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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 21, 2005
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    958

    Default need advice re bill for cat dentistry

    my Mom's cat is at the vet getting 3 teeth pulled. healthy well-cared for 7 year old indoor cat. not sure what happened with the teeth.... but they need to go. fine. the problem is that the estimate is $800-1200. seems really high. my mom is retired/disabled/old and I can help her out, but it seems to me that they could be taking advantage of her.

    any advice on how to ask how they arrive at that price and what recourse do I have ??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 12, 2006
    Posts
    4,343

    Default

    Call other vets and get estimates on the price if she hasn't been treated yet. Vet care fees vary so much. You don't have recourse if you paid already, but maybe they will reduce the bill or let her make payments.

    And dental needs vary per vet. In the same office, my cat has needed a cleaning..... and umm... not needed a cleaning depending on the vet doing the exam.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 12, 2004
    Location
    new england
    Posts
    323

    Default

    Get a second opinion if you are concerned.

    Also ask for an itemized estimate and speak to the doctor with your questions

    At our practice 700-800 + would not be unusual for a cat with 3 extractions. It would include anesthesia, iv catheter, iv fluids, excellent pain management, state of the art monitoring with an ecg/pulse oximeter/blood pressure and constant vet and tech supervision, the cleaning, likely a series of digital xrays to determine which teeth can be saved and which need extraction, the cleaning and the extractions (which are generally far from easy in a cat). And about 1-2 hours of a vet and technician's time

    All of this costs money unfortunately



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2000
    Location
    midwest
    Posts
    10,337

    Default

    Get a second opinion. The price for services for companion animals varies from practice to practice. In the estimate look for pre-anesthesia bloodwork, anesthesia, tooth extraction(s) & pain meds. In our area for a routine extraction I would expect to pay $400 for the service you describe- basically $100 for bloodwork, $100 per tooth and $100 for anesthesia and pain meds.

    A specialty clinic in the city quoted me $1,300-$1500 to remove the eye on one of my kitties. Fabulous practice with excellent veterinarians and facility. A companion animal 'city' clinic quoted me $800 for the same service. A small town veterinarian 6 miles from me quoted me $300. In the example of the last quote, the office is a no frills place but the doc is super skilled.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Posts
    22,437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    the problem is that the estimate is $800-1200. seems really high. my mom is retired/disabled/old and I can help her out, but it seems to me that they could be taking advantage of her.
    Wow - that does seem high. My dog has been in the ER for the last couple of days with very intensive treatment and the bill is about 2700$. And that ER is in a horribly upscale/expensive area.

    In comparison - the vet's estimate for something fairly routine seems awfully high. If it's not an emergency perhaps you could shop around - or maybe talk to the vet and work something out, maybe an interest free payment plan after reducing the bill a little.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 18, 2000
    Location
    Connecticut
    Posts
    7,947

    Default

    I would suggest checking with your local/state Humane Society to see if their veterinarians do dental cleaning and surgeries. Often the prices are much lower, and the quality of care is just as good. Keep in mind that in private practices, often times the vet techs administer the sedation and do the actual scaling of the teeth while the vet stands there and "supervises". The vet does the extractions. For the prices that the private practices are charging for this as an outpatient procedure, that vet tech involvement really ticks me off.

    Up until very recently we were with a pricey private vet practice, and your quote is right on target. The cleaning/sedation runs $800 and up, and each tooth extracted is $100 or more, per tooth.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2009
    Posts
    758

    Default

    It seems a little high. I believe it is also a common practice to account for every contingency in the estimate. When my dog needed surgery, the actual bill was significantly less than the estimate. Hopefully everything will go smoothly and they will reduce the final bill after the work is complete.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 11, 1999
    Location
    Clayton, CA USA
    Posts
    4,965

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by SLW View Post
    Get a second opinion. The price for services for companion animals varies from practice to practice. In the estimate look for pre-anesthesia bloodwork, anesthesia, tooth extraction(s) & pain meds. In our area for a routine extraction I would expect to pay $400 for the service you describe- basically $100 for bloodwork, $100 per tooth and $100 for anesthesia and pain meds.

    A specialty clinic in the city quoted me $1,300-$1500 to remove the eye on one of my kitties. Fabulous practice with excellent veterinarians and facility. A companion animal 'city' clinic quoted me $800 for the same service. A small town veterinarian 6 miles from me quoted me $300. In the example of the last quote, the office is a no frills place but the doc is super skilled.
    I have had just about this same experience with vet clinics in my area and dental extractions. I have an indoor cat who needed to have several teeth removed last year. I got quotes ranging from $400 to $1k, and one vet, who I used often, wouldn't do it. One thing that factors into feline teeth is the need for specialized tools to safely get the teeth out; they are rooted very deep. I found a vet in my area who is excellent, and reasonable, and who frequently worked on teeth. He extracted the teeth for around $400, and I have used him for just about everything else since.
    Mystic Owl Sporthorses
    www.mysticowlsporthorses.com



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,634

    Default

    My cat was just in for shots yesterday, and my vet told me a complete dental cleaning for him would be $350. That would not included any extractions, but I can't imagine an extraction would be more than $100/per tooth.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2005
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    566

    Default

    A few years ago I was quoted $600ish for JUST a cleaning.......I started talking to friends about their vets and found a practice with super vets with a practical approach to animal care and paid $240 for cleaning and 1 extraction....

    Ask around.....
    Crayola Posse: Mulberry



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2009
    Posts
    2,108

    Default

    It sounds like the cat is actually there getting this done, no? That's how I read it. There's really nothing you can do if that's the case other than asked for a detailed bill and pick it apart like hell. If that's just the estimate and it has been agreed upon yet (at my vet we have to sign them) then definitely get a second opinion. My cat had a full cleaning and 2 extractions and it was just shy of $300. Another one had one extraction at a different vet and it was $250-ish. That seems extremely high to me.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,864

    Default

    I think I've paid about $200 per tooth. So that sounds about right.

    If you think that's bad, a stray cat I adopted needed nearly ALL her teeth pulled...her mouth was a mess. That little bill was $1600!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 5, 2007
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,190

    Default

    These prices seem ridiculous to me, for a cat to have it's teeth cleaned?!? Good god.

    Our barn cat lived to be 15 years old and was going strong until she became a diabetic. Insulin extended her life by 2 years......never once had her teeth cleaned. Wouldn't pay these prices regardless!



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 1, 2008
    Posts
    4,864

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Daatje View Post
    These prices seem ridiculous to me, for a cat to have it's teeth cleaned?!? Good god.

    Our barn cat lived to be 15 years old and was going strong until she became a diabetic. Insulin extended her life by 2 years......never once had her teeth cleaned. Wouldn't pay these prices regardless!
    Pulled, not cleaned.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    7,950

    Default

    I was informed by my neighborhood vet (whose office you can't leave for under $300, ever) that my dog absolutely positively needed to have his teeth cleaned ASAP and it would be $400 at least.

    I went to my friend's vet, who I found to be quite competent, who said his teeth looked perfect to her but she'd check him again next time we did shots.

    I later ran into a vet tech from first vet's office at a party, who petted my dog and exclaimed over how "nice and clean his teeth are."




  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2009
    Location
    Bedford, New York
    Posts
    167

    Default

    The price the OP's vet quoted seems comparable to what I have paid for my former stray cat's extractions.

    As for vets trying to perform unneeded services, I guess it goes without saying that it is important to find a vet you trust?? I have three cats and the one who had the extractions is the only one that the vet ever suggested needed this procedure. It is my understanding that some cats have genetically crappy teeth and yanking the offending teeth can prevent more problems down the line.

    I sympathize with the OP, though. It's a hell of a bill to cough up the money for, particularly since, in my case at least, kitty didn't appear sick or uncomfortable.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug. 13, 2008
    Posts
    112

    Exclamation Dental Costs

    In our office

    Preop bloodwork $40
    Dental including anesthesia $60
    Complex extractions $25 per tooth
    Simple extractions $10 per tooth

    Antibiotics and pain meds to go home $25

    Shop around you are being taken for a ride



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Location
    Mass.
    Posts
    6,634

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Canopach01 View Post
    In our office

    Preop bloodwork $40
    Dental including anesthesia $60
    Complex extractions $25 per tooth
    Simple extractions $10 per tooth

    Antibiotics and pain meds to go home $25

    Shop around you are being taken for a ride
    Where exactly is this? What state?
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2003
    Posts
    1,799

    Default

    Sounds about right to me.

    We have one who had 3 extractions done several years ago and it was $800. This was done in New England by an excellent vet whose entire practice is devoted just to cats.

    There's a cheaper local vet for the routine things, but he's not very interested or good with cats, so anything unusual goes about 30 minutes down the road to cat clinic.
    "The nice thing about memories is the good ones are stronger and linger longer than the bad and we sure have some incredibly good memories." - EverythingButWings



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 28, 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    633

    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    my Mom's cat is at the vet getting 3 teeth pulled. healthy well-cared for 7 year old indoor cat. not sure what happened with the teeth.... but they need to go. fine. the problem is that the estimate is $800-1200. seems really high. my mom is retired/disabled/old and I can help her out, but it seems to me that they could be taking advantage of her.

    any advice on how to ask how they arrive at that price and what recourse do I have ??
    how about get a second opinion from a different vet??????????



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