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The effect of Distemper viral infections


Saw an interesting case recently. A dog presented to us for a dental cleaning who was recently adopted from Ghana, Africa with a known history of distemper viral infection as a puppy. A viral infection of this type between 2 weeks and 3 months of a puppy’s life can cause enamel defects and root abnormalities. In this patient, this is what we saw on dental x-rays of the dog’s mouth. The picture to the left is a normal, lower right 1st molar. The picture to the right is the tooth that was affected by viral infection and developed improperly, with the result being no root formation. Many of the dog’s teeth were affected like this, and many were loose, requiring extraction. This dog may ultimately require extraction of all of the teeth in his mouth, only time will tell. Another good reminder of how systemic health can hugely affect your pet’s dental health, and another reminder for the importance of vaccinations! Also a good reminder to stay up on your pet’s dental cleanings!  Happy to report this patient is feeling much better now!  We’re so happy to be helping pets in the Vancouver/Portland area!



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