Keeping your pet happy and healthy is our priority.
At Spinney Vets, we're here to help you do that with this bank of useful
information and expert pet health advice.
Pet Advice From Spinney Vets
Our team of highly qualified and experienced staff is able to provide advice and guidance to help you take care of your pet. Together we have created this library of pet advice and animal facts, to give you access to the information you need to take good care of your pet.
For more detailed advice contact your local branch of Spinney Vets.
Whether your dog is already your best friend or you are considering getting a puppy, we have extensive experience to help you and your dog advice on topics such as neutering and vaccinations to behaviour, dietary advice, reproduction and more;
Though notoriously independent, cats are still a big commitment for pet owners. Our team of experts are ready to help with advice that covers all bases, including kitten advice, neutering and vaccinations as well as senior cat advice, dietary and behaviour.
If you have a happy rabbit at home already or are considering bringing a baby bunny into the family, our team of vets and nurses can offer advice on topics such as diet, young and senior rabbit advice and common medical conditions.
Your pets can be your best friend or part of the family, we understand that is why the expert team of veterinarians at Spinney Vets can offer expert advice to cover topics such as neutering, travelling with your pet and dealing with fireworks or noise phobias.
Latest Spinney Vets Pet Advice
Pet blood tests – everything you need to know
As your veterinary practice, our aim is to support you and your pet to help them live happier, healthier lives. A clinical examination with our vets is a great way to determine how healthy your pet is, but sometimes we require confirmation of a suspected disease or condition by looking at your pet's blood results.
Blood tests at Spinney Vets allow us to capture an overview of how your pet's internal organs are functioning, allowing a clearer picture of your pet's overall health and provide us with key indications for many organs and functions. Our state-of-the-art laboratory, which we house in our practice, allows us to obtain rapid test results for your pet blood tests
Did you know?
A pet may show no symptoms until 70-75% of their kidney function has been lost.
Blood testing can be extremely beneficial in monitoring the function of your pet’s internal organs, allowing us to identify problems in their earliest stages. This gives us the opportunity to intervene early with a much better likelihood of success in managing the problem.
What happens during a pet blood test?
- your pet is taken to a clinical area where our team position your pet and reassure them whilst the sampling takes place
- a patch of fur will be shaved from the area where the blood sample will be taken. The most common areas are the front legs, neck, or occasionally the hind legs.
- our trained staff will gently hold your pet and raise the vein whilst the vet or nurse takes the sample
Sampling can usually be done within a few minutes; however, anxious or stressed pets can take a little longer.
Where possible, we may allow you to accompany your pet, but having owners present occasionally makes pets less likely to sit still. If we feel your pet is becoming too stressed, we may recommend a mild sedative for them.
Pets have quite delicate skin, so shaving of fur may occasionally cause some skin irritation, similar to a shaving rash. If this occurs, we will apply a cream to soothe the irritation.
What blood tests are normally carried out?
Our practice is equipped with a high specification blood analyser. The following panel of tests is run on a small blood sample from your pet.
It is very important that pet blood test results are interpreted in conjunction with the findings of a thorough veterinary examination alongside any other recommended diagnostic tests. A result which sits outside the normal reference range may not necessarily indicate a significant problem and this is where our training and professional judgement is required.
We are always happy when we can report normal test results. The results are stored on your pet's file, and we use these results to keep as a baseline reference range for any future blood work your pet may need.
Partnership with our external laboratory:
We work on a daily basis with our external laboratory which runs more rarely used tests and those which require expensive equipment or unusual reagents; this would include tests to assess accurate levels of particular hormones, for example. They also have specialist staff whom we can consult to help us in complex cases, ensuring we can make the best recommendation for the treatment of our patients.
Samples are collected and delivered to the laboratory by overnight courier. Depending on the complexity of the test, many of the results are received on the following weekday whilst other rare and complex tests may take longer. For external laboratory tests, as well as those run on our own ‘in-house’ machines, we will advise you on how soon to expect a call regarding results during the blood sampling appointment.
If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the surgery for more information.
Dental care is just as important for your pet as it is for people. Keeping your pet's teeth clean and healthy is imperative to preventing dental diseases in the future.
Here at Spinney Vets, we understand the importance of your pet’s dental hygiene, its just as important as any other routine for your pet. That is why we also operate in pet dental care specialising in the build-up of tartar, tooth decay and gum disease prevention. Our specialist nurse clinics are here to provide essential dental care and advice for you and your pet's needs.
For pet dental care we recommend brushing you cat or dog’s teeth twice a day to maintain good oral hygiene in your pet. Just the same as humans, animals can suffer with a build of tartar which can lead to tooth decay. In the long term this can be very painful for your pet, as well as expensive for you to treat.
There are alternative options such as products that you can add to your pet’s water to help reduce plaque build up and bad breath. Bad breath is caused by something called Halitosis which is a when bacteria becomes trapped on the surface of the tongue or between teeth.
Treating dogs and cats
Dogs and cats can be very good at not displaying any signs of oral pain that could be dental disease. Some animals with severe dental disease, including root exposure, severe gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), and tooth root infections, will keep eating, showing only small, sometimes unnoticeable signs that something is wrong. This often leads to an animal requiring multiple extractions of teeth, we recommend combatting this by providing daily tooth brushing.
Signs of dental disease?
- Bad breath (halitosis)
- Visible tartar build-up on teeth
- Red or inflamed gums (gingivitis)
- Discoloured teeth
- Loose teeth
- Bleeding from the mouth
- Slowness or reluctance to eat
- Chewing on one side of the mouth
- Dropping food from the mouth when eating
- Swelling around the mouth (from potential tooth root abscesses)
Why does dental disease occur?
Food and saliva that is left behind on the teeth will form plaque on the tooth. Plaque is soft and can be removed by brushing or using alternative dental products.
If not removed, the plaque will harden forming tartar, which is difficult to remove without dentistry intervention. You can utilise our dental care by having a dental de-scaling to remove tartar. If tartar is not removed then bacteria will spread below the gumline, causing red sore gums. This is called gingivitis and periodontitis, which in turn can lead to lose teeth, infection of the tooth root and jawbone infections.
Cats also get another form of dental disease known as feline odontoclastic resorptive lesions (FORLs). It has an unknown cause, but 75% of cats are thought to be affected. It is particularly common in cats over five years but can occur at any age.
In these lesions, part of the tooth is eaten away by the tooth itself, forming a small hole in the enamel close to the gum line. These lesions are very painful for cats and can lead to tooth fractures as they weaken the teeth. They require extraction to resolve.Read more