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sauk prairie small animal hospital

Does your pet’s smile hurt?

By Cats, Dental Surgery Pets, Dogs, Pet ToothpasteNo Comments

Hi Everyone! 

Jessica Halbrucker, CVT

I’m Jessica Halbrucker, CVT and lover of pet dentistry!

Does your pet’s smile hurt?  Does their breath stink? If so, chances are your pet has some form of Periodontal Disease and we’re here to get to the bottom of it. 

Did you know that your dog has 42 teeth in their mouth or that your cat has 30?! 

Crazy right? Not many people realize this fun fact, because looking in your pet’s mouth may be a challenge. Periodontal disease is one of the top diseases affecting our pets today. It is also one of the most preventable. 

Have you ever noticed when you wake up in the morning that your teeth feel “fuzzy”? This same process affects your pet’s teeth. Biofilm (fuzz) can form within 6-8 hours after brushing and calculus (tartar that turns to plaque) can form in 12-18 hours. 

What is periodontal disease? Well, let’s break it down.  In the veterinary world, we refer to it as Perio.  It has 4 stages.

So what do these stages look like?

Dental Grading Chart

Dental Grading Chart
Image Provided by Parkside Animal Hospital

Stage 1 starts with gingivitis or redness of the gums. This is the only stage that is reversible by daily brushing.

Stage 2 is where we start to see more inflammation in the gums with a small amount of bleeding. On x-ray, we can see the early stages of bone loss.

Stage 3 is more advanced inflammation and we begin to see a gingival recession or gum loss. This is when we can see parts of the root from bone loss. We can see extractions in this stage.

Stage 4 is the worst of the worst. In this stage we can see roots of the tooth; you may also have white or green discharge coming from the areas around the tooth. In this stage, we will be taking a few teeth out. 


If you’re unsure of your pet’s periodontal disease stage give us a call to schedule a complimentary dental exam!


Saturday, Jan 18th from 1-3pm.

Brush Your Pet’s Teeth!

How can you prevent this from happening to your pet? Brushing is the gold standard for pets and people.  We understand that brushing your pet’s teeth can be a challenge.  Starting them off at a young age is the key.  We recommend teeth brushing at the first puppy or kitten appointment. Yes, they have baby teeth, and this is the best time to start.

Sometimes even with brushing their teeth every single morning (or at least trying to), we still recommend yearly professional dental cleanings. Why? With the cleanings, we are able to access each tooth, determine if there are any concerns and address them right away. We are also able to clean below the gum line where brushing is not as effective. During these cleanings we also take full mouth radiographs to check out the bone below the gum line there we can see if there is any bone loss, root concerns or even jaw fractures! We will talk about dental x-rays in our next blog! 


There are several approved pet toothpaste options as well as different toothbrush options.

Feline Dental Product

A great choice for cats, easy to use and tastes great!

Pet Toothpaste

Flavors include Beef, Chicken, Seafood, Malt and our favorite, Vanilla Mint

More information can be found on the Veterinary Oral Health Council’s website:


Please ask me, Jessica, or another staff member for other suggestions.  We are happy to help!

Jessica Halbrucker, CVT
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital


Stay tuned for my upcoming blogs on Digital Radiographs and Dental Home Care ideas!



You’re Invited to our DENTAL OPEN HOUSE! Jan 18th, 1-3pm

By Cats, Dental Surgery Pets, Dog Daycare, Dogs, Pet ToothpasteNo Comments

Open House - Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital

You’re invited to our Annual Dental Day! 

Saturday, January 18th, 2020  1-3pm. 

Bring your pet for a FREE dental exam, tour our Animal Hospital, speak with our Dental Surgery Team, learn all about your pet’s dental health AND enter to win a FREE DENTAL GIFT BASKET including FREE DENTAL X-RAYS on your pet’s next dental surgery! 

Call us for more details! 643-2451


Tuesday’s With Tucker – Shamrock Pet Resort Dog Daycare

By Dog Daycare, DogsNo Comments

Tuesday's With TuckerPuppies have a lot of energy, don’t they? Typically this blog will be focused on puppy topics, but this week’s post is relevant to all ages! We are talking about doggy daycare! While you are away at work, or even running errands, what is your dog doing at home? Do you need to have someone let your dog out in the middle of the day? These were definitely the questions I faced as soon as I adopted Tucker. I didn’t want Tucker to be in a crate all day, and he definitely wasn’t completely potty trained (a topic we will talk about another time). I don’t want this post to sound like I am only selling a product, but bringing Tucker to doggy daycare at the Shamrock Pet Resort has been a lifesaver for me some days.

As soon as Tucker turned 16 weeks old I immediately signed him up for daycare. My husband and I both work very long hours and Tucker gets a limited amount of playtime each night. We could tell after sleeping all day in a crate he would release his pent-up energy at night running around with “the zoomies”, making it difficult to calm down and get ready for bed when time, or even for us to do work around the house. On days he goes to daycare he wants to play a bit once we get home but then is ready to snuggle on the couch for the night. This way, getting exercise at daycare that is important for a puppy’s overall health, both physically and mentally, can also be of benefit to you! Even if daycare is not a part of your dog’s regular weekly schedule, I would recommend it on days you know that you’ll be busy with other commitments at night where you can’t give him/her full attention.

Dog DaycareAnother benefit of daycare is that it provides a safe and fun socialization experience with other dogs, and even people! The apartment we live in has many dogs, and I could tell Tucker was afraid of some of them, especially ones that would surprise or bark at him. Daycare has provided Tucker with an experience to investigate and play with multiple different groups of dogs (medium, smaller, older, younger), and now he is not afraid to see, approach, or properly play with other dogs we come across! It is important to start socialization at a young age to prevent future behavioral problems towards animals and people, and can even help with separation anxiety. There are many more benefits to doggy daycare, but these are the ones that have meant the most to my family. I can tell Tucker is excited to see and play with his daycare friends, both two and four-legged, each day, as he runs down the hall to the resort!

Dog Daycare

We can help with puppy potty training!


How does doggie daycare work here at the Shamrock Pet Resort? Your dog has to be at least 16 weeks of age or older, be current on all age-appropriate vaccines, receive monthly preventatives, have proof of a negative fecal for intestinal parasites, and be in good health (ie. no vomiting, diarrhea, or other physical injuries). The same requirements apply to any other dog that your dog will interact with. Each new dog is assessed for proper behavior prior to introducing them to the playgroup. Our skilled staff members are trained to look for signs of aggression or insecurity, observe how they interact with different groups of dogs and test their basic obedience commands. This allows us to know that your dog and other’s dogs will be safe during the supervised play. Safety and fun are our two main goals of daycare! The resort has both an outdoor and indoor facility for the dogs to run around in all day, each with toys and playsets to enjoy!

For more information about prices and package deals (half or full-day), please visit our Daycare Page at

See you next week!

Dr. Megan
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital



Tuesday’s With Tucker – Chew on this!

By DogsNo Comments

November, 2019


Dr. Megan Krapf

Dr. Megan with Tucker

Hello everyone, Dr. Megan here!

For today’s “Tuesday’s with Tucker” we will be talking a little bit about teething and appropriate toys.  Puppies begin teething and losing baby teeth around 4 months of age, and adult teeth emerge by around 6 months. Did you know that puppies have 28 deciduous (baby) teeth and 42 permanent (adult) teeth?  During this time, you may see your puppy chewing on just about anything, and possibly some unwanted items of yours!  If your puppy begins biting furniture or shoes the best solution is to redirect their attention to toys.  As a last resort, we suggest using bitter apple spray to discourage chewing on individual household items or spots.

Tucker Krapf

Appropriate toys for teething, and ones that I have found Tucker to especially love, are rubber Kong toys and rope toys (stop by anytime and we’ll be happy to help you pick out what will work for you!).  Just like humans, the teething process is painful so freezing soft rubber toys (especially with a little bit of peanut butter), or other toys meant for freezing, helps soothe and massage their gums as they are chewing.  Plush toys can still be used but your puppy may tear up the toys very quickly if they’re anything like Tucker, and can be a hazard.  

I recommend keeping a variety of toys ready that you can pull out one after another so that your pup can keep chewing after losing interest in a certain toy.  There are many toys out there that claim they are safe for teething, but take caution with some.  One rule I like to use is that if you can’t make an indent in the toy with your fingernail, then it is too hard for your pup!

Now, let’s talk about rawhides…they can be a good outlet for a nonstop chewer but can be dangerous depending on how your pup chews.  Rawhides can soften up quickly when they are chewing resulting in less likelihood of fractured teeth, but there is also a risk of ingestion since soft pieces can be torn off.  Hard chewers can also break off large pieces to ingest, even without softening them first. Therefore, with rawhides I recommend limiting the time allowed with them and having direct supervision over your puppy when he/she is chewing them.  There are plenty of rawhide alternatives available that are safe for accidental ingestion.  No matter what, it is always good to monitor your puppy while playing with any toy.

Our next topic will be Doggie Daycare

Please comment below or message us if you have any specific questions about teething or toy options! And as always, give us a call if you have any questions or concerns about your puppy’s teeth!  Learn more about us and request an appointment here:

Dr. Megan
Sauk Prairie Small Animal Hospital

Tucker and I are here to help!

Dr. Megan Krapf