Hoogland Newsletter  July 2015
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Dr Gerna says, 

We have all heard of and maybe even gone through wellness or screening tests often advised by doctors and suggested by many medical aids.
For many of us, those tests have been the first to alert us to potential medical issues, and may have saved some of our lives.

We as veterinarians are trying to create this same awareness amongst the owners of our patients to help our pets live longer and in better health. So we have decided to have a senior pet programme in place to cater for the unique needs of geriatric patients.

Remember the earlier in a disease process we can detect disease, make a diagnosis and start treatment, the better the outcome.
Our Geriatric programme will include a thorough clinical exam, bloodsmear and a panel of screening blood tests.

We listen for abnormal sounds from the heart valves and lungs, check for gum disease and tartar accumulation, check the eyes for cataracts and the joints for pain and swelling, palpate the abdomen to look for enlarged organs and in male dogs, check the prostate size.

The blood tests then do what a physical exam cannot, and shed some light on the function of the major organs and the blood sugar level.   
Our aim is to keep your pets happy, healthy and in a loving relationship with you for as long as possible.
Make an appointment for your geriatric health check at Hoogland Dierekliniek and get 10% off on a geriatric screening blood profile. Patients diagnosed with arthritis qualify for a free trial bag of Hills j/d prescription joint diet, so long as the owner has not used the diet before.
           The right treatment can help your dog get more of this back...     
How about your cat?
Does he/she show any of these signs...


Pine cones make excellent toys for birds and are safe for chinchillas, rabbits, guinea pigs and other rodents. The seeds inside the pine cones are safe for birds and make a great reward for all the work they must put in to get to them!

Some safety tips: 

•    Do not pick up pine cones that they are old, damp, moldy or are growing moss. Ideally one should collect pine cones as soon as possible after they have fallen to the ground and before they have become wet from rain. If they have been lying there for a long time, you may not be able to detect mould, but it may still be there and can be dangerous. 
•    Pine cones are also a favorite hiding spot for little beasts such as spiders and earwigs so do not give them to your pet directly.
•    Be sure you do not pick up pine cones from alongside roads or in very busy areas. The trees they fall from and the soil they grow in have been exposed to chemicals and possibly even poisons for long periods of time. 
Ideally collect from trees away from roads, in undeveloped areas, and where the use of pesticides is unlikely.  
•    It is almost impossible to "sterilize" pine cones, and soaking them in disinfectants makes them taste bad to the pets, but heating in an oven will kill moulds and little critters and make them safe for the birds to chew on. 
Heating the pine cones in an oven for about 20 minutes at 120 degrees Celcius, then turn off the oven. Leave the pine cones in the oven for a further 2 hours or so to dry out. (Do not go much higher than 120 degrees or the pine cones may catch fire and burn making them unsafe) 


Make Low-Allergen Dried Sweet Potato Dog Chews
You will need:
1 (or more) sweet potatoes
1 (or more) baking sheets
Make it:
  1. Wash the sweet potatoes. Leave the peels on the sweet potatoes.
  2. Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise into approximately ¼ inch thick slices.
  3. Place the sweet potato slices on the cookie sheet and bake in a 250 degree oven for two hours.
  4. Remove the sweet potato slices from the oven and turn them over on the cookie sheet. Bake the sweet potato slices for two more hours. (Total baking time: four hours.)
  5. Remove the dried sweet potatoes chews from the oven and allow them to cool.
  6. Give to a very deserving doggie. Repeat.
You should store the dried sweet potato chews in an airtight container in the refrigerator or for a little longer in the freezer.