Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Dog Tooth Decay

Dental Treatment – Why the General Anaesthetic?

So, your pet has been diagnosed with dental disease, and now you face the conundrum- should I take them for a full anaesthetic and dental treatment? Or should I just try to manage the disease without an anaesthetic?


For many people, the prospect of anesthetising their pet can be very scary as there is a degree of risk involved – believe us, we understand – we are pet parents too!

However, if a dental has been recommended, then the risks of the procedure are far outweighed by the benefits to your pet’s quality of life.

In the short-term, dental disease can cause your pet a great deal of pain and distress. If you have ever had a toothache before, I’m sure you can understand how sore it would feel if it were never fixed!

In the long term, dental disease can seed into the body and damage your pet’s organs.


But why do they need to be anesthetised for dental treatment?
If you have found it difficult to brush your pet’s teeth before then you may already know the answer to this question.

During a dental we assess your pet’s dental disease (by closely examining and probing any suspicious areas) and decide whether or not extractions need to be made.

We also use tools to scale the tartar and bacteria off such as an ultrasonic scaler and we polish the teeth – just like a human dentist.

Scaling and polishing are both essential to prevent more bacteria from sticking to the teeth.

All of these procedures can be painful to your pet, particularly if they have dental disease. Having a pet anesthetised means this process is not stressful to them and allows us to perform the procedure more thoroughly.


While there is always a risk when undergoing a general anaesthetic, we work hard to manage this risk.

Before the procedure, we offer a screening blood test which looks at your pet’s organ health, specifically the organs that help to process the anaesthetic. This allows us to alter our anaesthetic plan or decide against the procedure if there is too much risk.

During the procedure, a vet nurse is on hand to monitor your pet closely, and they are constantly alerting the veterinary surgeon to the pet’s status under the anaesthetic.

Meanwhile, the vet is working efficiently and carefully to correct your pet’s dental disease.

For a more in depth understanding of why dental disease is detrimental to your pet’s health, check out my earlier blog post on the effects of dental disease.


If you have any questions about dental disease or dental procedures, don’t hesitate to call us or pop in and remember we are offering a half price offer for a scale and polish of your pet’s teeth this March.


Dog Teeth

This patient has just had a dental scale and polish. The tube in his mouth is attached to the oxygen and anaesthetic gas.












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Dental Disease

March 2017 is Ashley Vets Dental Health Month!
This month is pet dental health month, which may have you wondering- is it really that important for my pet to have clean teeth?

Often dental health is thought of as a purely cosmetic concern, but in reality, the mouth is the gateway to your pet’s whole body.

Any disease in the mouth can lead to disease in the rest of their body.

So, what causes dental disease?

Minerals, saliva and bacteria among other things form a film over the teeth, which hardens and turns into tartar. This tartar is then a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. The bacteria damage your pet’s gums and eat away at their teeth, often leading to a bad smell from the mouth. That smell is actually bacteria which have infected your pet’s mouth.

Why should we treat dental disease? 

If you have ever had a toothache yourself, then you will understand that this mouth infection can be very painful for your pet. Sometimes pets with dental disease will drool, not want to eat properly, and be generally depressed however some pets do not make their distress obvious to us and will carry on regardless. Remember they can’t tell us what is wrong!

Not only can it be painful, but dental disease can affect your pet’s overall health.  The bacteria in your pet’s mouth can easily travel to the rest of the body, where it can damage their heart and kidneys amongst other tissues.  It can even contribute to heart and kidney failure.

By the time our pets are just a few years old, most of them will have some kind of dental disease. This is preventable with routine care, or can be helped with a general anaesthetic and veterinary treatment.

If you are concerned that your pet may be suffering from dental disease, please make an appointment with our vets to decide on a treatment plan or if you are not sure then come along this month and have a free dental check up with our nurse.

It is a painful disease and it is damaging to your pet’s overall health.

Have a look at our guide on ‘How to tell if your pet has dental disease’ and have a check of your pet’s mouth today!



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Obesity In Pets

Pets Can Pile on the Pounds Too!

Getting into shape for the New Year applies to our pets as well as to ourselves. It’s the time of year to shed those extra pounds and start pounding the pavements again and what better way to do it is there than walking the dog.

Obesity is fast becoming one of the biggest killers in pets leading to heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and osteoarthritis to name just a few examples, but the good news is that it is treatable. We can prevent these diseases with just a few sensible measures.

Why pets become overweight:

  1. Excessive calorie intake at mealtimes – always check how much food you should be feeding for the size of pet.
  2. Snacking – small amounts of animal treats are allowed as long as the portions of his/her main meals are reduced to take this into account
  3. Guilt – weight gain can be caused by owners feeding their pet more treats because of their own guilt e.g. if they are working long hours or haven’t spent much time with them.
  4. Lack of exercise – regular exercise every day is important for all pets
  5. Over feeding puppies – correct feeding during the growth phase is important to prevent obesity later in life.

If your pet is carrying a few extra pounds then a sensible approach to weight loss is called for. A decrease in calorie intake along with an increase in exercise is what’s required. Cutting out tidbits and snacks is an obvious start but we must also look at the type and amount of food you are feeding your pet at mealtimes. There are lower calorie or light diets on the market but for the pets with more weight to lose then prescription diets are the way to go. The best approach is to have your pet’s weight regularly monitored over the weight loss period at the veterinary practice and if the vet or nurse feels there is a lot to lose then they will advise you on the diet that is most suitable.

Top tips:

  1. Always weigh out your pet’s food
  2. Aim for your pet to lose 1-3% body weight per week
  3. Divide daily food intake into several meals
  4. Increase exercise
  5. Hide dried food round the house so that he/she has to look for it
  6. Take a photo before the diet starts so you can compare as they start to lose weight

If you think your pet may be overweight or if you would like any advice on your pet’s weight or diet please come and see us.

Nurse weight clinic appointments are FREE so don’t hesitate – just pick up the phone and call us or send us an email and we can contact you.

Every pet has a different routine and we can advise you on type and amount of food to feed, how to encourage your pet to exercise more and have lots of ideas to help and encourage the weight loss process.

We are here to help you to help them!



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