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Summary In humans, halitosis is primarily formed orally and caused by periodontal disease, poor oral hygiene, and basically through bacterial coating of the tongue. Various studies of canines have shown that periodontitis is usually the cause for poor breathe, with the presumption that bacterial tongue flora could contribute. In humans, as well as occasionally in dogs, the determination of halitosis is measured, not only by organoleptic methods but also by use of a sulfide monitor (Halimeter) to measure the volatile sulfur compounds (VSC). Oral treponema spp. belong to the VSC producing bacteria, which play a causal role in the pathogenic of periodontal disease in humans. In dogs, their meaning is still controversial. In order to determine the significance of periodontitis and tongue coating as source for halitosis, a comparison study was conducted between dogs with and without halitosis. The study evaluated the two groups to determine if there were differences regarding the tongue coating, as well as the health condition of the periodontium. The dogs were recruited from the customers of the clinic and policlinic for small animals of the Free University of Berlin. With all candidates, along with a VSC measurement and an organoleptic evaluation, a periodental and a tongue examination were made. Furthermore, an examination for the presence of certain oral treponema spp. in subgingival plaque samples was conducted by use of the dot blot-hybridisation. In dogs, the meaning of periodontitis as a source of halitosis is fairly extensive. The health condition of the periodontium resulted by the evaluation of various dental indices, which formed the periodontal status. Both groups demonstrated significant differences regarding the periodontal health conditions so that this study can confirm what has previously been published regarding the relationship between halitosis and periodontitis. We are not aware of any previous study concerning the tongue coating as source of halitosis in dogs. The halitosis positive and negative dogs also showed differences regarding the tongue coating, but these could be correlated to the condition of the periodontium rather than to the development of halitosis. In comparison with humans, it appears that the tongue coating has a lower level of meaning regarding the development of halitosis. Since the VSC measurement by Halimeter correlates with the organoleptic findings, this method of determining halitosis in dogs seems to be appropriate. According to this study, further advantages which were shown by using the Halimeter with humans to determine the rapidity and simple means, the reproductivity, and the high sensitivity, could also be accepted for use with dogs. An excellent diagnostic tool to determine the presence of a periodontitis in dogs, in contrast to humans, appears to be the proof of halitosis or increased VSC values. To determine the presence of canine treponema spp. in plaque samples, there are a number of different methods described in literature, such as darkfield microscopy, cultivation, and PCR descriptions, but no reference is made to the dot blot-hybridisation. The presence of treponema spp. detected by dot blot-hybridisation was dependent upon the degree of periodontal disease and therefore, the presence of halitosis, so that an aetiological meaning is near at hand. In this study, it is shown that DD associated bacteria, which have similarities with certain oral treponema spp. in humans, do not play a role in dogs. This study gives clinical data regarding the periodontitis and tongue coating as possible causes for halitosis. Since the participation of the periodontium is also covered by many other studies, further investigations should verify the tongue coating, which is now of lower priority. Further studies should be made by the use of specific oligonukleotid probes for the presence of human periodontalpathogenic bacteria in dogs.