Referral Information for Pet Owners:
Your veterinary surgeon has recommended that your pet be assessed by a Specialist in Veterinary Dentistry in order to assist them in caring for your pet. Our role is to provide our expertise, working with you and your vet, to provide excellence in care.
In general, we try and deal with cases on a single day.
Please make sure that food is taken away from cats and dogs at 8 pm (20.00 hrs) the night before the appointment. Rabbits (and other small furries) can be left to feed throughout until admission. Please leave water down, and pets can drink on the morning of their appointment. Let them have an opportunity to go to the toilet on the morning before the appointment.
If there are special considerations - such as diabetes, or use of anti-epilepsy drugs, please discuss this with the practice BEFORE the day of admission. Please bring any medications that you are using for your pet with you to the appointment.
At the morning appointment, we will assess the problem and discuss treatment options. Your pet will also receive a full physical examination (as most of our treatments will require a general anaesthetic).
When we have agreed to a treatment plan, your pet will be admitted to the clinic. We also try and give you a tour of the facility at that time. Sometimes (e.g. if other operations have already commenced) this may not be possible.
Prior to the anaesthetic, we recommend taking a blood sample to assess liver, kidney and other internal functions, together with testing the ability of the blood to clot properly. Our physical examination will hopefully pick up any problems - but a blood sample can detect many problems at an earlier stage. As many of our procedures are quite lengthy, we want our anaesthetics to be as safe as possible - so an intravenous (IV) drip may also be suggested.
Premedication provides both pain relief and also dramatically reduces the dose of anaesthetic required. Once sedation has been achieved an intravenous injection of short-acting anaesthetic is often given for induction. Once your pet is asleep, a tube is passed down into the airway so that anaesthesia can be continued with gas. This allows far more control over the depth of anaesthesia - for example, switching the gas to just pure oxygen allows rapid recovery.
We use an array of sophisticated monitoring equipment during our anaesthetics - these include measuring respiration rate, electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG), pulse oximetry (the oxygen level in the blood), capnography (the carbon dioxide levels and patterns in the expired gas), blood pressure, core and peripheral body temperature and the levels of anaesthetic gas in the system. Heated beds (including our special hot air beds) are used to keep patients stable. In addition, a nurse (either fully qualified RVN or a suitably trained student nurse) is dedicated to monitoring anaesthetic status and reflexes. We believe that this makes our anaesthetic systems as safe as possible - as we are aware that often we are dealing with either old or critically injured patients. While no anaesthetic is without risk - our job is to make a small risk even smaller!
A further detailed examination and investigation will be performed by a specialist in veterinary dentistry under anaesthesia. Often it is only at this time that a full assessment of problems can be achieved. Dental radiographs are also usually required. Local anaesthetics may also be administered at this stage.
As a result of this more detailed examination, our plans may have to change. This is why we will ask you for a contact phone number that we can use during the course of the day. It is essential that you are able to speak on this phone number and that you are able to make decisions about any suggested change in the procedure. If we are not able to contact you - we will make a decision based on our judgement of the best interests of your pet.
Hopefully, treatment will be completed during this anaesthetic episode, and your pet will then recover from the anaesthetic, whilst being supervised by our team members. Pain relief and other medications will usually have been continued during the anaesthetic. However, your pet will often need oral medication (tablets or liquids) at home.
We know how worrying it is to have a member of your family undergo anaesthesia. We will try and ring you once your pet is fully recovered to let you know. If you have not heard from us by 4 pm (16.00hrs), then please ring us.
At the discharge appointment, we will go through what treatment has been performed. Often we will try and illustrate this with pictures and radiographs of your pet. Importantly we will discuss any future care that is needed. Sometimes problems will require a further treatment after a few days or weeks; most will need a follow-up radiographic evaluation after six months, and almost all will need some form of home care.
On going home your pet may be a little groggy from the effect of the premedication, so please ensure your cat basket is secure and that dogs are kept on a lead. Many dogs will want to pass urine - so let them have an opportunity before getting into the car (Poop bags are available at reception if needed). Sometimes dogs can 'sing' that evening. This is not pain - but a sort of dissociation from the opiate premedication. If you interrupt, it really seems like they think "Oh, was that me making that noise?" Give free access to drinking water and feed a small amount that evening - often we may provide you with some soft food to use. Keep cats in for a day or two (or as advised) and dogs should be kept on a lead for a couple of days. If we provide an Elizabethan collar, it must be used as advised. Pet's toilet habits may be a little disrupted for a couple of days and sometimes the motions may be changed.
In general - if you have any worries - contact us.
We will send details of the consultation and treatment through to your regular veterinary surgeon. This way they are able to provide continuity of care for your pet. Often the first follow-up appointment (usually after a week) will be with your regular veterinary surgeon
Where we are
The following is a link to our address, map and directions pages. Find Us.
The First Appointment
This is usually held between 09.30 and 10.30 in the morning.
Please try and arrive a few minutes early - this will allow us to process any paperwork (insurance forms and Kennel club papers etc.) We will provide you with tea and coffee. The practice also has free WiFi access.
How much will it cost?
The initial appointment is around £120 including VAT. We will provide you with a detailed estimate for any proposed procedure before admitting your pet. However, it is often only once your pet is anaesthetized that full examination is possible. Therefore costs may vary - but we will always try and contact you on your phone if significant changes are required.
We accept payment by cash, credit or debit cards. We no longer accept cheques.
We will ask for a deposit on admission and payment in full is made at collection. Please see our Terms & Conditions.
What should I bring with me?
Any notes or radiographs from your own veterinary surgeon.
Kennel Club registration documents.
Where appropriate, Insurance cover notes and claim forms.
Any medications your pet may be receiving.
Most good insurance companies provide cover for necessary dental treatment over and above "routine" dental scaling. Things like dental trauma or investigations of oral masses are usually covered. However, you will need to consult the terms and conditions of your pet's individual insurance.
Generally full payment for treatment is made on collecting your pet. We will then complete your claim form and submit this to the insurance company on your behalf. Where we can, we do this electronically and we are able to submit over 95% of claims within 15 working days. Where a "speedy administration" is required, we guarantee to process claims within 3 working days - however a small charge is made for this.
We are only able to offer this for certain insurance companies. We will need to check your insurance details with the company direct before agreeing to a Direct Claim. You must bring full details of your insurance to the appointment. We will also ask you to pay any excess and our "Speedy Administration" fee.
Please note that our contract is with you. You have a separate contract between you and the insurance company. If the insurance company does not pay us - we will still require payment to be made by you.
We aim to offer excellence in care. This extends not only to the care we provide for your pet - but also to you and to your regular veterinary surgeon. Hopefully, you will feel that we achieve our aim in this and you will be happy to tell others. If there are any areas that you feel we can improve - then please let us know, as our desire for excellence is a continuing challenge.
For considering us to help in the care for your pet. We hope that we make you feel welcome and that your trust in us, our care, our team and our fantastic facilities is well justified.
BVM&S Dipl.EVDC MRCVS
Recognised European & RCVS Veterinary Specialist in Dentistry