Hoogland Newsletter May 2017
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One often hears that we should feed bones to our dogs. It’s natural, healthy, keeps them busy and cleans their teeth…

Unfortunately majority of veterinarians disagree with this statement. This is because we only deal with the nasty and life threatening conditions associated with a diet containing bones.

Let’s first consider the nutritional value of bones:
70% of bone is made up of an inorganic substance called hydroxyl apatite, which consists of calcium, phosphates, oxygen and hydrogen. The other 30% is made up of collagen, which is poorly digested by dogs and cats. There are no vitamins, fatty acids, proteins or carbohydrates in bones, which means that they actually have very little nutritional value!

Now that we have that out of the way, we can consider the dangers of feeding bones.

  1. Broken teeth: Dogs, like us, have one set of permanent teeth. When fractured, a tooth can become infected and require veterinary attention, with the final result being extraction of the tooth in most cases.
  2. Bones get looped around the lower jaw or stuck in the roof of the mouth – this normally leads to a trip to the vet with a dog who is scratching savagely at its mouth!
  3. Bones get stuck in the oesophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. This causes an obstruction and means a trip to the vet so that the bone can be removed with a scope under general anaesthetic.
  4. Bones get stuck in the stomach – it went down fine but it is too big to exit the stomach. This ends up in a trip to the vet and surgery.
  5. Bones get stuck in the intestines – this ends with a trip to the vet and surgery.
  6. Constipation – the calcium in bones makes the stool extremely compact and firm. This, combined with sharp shards of bone, can make the stool impossible, or at least extremely painful to pass. These dogs can become extremely ill and could die if not attended to – that’s right, this boils down to a trip to the vet!

  7. Bleeding from the behind – shards of bone passing through the gut irritate and damage the lining. When this leads to an upset gut, it will mean another trip to the vet!
  8. Fighting amongst dogs. When bones are given to a few dogs staying together, it is inevitable that they will fight over them. Yes, you guessed it – this means another trip to the vet.
  9. Peritonitis – this is an infection in the dog’s belly caused by a bone fragment that poked a hole in the gut. This condition is an emergency that will kill your dog unless attended to immediately
So, the only individuals who really benefit from feeding bones are those you pay to supply you with the bones and those you pay to fix the problems that are caused by the bones!   
Product of the month

The technology in this shampoo works wonders for dry and sensitive skin.

Allercalm contains 2 natural plant extracts, the Wild Mint Leaf from Chile and another herb from Western Asia. These help enhance and support the inherent antimicrobial defence systems in the skin. 

Allercalm also contains oatmeal, which relieves and helps restore inflamed, itchy and painful skin.


Plants unsafe for parrots.

Although this list is not all-inclusive, here are some examples of woods and plants that your parrot should not chew on!

  • Keep away from anything with “poison” in the name.
  • Avocado, Bulb flowers.
  • China berry tree, Castor bean.
  • Datura, Eggplant, Eucalyptus.
  • Hydrangea, Iris, ivy, Lantana.
  • Mexican poppy, Oak, Poinsettia, Potato.
  • Strelitzia.
  • Wheeping fig, Wattle, Umbrella Plant, Yew.
For more extensive lists of plants that are unsafe for parrots, see the article "Plants that are not safe for parrots" on our Website. 

Plants unsafe for cats


Although this list is not all-inclusive, here are some common plants that are not entirely safe for your cat to chew on.  

  • Aloe, Autumn crocus, Amaryllis, Azalea.

  • Chrysanthemum, Castor bean, Carob, chives, CYCADS!

  • Grapes and raisins, garlic

  • Kalanchoe, Lillies.

  • Marijuana, Mistletoe, Onion, Oleander.

  • Poinsettia, Pothos, Rhododendron.

  • Sago palm, Schefflera, Tulip.

  • Yesterday-today-and-tomorrow.

For more extensive lists of plants that are unsafe for parrots, see the article "Plants that are not safe for parrots" on our Website. 

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Hoogland Dierekliniek
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Centurion, Gauteng 1058
South Africa

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