Doctoral Thesis in Dental Health

Karolina Enlund, veterinarian, AniCura Gärdet, Sweden, focuses on preventive measures for dental health and was a joint venture between AniCura and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Her research showed that dental health, especially in small breeds, can be improved and that the advice given by veterinary care professionals on preventive care is suboptimal for animal welfare.

Enlund’s research was conducted at AniCura Gärdet in Stockholm and involved patients and pet owners. Her thesis showed that home dental care is a less prioritized area within veterinary care and less than half of the dog owners have never been advised to brush their dogs’ teeth, despite frequent visits to the veterinary clinic. Brushing teeth is usually recommended too late, i.e. when the dog owner seeks veterinary care for dental problems and the disease is often severe.

Enlund’s research also showed that the necessity for home dental care is not communicated to pet owners by veterinary health care professionals. 60% of pet owners state that they know it is important to brush the dog’s teeth, but only a few do it daily. Veterinary health care professionals can play an important role to support and increase compliance. Home dental care is essential for both pet wellbeing and the financial situation of the pet owner.