Data-driven gum disease risk assessment checker for dogs - Veterinary Practice
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Data-driven gum disease risk assessment checker for dogs

Mars Petcare’s new Pedigree gum disease risk checker provides dog owners with targeted recommendations to help them take early action against periodontal disease

dog teeth

Mars Petcare has launched the Pedigree gum disease risk checker, a new pet owner-facing data-driven periodontal disease (PD) risk assessment tool for dogs.

The checker was created in collaboration with scientists at the Waltham Petcare Science Institute, Mars Petcare’s science centre.

Global Petcare research and development vice president, Mars Pet Nutrition, Dr Elise Malandain said: “Periodontal disease affects over 80 percent of dogs over the age of three, leading to chronic pain, gum erosion and potential loss of bone and teeth.

“It is also linked to other major health complications in dogs, such as heart, liver and kidney conditions.

“Periodontal disease in dogs is not often detected and diagnosed until the disease has worsened, which can mean treating the disease is more difficult.”

She added: “This new risk assessment tool will help indicate to pet owners what level of risk their pet is at for developing this disease to help inform conversations with veterinary professionals about prevention or treatment.”

The Pedigree gum disease risk checker uses aggregated data from Banfield Pet Hospital medical records to identify whether a dog has a high, medium or low risk of having periodontal disease based on the breed size, age and body condition the owner has stated (O’Rourke et al., 2020; 2022 poster presentations, WSAVA).

By taking other factors into account, including a dog’s history (eg diet, previous extractions, halitosis), clinical signs (eg bleeding gums) and current dental routine (eg tooth brushing), the tool also provides tailored oral care recommendations (O’Rourke et al., 2020).

Studies by the Waltham Petcare Science Institute have shown periodontal disease risk factors are associated with certain characteristics and attributes of dogs, including their breed size.

Studies have also shown that breeds reported with frequent PD tend to be smaller sized dogs, including Yorkshire terriers and cocker spaniels.

Visit Mars Petcare in person at this year’s EVDF Congress from 27 to 29 April in Krakow, Poland, to learn more about the gum disease risk checker.

You can also explore the tool and experience exactly how it will help raise awareness of PD among dog owners on the Pedigree website.

Read more about the research that has facilitated the development of the gum disease risk checker on the Waltham Petcare Science Institute website.

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