of dental hygiene and allow them to draw interesting comparisons between the occurrence of
tooth loss in different groups of pets.
The aim of the study
To determine the incidence and patterns of tooth loss in pets
Suggested pets to examine :
- Guinea Pigs
The presence/absence of teeth can be determined by
- Comparing actual teeth present with charts of normal teeth for each
- Comparing the left side with the right side dental arcades..valid for most
animals, but.could be a problem if the same tooth is missing both sides !
Factors which might/might not be relevant and should be recorded.
- Species of animal - all species should show some tooth loss
- Breed of animal - some breeds are more likely to develop dental disease
and lose teeth than others eg Poodles
- Age of animal - should be more tooth loss in older animals
- Sex of animal - should be no difference
- How many teeth have been lost - variable . More are affected in older
- Which teeth have been lost - variable. Teeth at the front of the mouth are
most likely to be knocked out by trauma to the face.
- Are the animal's teeth obviously loose ? The front teeth in some breeds eg
older poodles and Yorkshire terriers, are often very loose.
- Type of ration being fed to pet - eg soft low fibre food v high fibre
foods, or even special foods for dogs to reduce tartar build up. Should
include whether tit-bits, sweets etc are given. Some rations are better than
- Whether or not the family routinely brush their pets teeth
- Whether the pet gets any chew designed to reduce dental deposits or chews
or gnaws toys, wood etc
- Whether the pet has recently had dental descaling or tooth removals at the vets
- Whether the pet has ever been involved in a traumatic incident eg
- Any other observations noted during performance of the survey eg presence
of discolouration or tartar build-up on the teeth, gingivitis redness on the
gum margin, mouth ulcers, or bad breath !
Simple statistical analysis can then be performed to determine which groups
are most often/least often and most/least likely to loose teeth.
If you perform such a study and send the result to Provet we will merge
them with results from other Schools and let you have results which you can
compare in future years. E-mail your results to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need any further information about this study contact us on email@example.com