Oral Health Council (VOHC®)
concept developed from informal discussions among interested
individuals in the 1980’s. In 1989, an open meeting was held
during the Veterinary Dental Forum (the annual meeting of the
American Veterinary Dental Society, the Academy of Veterinary
Dentistry, and the American Veterinary Dental College [AVDC])
to discuss the need for and possible problems associated with "endorsement" of
veterinary dental products. At this meeting, it was recognized
that, in the absence of any objective means of recognizing
efficacious products, veterinarians and the public may be confused
by the "noise" in the plaque and calculus
A full-day meeting on veterinary dental product
endorsement was held under the sponsorship of AVDC in 1991,
which included presentations by representatives of AAHA (American
Animal Hospital Association), ADA (American Dental Association),
AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association, including discussion
of the relevant AVMA ethics policies), and the US Food and
Drug Administration - Center for Veterinary Medicine (FDA-CVM).
The need for a system was acknowledged, with concerns expressed
with regard to conflict of interest and other ethical issues,
financial and liability implications, and need for credibility.
discussion continued under the sponsorship of the University
of Pennsylvania, and a 2-day meeting
of a Consultant Panel was held in Philadelphia in 1994.
of 35 veterinary dentists, dental scientists, and representatives
of relevant organizations included the American Dental
Association (sponsor of the ADA Council on Dental Therapeutics "Seal
of Acceptance" system), AVMA and AAHA. The Consultant
Panel reached a consensus to develop a product review and acceptance
system. At gthis meeting and a second meeting early in 1995, a protocol was agreed upon for testing effectiveness
of plaque and calculus retardants in dogs, and confidentiality
and conflict-of-interest statements were adopted. The Consultant
Panel members were polled for input on suitable names for the
entity, and "Veterinary Oral Health Council" (VOHC)
received the most support.
Representatives of the USA FDA Center for Veterinary
Medicine (FDA-CVM) attended one of the Consultant Panel meetings
and were sent copies of all Consultant Panel and VOHC correspondence
during the start-up period. The FDA position was that it encouraged
the establishment of a credible independent review system for
veterinary dental products, recognizing that FDA does not have
the resources to review and regulate dental efficacy aspects
of these products. In correspondence with FDA, the Consultant
Panel noted that the VOHC system is limited to dental efficacy
review, with no regulatory function. Click FDA statement and then scroll down to view the FDA statement on Dental Products.
developed by the Consultant Panel was made to the AVDC
Board of Directors, which voted to endorse
the VOHC concept. The Board appointed an ad-hoc committee
(Jamie Anderson, Ben Colmery, Paul Cleland and Colin Harvey)
a business plan and set up operating procedures based
on the work of the Consultant Panel. The recommendations
committee were adopted by the AVDC Board on April 27
1997, thus establishing the VOHC as an organization within
The initial Council members
appointed by the AVDC Board were C. E. Harvey (VOHC
Director), J. Anderson, L. Braswell, L. DeBowes, C.
Gorrel, J. Hefferren,
S. Holmstrom, K. Lyon, and G. Stookey. Click Conflict/Confidentiality to view the VOHC Conflict of Interest and Confidentiality statement.
The "official" launch
of VOHC took place during the 1997 Veterinary Dental Forum
meeting in Denver, and was followed by an open meeting
on November 3rd,
a protocol for products that retard plaque mechanically
and calculus (tartar) mechanically or chemically
A protocol for cats was added in 1998, and a protocol
for chemically-active anti-plaque agents in dogs or cats
was added in 1999. A formal policy on awarding the Seal
to multiple products in a ‘product line’ was adopted in
The first VOHC Seal of Acceptance was awarded
in June 1998, to Hill’s Pet Nutrition Canine Prescription Diet
t/d. Click Products to
view the full VOHC-accepted Product List.
Use of the VOHC outside the USA began in Canada,
followed by Europe and Japan. The VOHC system is now recognized world-wide.
Feedback on the VOHC system and
questions about or suggestions for improvement in the VOHC process
are welcome. Contact .