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Josey Ranch Pet Hospital, PC
... where caring makes the difference.

Date: January 30th 2008

Josey Ranch Pet Hospital, PC
... where caring makes the difference.
A Free Service of Josey Ranch Pet Hospital

Dear Josey Ranch Pet Hospital Client,

I wanted to take this time to inform you of National Pet Dental Health Month in February. Dental health care is probably the most rapidly improving and changing aspect of animal health care that we see today. Veterinarians have long recognized the major health implications our pets face when they have underlying dental disease. Because of this, there is a national effort to educate pet owners of the risks and benefits to proper dental health care. We are all aware of the plaque or tarter that we can see present above the gum line. The majority of dental disease occurs under the gingiva, or gums of the teeth and we can not see these areas without radiographs.This disease can lead to bone loss, abscesses, tooth loss or infections that can spread to other parts of your pets body. We often see lung disease, heart failure, and other health problems that can have a definite link to dental disease.

In an effort to combat the Porphyromonas bacteria that leads to bone loss or disease, there is a new vaccine available that helps to control this bacteria. This vaccine is for dogs and initially is given with a follow up booster in 4 weeks; then the vaccine is administered every 6 months. There has been a large amount of evidence as to the benefits of this vaccine. Please call us or ask one of our trained staff about this vaccine the next time you are here with your pets.

To raise awareness of the National Pet Dental Health Month, we are offering a 10% discount on the anesthesia and dental cleaning charges for the month of February. People generally brush and floss our teeth twice daily and get twice yearly dental cleanings and check ups. Many of our pets are 4 years or older and have never had dental care. If you do not know whether your pets need a dental cleaning, we will be glad to examine your pets mouths for free. We can then schedule your animals for a cleaning. Many of our pets need antibiotics prior to the cleaning and we can discuss dental x-rays, the Porphyromonas vaccine and expenses at this time. If you have any questions regarding dental care, please feel free to give us a call. I have attached an article about periodontal disease as well. Dental health care is much more than fresh breath and a pretty smile!!


Kirk Esmond, DVM

About Periodontal Disease

Many pet owners don’t realize that oral disease is the number one health problem diagnosed in pets. In fact, statistics show that 85 percent of all dogs have some sort of tooth and gum disease by the time they are just three-years-old.

Just like in humans, dogs are susceptible to plaque and tartar build-up, which can lead to gingivitis and even periodontitis, a chronic form of the disease that can be painful.

Periodontal disease, which includes gingivitis and periodontitis, is an inflammation and/or infection of the gums and bone around dog’s teeth. Over time, plaque and tartar build-up can lead to inflammation of the gums around the dog’s teeth — gingivitis.

Periodontitis is a potentially irreversible infection that if left untreated, can result in the destruction of gum and bone and other tissues around the dog’s teeth. In most severe cases, periodontitis can ultimately lead to loss of teeth, fracture of the jawbones, and other serious consequences that can dramatically impact a dog’s quality of life and overall health.

Whenever it is possible, preventing disease is preferable to treating it and in the case of periodontitis, this is especially true. It is a progressive infectious disease that can lead to unhealthy and painful conditions for dogs that may require difficult and costly treatments.

The good news is that periodontal disease can be prevented with a good dental care program including:

  • Daily home oral care
  • Regular visits to your veterinarian, which include an oral exam
  • Veterinary dental cleaning as advised
  • Dental diets, oral gels or rinses, and chew toys may also help as aids in prevention.

Veterinarians also have a tool available to aid in the prevention of canine periodontitis — the Porphyromonas Denticanis-Gulae-Salivosa Bacterin—that gives patients an additional layer of prevention against canine periodontitis. The vaccine was introduced to veterinarians in 2006 and is the first and only vaccine of its kind.

Keeping your dog’s mouth healthy is essential to their health.

Letter courtesy of American Animal Hospital Association.

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