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New Vaccine to Prevent Dental Disease

By: Dr. Debra Primovic

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Almost 85% of dogs over 3 years old have periodontal disease. Periodontitis is the inflammation of the structures that support teeth, the gum tissue, periodontal ligament, alveolus (small cavity) and cementum (bonelike connective tissue covering the root of a tooth and assisting in tooth support).

Common signs of periodontal disease include bad breath, bleeding gums, tooth loss, ulcers in the mouth, gum recession and/or a poor appetite. Most pet owners only notice bad breath in their pets until very advanced stages of the disease.

Periodontal disease is one of the most common infectious diseases in the world in dogs and is caused by three different bacteria that make up plaque. The bacteria that cause most periodontitis are Porphyromonas gulae, Porphyromonas salivosa and Porphyromonas denticani. These bacteria have been associated with over 74% of dogs with periodontal disease and have also been linked to diseases of the heart, kidney and lungs. These bacteria have been linked as an important cause of aspiration pneumonia in humans.

Recently, new studies have suggested that these bacteria have long-term effects on bone loss related to the periodontal disease suggested alternative ways to deal with this disease.

The porphyromonas vaccine is injected under the skin (subcutaneously) by your veterinarian. Dogs should receive two doses administered three weeks apart. Revaccination is recommended at six to twelve month intervals.

For more information about periodontal disease in dogs, click here.

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