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New Dental Vaccination

Barney's Mom

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I just got a card from my vet saying that Barney needs a dental vaccination. I guess this is yet another yearly shot they say he needs. The vaccine kills the three kinds of bacteria in his mouth that causes plaque. As someone who is very leery of giving tons of vaccinations to dogs, this one seems a bit unnecessary and too "new" to really know what it could do as far as long term side effects. I asked the vet tech if these bacterias are located anywhere else in the dog's body besides the mouth. She could not give me an answer and told me to ask the vet. My gut feeling is if it is killing bacteria in the mouth, it is killing bacteria all over his body, possibly even the good bacteria in his digestive tract.


I know the pet pharmaceutical industry is just as big and just as greedy as the human counterpart. And there are many who feel that half the vaccinations we give our dogs every year are not even necessary. This one seems to fall in that category. Barney is a major chewer, so he has very little plaque on his teeth. And hey, I can't help but go back to the old "dogs in the wild" theory. Dogs years ago didn't have their teeth cleaned or shots given for bacteria in their mouths, and they probably lived longer than most dogs do today.

Comments, Please!!

All creatures great and small, the Lord God, He made them all!

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That's a new one on me. I've never heard of a dental vacination. I'm with you as far as what other bacteria is it killing? How would it single out just the bacteria in a dog's mouth?

I just had Darcy's and Molly's teeth cleaned and the vet showed me exactly where the placque was in Darcy's mouth. Waaay back on her back teeth. She' s not a chewer so I expected that. Molly tends to chew more and can demolish a bully stick in about an hour if I let her. Darcy isn't even interested in them.

Now to the question you posed about dogs in the wild. I'm guessing here but I would say that what wild dogs brought down were small game with bones and such. Think wolves. They had to chew in order to eat. Nowadays our babies are fed dry food, or canned, and they don't have to get out and hunt and kill their prey. I've never read anything about the canine dental situation of old. Doesn't mean it didn't exist, just never seen or heard anything about it. Perhaps these wild dogs didn't live as long as ours do now. It was survival of the fittest and if they lost their teeth, they couldn't eat.

I do believe that a thorough cleaning of the teeth every 2-3 years is a good thing if your dog isn't a chewer. I don't feel like I've been "taken" by having my dogs' teeth cleaned. The other vaccinations, however, different matter altogether.

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My first opionion would be a BIG no... I think most vets over vaccinate to begin with - and it sounds like uncecessary money making to me - just have Barney continue to naw on raw bones, etc - I would definately say no to this.

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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sheila and Misty

I'd want to find out more about it but its too new for me to agree with it. I'd wait a year or so to see what results come of it...wouldnt mind trying it for myself tho" hope were next . and but no..never heard of it .

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I've read about this, but was under the impression that the vaccine was created to prevent periodontal disease, not plaque.

I just found an article: Is this what you're talking about?

I hope this proves to have advantageous long term effects. Dental problems are very common in dogs, and I have to think that the benefits of this vaccine will far outweigh the negative aspects for a lot of people (namely those that give zero thought to dental health).

I am not necessarily vaccine-happy, but I also realize that life expectancy rates are high because our society has been able to vaccinate against polio, smallpox, etc. I'm encouraged to see that someone is working on a vaccine that might up the life expectancy rates of dogs in general. Do I think the drug companies could be spending time on better things/more threatening diseases? Yes, but that's completely off topic. :)

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Wouldn't be for me, my dogs get dental cleanings as needed but I am not for over vaccinating, sounds like another scam to me. Dogs have lived for how long without that? If you feed good food and maintain their teeth they seem to do fine. If you have a dog with some kind of weird dental issue that the vaccine could help then maybe it would be worth it but, for a perfectly healthy young dog like Barney I think it sounds totally hoaky :redflag:

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I think vaccination might be appropriate for dogs like mine. He is a senior who won't tolerate brushing. He has stage 1-2 periodontal disease, but because of his age and the fact that he has a heart murmur, most vets would not risk anesthesizing him for dental cleaning.

Barney's Mom: The link that Sarah posted explains how this vaccine doesn't prevent plaque or calculus. It forms antibodies that interfere with the growth of bacteria in the environment around the tooth. These bacteria cause periodontitis. Also, your vet should be able to answer your question which is very appropriate: Does this vaccine have the same effect on other bacteria in the dog's body?... What are the risks?

I guess kcs dogs would say my dog has "weird dental issues", but to many dog owners these issues are very real.

That said, I agree with most of the posters: Be cautious and check it out with your vet and ask the right questions.

Many thanks to Barney's Mom & Sarah for bringing this to my attention. I love this forum!


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No, I don't believe in alot of things they do to dogs today. I vaccinated Sandy every year until he was 12, after that I stopped because he hated getting it and cried, and I didn't want to put him through it anymore. He lived to a week before his 14th birthday. I never got his teeth cleaned because I didn't want him to have the anisthesia. I didn't think it was necessary. I guess I was too overprotective with him but I didn't like to see him go through any pain. But I was lucky because he was never sick until three weeks before I had to put him down.

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We just had Sweet Pea vaccinated. My vet is highly trained, very scientific-minded, and very exacting.

She wouldn't recommend this unless she deemed it to be a great contributor to overall health.

She would be the first to know about good vs. bad bacteria, i.e.,whether the good bacteria are put at risk.

My three also get regular cleanings.

Sorry I can't give you the specifics on how the vaccine acts...but we're taking Olie in for his yearly

checkup this afternoon and I would be happy to ask any questions on this forum's behalf

including all the reservations I've already read here.

Tara, Mom of Many

Max and Nelly

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I have not heard of it but I do give my crew knee bones that I purchase at dog shows. They love them and it keeps the teeth very clean, even the little pug. They just have to be in crates when they get them.


Rebel, Hammurabi, Sugar, Dirty Harry, Paint, Duncan and Saffron

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I need to have Scout and Finch's teeth cleaned in the next few months....especially Scouts! I do brush their teeth several times a week, but when I was going through chemo and many surgery's, they didn't have their teeth brushed very often. I'm hoping that after they have their teeth cleaned, I can keep up with the brushing and prevent having to take them for teeth cleaning.

I talked to my neighbor about brushing Scout and Finch's teeth and she thought it was a crazy thing to do...and her dog is only a few years old and has lost several teeth due to decay! I couldn't convince her to brush her dogs teeth...sigh.

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Unless my dog had significant peridontel disease, was at high risk of developing it, or could not be anesthesized for teeth cleaning I would not bother with the vaccine.

The vaccine does not prevent the build up of placque, so you still need to clean the teeth if there's a build up anyway.

I think we pump our dogs with too many drugs as it is - whether its for vaccines or worming medicines or heartworm and you name it. Adding still another drug to the mix without any real justification in my opinion is not a good idea.

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Here's the scoop.

(Thanks to the doctoral candidate for doing some of my typing for me. :) )

The vaccine is only one tool in the maintenance of good dental health.

It should be decided on with your vet on a case by case basis.

My vet, Dr. Lisa Hoffman says, as an example, that she would not

recommend the vaccine for dog's whose teeth don't get regular

cleaning. It would be a waste of time. She absolutely recommends

it for the dogs with "smushed in" faces, i.e., Pekingese, Pugs.

Most of these breeds she sees have lost more than half of their

teeth by age 10. She does not recommend the vaccine for

breeds that don't have a record of dental problems, but does

recommend it for pups like my Sweet Pea whose dental health had

suffered from neglect before we adopted her at age 4.

After seeing Olie yesterday, she deemed he wasn't a candidate

for the vaccine.. no history of dental problems and his teeth look fine.

Again, it's a case by case decision.

What the vaccine does is preserve the tooth/gum interface, bolstering the

the dog's immune system to withstand the attack from three strains of bacteria

that have been statistically shown to be associated with tooth decay.

As I understand it, it's not a direct attack on the bacteria themselves.

Dr. Hoffman tells me the vaccine is made by Pfizer, and that

you can probably look at their video explaining how the vaccine

works (for us lay people) on their web site.

Hope this helps.

Tara, Proud Mom of Teddy, Olie, and Sweet Pea

Max and Nelly

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Well, the vets I've talked to are somewhat skeptical of this vaccine as it is very new and there really hasn't been enough research done on it yet. You also have to question why they haven't made a vaccine for humans, yet they have for dogs. :confused1:

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Beth, mom to Ninja (5), Hannah (7), Abbey (7 1/2), Kiara (10)

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