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Welcome to Ashton Animal Clinic

Your Veterinarian in Sarasota, FL
Call us at 941-927-2700

We embrace the importance of the finest quality care for your pets. Ashton Animal Clinic is a modern full service veterinary hospital and boarding facility. Our professional and courteous staff strive to foster a warm and compassionate relationship with both our clients and their pets while providing the finest possible medical, surgical, dental, boarding care, and professional grooming for the special members of your family.

The Pet Resort and Spa offers upscale veterinary supervised, comfortable kennels for dog boarding; quiet, cozy cat condos; and interactive doggie and kitty day care programs. Our pets enjoy an insect free environment, central air conditioning, piped in music, and a cleansing bath before they go home.

Have confidence in knowing we are


Owner Laurie Walmsley

Sarasota Veterinarian | Ashton Animal Clinic | 941-927-2700

5660 Ashton Road
Sarasota, FL 34233

The perils of anesthesia-free dentistry in pets

Nonprofessional dental scaling misses serious disease below the gum line and can damage teeth

Anesthesia-free dentistry, or nonprofessional dental scaling (NPDS), is becoming more common, particularly in dogs and cats. Anesthetic concerns, monetary issues and the desire to maximize the health and welfare of a beloved pet by providing some form of dental care all play a role in the onset and proliferation of this practice. But are we helping, hurting or working somewhere in between when we clean pets' teeth without adequate anesthesia?

Case example 1: A history of inadequate care

To avoid administering general anesthesia in a 10-year-old dog, at the client's request, the choice was made to provide regular dental cleaning with hand curettes and polishing on the awake patient. Although this dog also received excellent homecare, including brushing daily, profound disease below the gum line was the disastrous result of failing to undergo a thorough dental examination and cleaning that would have required anesthesia (Photos 1 and 2).

Numerous ineffective cleaning procedures were performed on this patient, but the end result was still multiple extractions for dental disease that should have been addressed years earlier. The remainder of this patient's oral cavity had similar pathology. This case is, unfortunately, the rule and not the exception. 

                  Photo 1

                  Photo 2

Case example 2: Disease that could be missed

A second patient represents a situation that is commonly missed if anesthesia-free dentistry is performed. This middle-aged dachshund has an oronasal fistula due to periodontal disease associated with the loss of the maxillary right fourth premolar (104). Improper closure resulted in a defect exposing the nasal cavity (Photo 3). The opposite canine tooth (204) demonstrates no visible pathology (Photo 4); however, a periodontal probe placed on the palatal aspect of this tooth reveals an 8-mm periodontal pocket where bone has been destroyed. In time, this will result in a similar outcome.

Since anesthesia-free dentistry does not allow for probing or thorough examination, this finding would have been missed. Because of the client's inability to brush this patient's teeth, the tooth was extracted rather than trying to grow new attachment with periodontal regenerative therapy (Photo 5). 

            Photo 3

            Photo 4

            Photo 5

The importance of complete dental care

Concerns about anesthesia are issues within both the human and veterinary medical fields. Oral surgical procedures may be extended and rather involved, and, consequently, they require adequate preanesthetic, intraoperative and postoperative management of all vital parameters affecting patients. Veterinary practices that routinely perform dental radiography and probing on all dental patients practice at an advanced level of care. They're also likely to be well-equipped to safely monitor patients and handle any problems they encounter.

Administration of premedications and nerve blocks enables patients to be kept at anesthetic depths consistent with that of a light general anesthesia. This keeps patients close to waking, even when extractions or other invasive procedures are needed, thus maximizing cardiac output and tissue perfusion and maintaining blood pressure.


NPDS is a cosmetic-only procedure. It hides the true disease that exists below the gum line. It also can be damaging to the tooth and the patient. The American Veterinary Dental College (AVDC) has released a position on the practice of NPDS.

The best advice is to continue to practice high-quality diagnostic dentistry to ensure your patients have the best oral care available.

Oct 01, 2011

By Brett Beckman, DVM, FAVD, DAVDC, DAAPM

Dr. Beckman is acting president of the American Veterinary Dental Society and owns and operates a companion-animal and referral dentistry and oral surgery practice in Punta Gorda, Fla. He sees referrals at Affiliated Veterinary Specialists in Orlando and at Georgia Veterinary Specialists in Atlanta, lectures internationally and operates the Veterinary Dental Education Center in Punta Gorda.

A special "Thank You" to all of our clients that trust we are the best caretakers for their pets!  We appreciate all of the votes you placed and look forward to continuing our top of the line pet care. 

Favorite Veterinarian - Dr. Laurie Walmsley

Best Veterinary Practice - Ashton Animal Clinic

Best Feral Cat Program - Buddy's Feral Cat Program

2nd Runner Up Favorite Dog Groomer - Cami at Ashton Animal Clinic

1st Runner Up Favorite Boarding Facility - Ashton Animal Clinic's Pet Resort

2nd Runner Up Favorite Doggie Daycare - Ashton Animal Clinic's Pet Resort

Dr. Laurie Walmsley

1st Woman of Florida Veterinary Medical Association's Distinguished

Service Award 2013

In the 39 years since the Distinguished Service Awards inception, it has been awarded only 28 times and Dr. Laurie Walmsley is the first female recipient.

  • 1974 Charles E. Bild, DVM
  • 1976 William E. Jackson, DVM
  • 1977 J. Brannen Murphy, DVM
  • 1979 Ronald F. Jackson, DVM
  • 1982 Clarence E. Dee, DVM
  • 1984 James H. Yarborough, DVM
  • 1985 E. E Thomas, Sr., DVM
  • 1988 H. Larry Gore, DVM
  • 1989 Jerry C. Spears, DVM
  • 1990 Shelton Pinkerton, DVM
  • 1991 Diedrich Beusse, Jr., DVM
  • 1992 James A. Himes, DVM
  • 1994 Harvey L. Rubin, DVM
  • 1995 Ralph S. Wilhelm, DVM
  • 1996 Albert Few, DVM
  • 1997 John Langford, DVM
  • 1999 Richard “Bill” Goldston, DVM
  • 1999 Paul L. Nicoletti, DVM
  • 2000 C. Perry Smith, DVM
  • 2001 Ernest Godfrey, DVM
  • 2002 William “Bill” Kyser, DVM
  • 2003 James Brandt, DVM
  • 2004 Larry G. Dee, DVM
  • 2005 Peter T. Fernandes, DVM
  • 2007 Richard Wilkes, DVM
  • 2010 John R. Bass, DVM
  • 2011 James E. Pennington, DVM
  • 2012 Paul Gibbs, BVSc, PhD
  • 2013 Laurie Ann Walmsley, DVM

The Distinguished Service Award is to be awarded for exceptional achievements and contributions by a member towards the advancement of Veterinary Medicine and the profession. To qualify, a member must have been dedicated to Veterinary Medicine and given time and energy beyond reasonable expectations. To be eligible for this award, a nominee must have been an active member of the Association for at least the past fifteen (15) years.

Buddy's Feral Cat Program

The community has become largely involved in the spay/neutering of Feral Cats. Many organizations have stepped up and are now doing free/low cost spay/neuters for Feral and Free Roaming cats. 

Because of this, we do not have a monthly clinic, we do offer appointments Monday and Fridays for Feral and Free Roaming cats in the community. We are also able to help any Feral and Free roaming cats that may have medical issues or injuries. 

If you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment please call

Ashton Animal Clinic 941-927-2700. 

Please click here for details on how to be a part of our program.


  • "The staff here is great very caring and friendly my dog Remington really enjoys going to the vet there and I been there to go out of their way for me when I was out of town and I need a shot record I would recommend this vet to anybody"
    Sean B. Sarasota, FL

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