Post # 1
My cat needed to have some dental surgery done – we were told he had some gum disease and some teeth that needed to be pulled. I dropped him off this morning and cried all the way home because he was so scared and I felt bad leaving without him . Anyway, they are estimating the surgery is going to cost $383… about what they estimated at his check-up last month, but still a sticker shock (more for Darling Husband than me!). We always had cats growing up and we never ever ever had a cat get dental surgery, and unless I’m dreaming it, I swear I remember the vet pulling bad teeth during a regular check-up (I promise it was a legit vet!). So here are my questions:
1. Did we get duped into paying for something that isn’t really necessary? She did show me his tooth and it didn’t look good, but I’m certainly no cat dental expert. There’s just a part of me that’s making me feel like this is another way for them to get some $$$ out of us…
2. Are we paying too much? (It’s too late now but I guess I can know in case there is a next time).
3. Is this a recent thing to do, as I cannot for the life of me ever remember hearing about a cat getting a day long dental procedure done? He’s having anesthesia, etc.
Thanks – and please think happy thoughts for my little guy since he is the biggest scaredy cat I have ever had, I’m sure he’s having a rough day! 🙁
Post # 3
I have two cats and my older cat has something calling Cervical Neck Lesions where his teeth will begin to rot at the base, or neck, of the tooth and they have to be extracted. Tooth removal is not a new thing and actually, not all vets are able to simply remove certain teeth (molars and bigger teeth) and you often have to go to a specialist, depending on the equipment that your vet has. We were able to remove the two teeth we needed to in my cat and get the entire root out, but the fear is that, especially with bigger teeth, the tooth will break and the vet will be unable to get the root out and it will be left exposed and be super painful. To give you a bit of perspective (I can’t remember how much we paid and I worked at the vet so I got a major discount), I called a specialist to get a quote for in depth oral x-rays to see if any other teeth would need to be removed, so we could just go ahead and extract those while he was under, and they were going to charge me $900 for x-rays.
I don’t think you’re paying too much and I think your cat will be much happier with those teeth gone.
Post # 4
My cat is an ex-feral so her teeth are in a terrible state. She had to go for anesthesia to have a molar pulled, poor bugger. I’m pretty sure it’s legit to make the cat go for a surgery, I wouldn’t worry!
I can’t comment on the price because I’m not from the US, but mine was the equivalent of $90 – wow sounds cheap! I’m sure he wouldn’t try to trick or overcharge you.
I feel you on the scaredy cat thing – I actually feel embarrassed by my cat when I take it to the vet because it screams bloody murder in its basket and the neighbours look out the window!!
Post # 5
woops I forgot you wanted experts, I hate it when laymen comment on something and I want proper advice myself, lol. Too late now
Post # 6
JellyFeet, I appreciate your comment – as in expert, I guess I meant, “experienced” haha!
Thanks to you and caits – you both have made me feel better about this situation. I didn’t want it to keep getting worse, and since we adopted him as a 2 year old we don’t really know what happened before we had him. He was most likely abused, so we try to do the best we can for him now, even though he is terrified of just about everything (e.g., it took 10 minutes of prodding to get him out from under the bed this morning to get him in his carrier!).
Post # 7
I’m not a vet but my sister is and I have a cat who went through the same thing. Small animal prices are very expensive, especially since they have to be put under in order to have their teeth pulled. Having it done is also important because it is painful to the cat and will only get worse with time. I paid right around the same thing as you did and my vet ended up extracting something around 6 teeth! He lost one of his canines so he looks a little funny when he yawns but is doing just fine. You did the right thing, and believe my my cat was not abused and fears the carrier like no ones buisness, they always somehow know…
Post # 8
I just want to pop in and wish your kitty well! We adopted our little girl when she was already ten years old, and she didn’t have a single tooth in her entire head. She had gum disease when she was younger and had all of them removed. She has no clue that they’re even missing now, though, and she prefers hard treats over soft ones. I wish your kitty a swift recovery!
Post # 9
That bill sounds pretty legit to me actually. The only cases I’ve heard of were over $1000 for pulling several teeth at a time. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve seen a few cats having a really hard time in their old age because their teeth were obviously rotten and hurting them, making it diffifult to eat. You’re doing right by your kitty by getting this done 🙂
Post # 10
@catnip: I am actually a Registered Veterinary Technician in Ontario, Canada who specializes in dentistry at my clinic. I’m sorry but I’m SHOCKED you paid less than $400! My boss (the veterinarian who owns the clinic and is the dental veterinarian) NEVER and I mean NEVER charges less than $400 for extractions!
One time we quoted someone $400 to put their pet under anesthesia and x-ray the whole mouth looking for a potential problem (the dog screamed everytime he opened his mouth wide).
Honestly, I’d say you got a deal. The cost of equiptment, drugs, and staff alone is a lot! Remember, these are experts you are paying for. I’m sure there are clinics that are less (there ALWAYS is) but do you want to have old and unreliable equiptment, no pain medication or antibiotics or untrained staff? That is usually the reason you are paying less at any clinic.
Jut wanted to give you my expert opinion.
Honestly, if you had come to my clinic it would have cost you $700+
As for if its a new thing, it’s true, there are a lot of veterinarians who are not comfortable performing extractions or lack the equiptment to do dentistry. The equiptment is VERY VERY expensive to purchase (even used). The other thing is that pets are much more a part of our families now compared to even 20 years ago.
It’s the same thing with spays and neuters. Now mostly everyone spays and neuters their pet (as you should) where as 20 years ago not many people were willing to fork out money on their cat or dog.
My dog is my fur baby (we don’t have any kids yet) and I would do anything for him!
Post # 11
You’re doing the right thing, especially if you could see that the tooth didn’t look good! They will probably clean the teeth and extract the ones that need to be extracted. It’s only once they get the cat under anesthesia that they can really look inside and see what’s going on.
I’ve had two cats, and when I’ve gotten their teeth cleaned and/or extracted it was an all-day affair. The price you were quoted sounds very reasonable. The last cleaning (just a cleaning, not extraction) was $315. When extractions were involved, it was about double that (eek, I know). When you go back, if they needed to do additional extractions, depending on the complexity of the tooth, the price may increase. Hopefully not, though!
Just give the kitty some extra love tonight, and canned food for a couple days. I’m sure the vet will give you instructions when you pick him up. Good luck!
Post # 12
That sounds like the going rate. My FSIL’s cat just had a tooth pulled like 2 days ago. Cost her about $500 with the pain medication and everything!
Post # 13
i was a vet tech for four years while i was in college. The price you are going to pay is actually pretty cheap compared to what the vets i worked for charged. Dental cleanings in both dogs and cats is a very popular thing now days (the even made February Dental Month for animals!) and is strongly encouraged by vets. pretty much the same reason as it is for people to get their cleanings. They keep the animals all day for dentals b/c of the anesthesia, some animals have reactions so they keep them to monitor them throughout the day, and monitor bleeding when they have things such as extractions done. it’s very safe, i used to be one of the techs that performed dentals on animals. so, it’ll help save you money for extensive surgery and antibiotics in the future by getting those bad teeth out now. Good luck!
Post # 14
I’ve had 2 dogs that had to have teeth removed. The price includes the anesthesia (which is weight dependent), the actual extraction, IVs (if needed), and antibiotics at a minimum. That’s what makes the procedure quite pricey. I fall they had to do was yank them out it would be much cheaper but they can’t do it that.