AKC Canine Health Foundation Takes Aim at Periodontal Disease in Dogs

11/12/2014

Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition in adult dogs, and if left untreated could cause extreme gum damage, tooth loss and pain. By three years of age, most dogs have some evidence of periodontal disease and associated discomfort. In an effort to speed progress in prevention and effective treatment of canine periodontal disease, the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF) has awarded two research grants to improve the oral health of dogs.

Dr. Paola Massari, PhD, of Boston Medical Center aims to develop an effective canine periodontal disease vaccine. She believes most effective targeted interventions against periodontal pathogens will be through effective immunization, directing a dog’s own immune system to combat the bacteria responsible for disease.

Dr. Django Martel, DVM, and his colleagues at the Animal Medical Center will establish whether the use of antibiotic gel therapy reduces periodontal disease and provide veterinarians with the evidence needed for effective periodontal disease management.  

According to Dr. Shila Nordone, CHF’s Chief Scientific Officer, “Just like periodontal disease in humans, periodontal disease in dogs is a painful condition that profoundly affects quality of life and can lead to a multitude of health problems. We have strategically funded research that will have immediate impact by supporting the evidence-based use of antibiotic gels to treat progressive disease, while also funding research that will provide a long term solution by developing an effective vaccine to prevent the disease from occurring in the first place.”

In conjunction with the announcement of this research funding, CHF is also releasing a free podcast entitled, “Periodontal Disease andDental Health in Dogs” with Dr. Jan Bellows, DVM, a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners and a Diplomate of the American Veterinary Dental College.

To support these grants and to learn how a donation to CHF will help redefine the practice of veterinary medicine, visit our website.

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