Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

City firm banishes doggie breath

Additive combats gum disease, too

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At long last -- an effective treatment for doggie breath!

Manitoba pet owners will be the first in the world to have access to StrixNB, a drinking water additive developed by the Winnipeg company, Kane Biotech Inc.

And this new wonder product doesn't just vanquish Fido's bad breath, but also breaks down plaque build-up and prevents it from returning as well as preventing gum disease and oral bacterial infection.

It was launched commercially Friday at the Central Canadian Veterinary Conference in Winnipeg.

For the past 10 years, Kane Biotech has been working on patented technology that breaks down biofilms, which are highly structured, matrix-embedded microbial populations that make it devilishly difficult for antibiotics and antimicrobials to get at the bacteria.

Kane also has a significant research project underway with a different formulation the U.S. Army's surgeons are developing to use in battlefield wound care.

Kane used the regional veterinary conference as the occasion to publicly launch StrixNB, whose name is a derivative of the latin name of the great grey owl, Manitoba's provincial bird, strix nebulosa.

Gord Froehlich, Kane's CEO, said, "It's very exciting to actually have a product on the market."

Kane has been working its way through the regulatory process and Health Canada has given the product approval as a low-risk veterinary health product. It's made with food-grade ingredients that are not harmful to have in the household.

A couple of capfuls per day in your pet's drinking water will do the trick. One $18.99 bottle, available at select veterinary clinics, will last about one month. Larger dogs will need more than smaller ones, but smaller dogs are known to have more dental disease.

There are a handful of city vets that have already been using the product.

Dr. Noel Catrysse, of Catrysse Veterinary Services Ltd., is one of them.

"At this point in time I'd say it works better than anything else I have ever tried in this type of product," Catrysse said.

About 30 of his patients are using it post-treatment and he said there has been lots of positive feedback -- the bad breath is eliminated fairly quickly. He's had only one negative response with one pet that came down with an upset stomach.

Froehlich said the plan is to continue to distribute the product across Canada and he expects it will not be difficult to get similar certification in the U.S.

But Manitoba vets will get first crack at it.

Dr. Mark Philippot, of St. Claude Veterinary Clinic and president of the Manitoba Veterinary Medical Association, said oral care and treatment for companion pets like dogs and cats is a major concern for pet owners.

"Most animals -- not some -- will start experiencing periodontal disease as young as two years of age," he said. "And periodontal disease leads to other complications later in life like tooth loss, abscess and more severe infections that can spread through the bloodstream."

Froehlich said Kane Biotech is working on other formulations at its labs at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, including chew products.

"We're experimenting with adding it to a spray or a gel, because there are pet owners who do regularly brush their pets' teeth," Froehlich said.

Oral care for pets is about a $1-billion global business and about 90 per cent of that market is now accounted for by chew products.

martin.cash@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 2, 2013 A12

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