Hoogland Newsletter May 2016
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Popsicle stick hides for Hamsters!
(Can be adapted for gerbils, mice, hedgehogs)

You will need:
Untreated popsicle sticks


*** The safest glues on the market are PVA based - either hot glue from a glue gun or water soluble non-toxic glues like Bostik craft glue (water soluble means they will obviously break down if wet). While hot glue is not toxic, it is not water soluble - if chunks are swallowed, they can build up in the gut and possibly cause obstruction. To prevent this, simply ensure glue is not left exposed to be chewed! This precaution should be taken with any glue used.
Glue can be made at home using one of these recipes:

  • Simply mix water and flour together until you have a paste that is the consistency of pancake batter. Heat on low for 5 minutes. This recipe is non-toxic but it does take a while to dry. 

  • Mix 1 cup of tapioca starch, 2 cups of cold water water and 4 tablespoons of sugar in a sauce pan until all ingredients are dissolved. Stir over medium heat until it forms a paste. This mixture should be stored in an airtight container that just fits the amount that you have left.

Kicking kidney disease to the Curb!

I’m sure that at some stage or another, you have all heard about a cat succumbing to kidney failure. Kidney disease is one of the most common ailments in cats. Studies have shown that 1 in 3 cats are affected by kidney disease, many of them undiagnosed until it is too late to manage the disease effectively. The affected pets are not even all old pets, as kidney failure caused the deaths of pets of all ages! In most cases it is impossible to pinpoint what caused the kidney issues. Viruses, toxins, diets, genetic problems and traumatic incidents have been blamed but in the end once it happens, there is little one can do about the cause.

The secret to a better quality life for your kitty lies in early detection and management of the condition. Once your cat shows symptoms of increased thirst, decreased appetite and weight loss, there is probably less than 30% of kidney function left. The trick is to detect compromised kidney function before this stage and then to support whatever function is left.

We do this with a set of screening tests on blood and urine. These tests are done in our in-house lab, and we have results within 20 minutes! If we diagnose kidney disease, we can begin to manage it with dietary changes and some medications to lengthen your cats life and keep them feeling as good as possible for longer!

For years now, we as vets have been trying to improve the sensitivity of our tests to be able to detect kidney disease earlier. In the last few months a test was introduced to the veterinary field that can detect decreased kidney function once it falls below 75%, a whopping increase in sensitivity! Medical intervention at this stage has dramatically improved life expectancy in the studies done. This test is called the SDMA test, and is currently only run in veterinary laboratories. If we run an in-house panel and find your pets results are suspicious, we may want to send blood to the lab to run this amazing new test!

The normal price for these screening tests is over R500 but for the month of May only, make a booking for in-house kidney tests for only R250 at Hoogland Dierekliniekyour cats life is worth it!

Mess Free Litter Box for Kitty!
You will need:

Plastic storage box (approx. 70L)
Dremmel or box cutter
File – not too coarse
Permanent marker
Something circular to trace (approx. 25cm diameter)
For top entry trace the circular objects outline onto the one side of the lid. For side entry trace the circle (or just a square) into the long side of the box – make sure you make it as high as possible or the litter will come through anyway!
Cut the circle (or square) out.
File off the sharp edges
Add litter to the box, close and present to your curious Kitty!


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Hoogland Dierekliniek · 6 Panorama rd Rooihuiskraal Centurion · Centurion, Gauteng 1058 · South Africa

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