Hoogland Newsletter November 2015


I am often confronted with pet owners saying “Doc, I cannot even allow my dog to sit on my lap anymore because his breath smells so awful!”. Surely there are ways to prevent bad breath from breaking down our relationships with our pets?
Yes, of course there are, BUT it involves some dedication on your part as the owner, and some help from your vet.

This month I want to focus on ROUTINE DENTAL CARE. This means regularly scaling off any hard tartar accumulation, then polishing the teeth to smooth the surface and delay further build up.

Plaque is soft (this is what we brush off our teeth each day), but once bacteria and salivary salts react with it on the teeth, it becomes solid tartar, or calculus. It is the tartar that then serves as a vehicle for further bacterial action which causes inflammation of the gums and eventually leads to tooth loss.

Once your vet has helped you with a routine dental tartar scale and polish, you as the owner can control the plaque accumulation with regular tooth brushing, nifty diets and dental treats.

In summary: Do you need to practice routine dental care? Only for the teeth you want to keep!

So, Book you routine scale and polish so you can enjoy your pets’ toothy smiles for longer!

ROUTINE dental scale & polish only R750 in November 2015
(excludes dental extractions, preanaesthetic blood tests and other non-routine requirements)

Cat Cool-aids
(Or Doggy Delights)

You will need:

  • Ice trays / plastic cups (for dogs, small buckets/large bowls also work)
  • Water
  • 1 Tin Tuna (brine, drained)
  • Favourite smooth wet food (or softened, blended pellets)
  • (For dogs, can break up favourite dental chews into pieces and mix in)
Mix 2 parts water with 1 part tuna and 1 part soft food.
Freeze in ice trays or cups
Empty onto grass or into a deep bowl to minimise mess
  1. Start Early! For best results, it is best to start at 8-12 weeks of age. Although they will lose all the milk teeth you have put all the effort into cleaning, they will be used to the brushing routine once their permanent teeth erupt!
  2. Work with your pets’ mouth often, touching the lips and muzzle until you can rub the teeth and gums with your fingers without it bothering the pet.
  3. You can then progress to rubbing the teeth and gums with a soft cloth or cotton bud dipped in chicken/beef stock in dogs or tuna brine for cats. Eventually they will start looking forward to this.
  4. Finally graduate to a pet friendly toothbrush or finger brush dipped in stock. Do not start at the front – first brush the teeth at the back and side of the mouth, and only once you have done them all, do the front teeth. You do not need to brush on the tongue side of the teeth, just the cheek side. Once the pet is accustomed to this you can use a pet toothpaste instead of stock. Human toothpastes are not safe for pets!

  5. There are many dental aids on the market like pastes, oral rinses, gels, edible dental chews and water additives. Brushing is still the single most important and effective method.
  6. Finally, pick a kibble (pellet) food and/or a dental chew toy that is proven to help remove plaque. NO BONES unless you want them to break the teeth and have to have them removed!
You will need:
  • Ice trays
  • Water
  • Cubed Cucumber / safe favourite veg.
  • Chopped greens e.g. try bok choy, radiccio, fennel, celery.
Mix greens and cucumber and half fill each space in the ice tray.
Fill tray with water and freeze.
Empty onto a plate or low bowl.
Stand for a minute till sweats.

You can also try cucumber slush freezes - blend/juice cucumber and freeze with or without additional veg/fruit chunks.

(Note: bunnies/chinchillas/guinea pigs should not be allowed to take in too much ice or very cold food/liquid! Restrict intake and access!)


You will need:
  • Plastic cups/ice trays/Small bowls (depending on bird size)
  • Water
  • Fruit juice–Apple (clear so can see fruit cubes inside for extra fun) ,mango, peach.
  • Cubed fresh fruit and veg: apple, mango, peas, cucumber, strawberry, peppers, plum, peach, green beans, butternut, sweet potato (suggestions only – use a variety of fresh food).
Add 1 cup fruit juice to 3 cups water.
Dispense fruit & veg chunks into ice trays / cup / bowl.
Top up with water/juice mix.
Freeze till solid.
Empty into bowl/plate – leave for a minute or so till no longer sticky
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Hoogland Dierekliniek
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