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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
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    346

    Default teeth cleaning - canine

    My 8 yr. old bichon is due for her first veterinarian teeth cleaning. I brush her teeth regularly, but the plaque is getting ahead of me, and I think a couple of her teeth at the very back appear loose to me.

    I've been quoted $528.00 for the basics (no extractions), and $932.00 for the supreme (with possible extractions).

    Should I say yes to the pre-surgical blood work ? They want to do a CBC+ Pre-Anes w/lytes. It appears to be an option.

    And should I accept the IV fluid administration during surgery? They refer to it as Isoflurane anesthetic (not sure why on the low price, they are quoting $141, but on the high price, $255. for what appears to be the same thing. Again, this is an option.

    Any suggestions/ experiences with your middle aged small dog?

    Honestly, my first instinct is to do everything for my gal, but walking out with a bill of $932 (not including any antibiotics afterwards), is going to be a shock.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Minnesota
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    17,729

    Default

    For a senior dog, I would do the pre-surgery bloodwork.

    I would also do IV fluids.

    Isoflurane is the gas that is used to keep the dog under. The reason it is priced higher for the extraction option is that the dog will be anesthetized longer.

    You may be able to shop it around and save some money, if you're willing to go to another vet.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr. 16, 2009
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    758

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    Well, I'm not going to be any help here but that seems a little high to me. However, in my experience, the really qualified, great places give you an estimate on the high side and if everything goes well, the final bill comes in lower.

    I would always do pre-surgical blood work if the dog has not had it in recent medical history. I believe this is to be certain they can tolerate the anesthesia. Personally, I spend the extra money for the surgical monitoring/IV, although it's probably not very important.

    I would want a specific opinon on your perception that the back teeth are loose. I'd want a qualified dental specialist looking at that before and during the procedure.

    There are often dental specials. I think February used to be dog dental month in my area. The rates you're being quoted are specialists rates. I'd just be certain I needed and received specialist care.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    Please do pre surgical blood work.

    Had a very very sad case come in last week to our ICU. Clients declined pre-surgical bloodwork on a 9 year old JRT before their dental at their regular vets. Owners felt dog was healthy. Well, after the dental the dog didnt recover well. Very quiet, vomiting a few times a day, not eating. Went back to vet a week later, but declined any further treatment other than SQ fluids.

    Dog started seizuring, and presented to the ICU completely obtunded. In house bloodwork reveled a creatine of 1800. (Normal is around 50-100). After discussing results with the owners and asking history, the dog was drinking more than normal before the dental (which indicates there may have been a kidney issue beforehand)

    A quick pre-anesthetic would have revealed some kidney changes, which would have alerted the vet to either chance anesthesia protocol, or not do it at all.

    Dog ended up dying one week after the dental. The $65 preanes. blood would have prevented this early death. Their ICU bill was $4800 before euthanasia.

    We dont offer the option to clients, its a built in price. And yes, IV fluids are important. If you want to know why, I can go into detail, but basically under an anesthetic you want to ensure there is ideal perfusion to all organs (mesured through blood pressure). If blood pressure is low (and anesthetic agents will do this), fluids will balance it allowing to the vital organs to be properly perfused.

    Dont skimp on vet care for your pet. Pre-surgical bloodwork, pain meds, IV fluids are essential to a proper anesthesia that is more than a few minutes long. The price range is likely for how long the anesthesia will be. (Ie. $55 per 10 minutes of anesthesia).



  5. #5
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    Apr. 16, 2009
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    758

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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post

    And yes, IV fluids are important. If you want to know why, I can go into detail, but basically under an anesthetic you want to ensure there is ideal perfusion to all organs (mesured through blood pressure). If blood pressure is low (and anesthetic agents will do this), fluids will balance it allowing to the vital organs to be properly perfused.

    Dont skimp on vet care for your pet. Pre-surgical bloodwork, pain meds, IV fluids are essential to a proper anesthesia that is more than a few minutes long. The price range is likely for how long the anesthesia will be. (Ie. $55 per 10 minutes of anesthesia).
    Great easy to understand explanation. Thank you!



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2006
    Location
    Maine
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    2,069

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    The pre-op bloodwork and IV fluids are important. Dental radiographs can further define the extent of dental disease. The range on the anesthesia probably reflects a range of time. If any difficult extractions are required, the amount of anesthetic time can start to add up.



  7. #7
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    My vet will not do any sort of general anesthesia surgery without the pre-op bloodwork.

    The $500+ price you quoted sounds about right. I get the bloodwork done ahead of time, but together with the teeth cleaning it all comes out to about $550 or so. I've never had post-teeth cleaning antibiotics.

    Thankfully, Tribble's never needed any extractions, but one of my sister's dogs needed two pulled, and that bill was over $700.

    Dog teeth are EXPEN$$$$IVE.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  8. #8
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    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    For the first time in a while, I'm very glad I live in Kentucky. My wonderful vet charges $120 for teeth cleaning plus cost of the bloodwork.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
    Location
    Toronto, Canada.
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    Quote Originally Posted by LauraKY View Post
    For the first time in a while, I'm very glad I live in Kentucky. My wonderful vet charges $120 for teeth cleaning plus cost of the bloodwork.
    Wow....do they even put the dog under anesthetic?? Nice!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2008
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    424

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    My vet just charges for the anesthesia. Blood work and such are extra, but my pooch has epilepsy so he gets very regular blood work done.

    I was quoted about $120 for my 50 pound dog.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2006
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    Many vets try to keep the prices reasonable as it is one ot the most important things you can do to ensure your pets long term health and longevity. Dental disease shortens the life span of many pets due to a crappy mouth being implicated in kidney disease and heart disease. Dental disease was the number one killer of people before modern dentisty. The implications of dental disease in pets is similar. One of my personal pet peeves is vets who have made the price of dentistry damn near unaffordable for an average pet owner. This is after years and years of educating clients on its major importance. I think the price quoted is very high. My vet does it for 225.00 with anesthisia.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul. 26, 2001
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    Toronto, Canada.
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    I need to move to where you guys live!

    Most clinics around here are on average $500-$800 for a routine dental.

    When had to take my dog to a General Practice to have her teeth cleaned and 2 extractions, it was $1200 and that was with a 15% discount. That did include full dental xrays, analgesia, IV fluids etc. but still..it was a hurt to the pocket book!

    At our hospital, its $150+ just to put a patient on IV fluids!!



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 3, 2006
    Location
    Maine
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    A cleaning for me at the dentist without radiographs and in a mouth that gets regular care costs me $180. So, when you consider the need for radiographs, the bloodwork, and everything else for the general anesthesia needed for pet dentistry, I don't think a $500 estimate is out of line. Yes, most general practitioners have been educating clients about the need for and also what is involved in doing it well. But doing it well is not cheap. It's not price gouging, it is a reflection of costs.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 23, 2009
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    574

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    I tell you what, it makes me glad I feed a prey model raw food diet. I haven't had a dog need a dental in a LONG time. Their teeth are beautiful, white, and healthy, even the 10 year old boxers. I have never brushed them, nor done anything other than hand them chunks of raw meat and bones. I'm kind of thinking the extra costs associated with feeding raw is more than made up for not having to have three dogs get dentals.

    Now, I am going to have to have my 7 year old boxer sedated to have some hyperplastic gum tissue removed shortly. With a full senior blood panel and a small tumor removed from his back (with biopsy), I was quoted $600. They are not doing a full dental, but will likely scale the area under the gum when it is removed.

    I'm going to go bless my vet now. He's wonderful, and I don't feel like I need to just funnel my paycheck to him, even though I have three large dogs and six cats....



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep. 22, 2008
    Location
    NC
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    Around here a routine dental runs you $250-400 depending on how bad the teeth are.

    As a technician, I will not anesthetize an animal without AT LEAST a packed cell volume/total protein and a urine specific gravity. My reasoning for this is that even in cases where owners declined any preop bloodwork we offered these minimal tests will tell a lot. Between a good physical and thorough history the day of surgery many potential issues will pop up on one of the two. A packed cell, or PCV, can show either anemia or mild dehydration. Evaluating the buffy coat can give you an idea if the white blood cell count it elevated, which can indicate infection. The total protein can show if the liver is functioning appropriately. The specific gravity of the urine will actually drop prior to changes in bloodwork, so this can be a good evaluation again of dehydration and kidney function.

    Unless your pup needs a dental tomorrow I would ask the vet about a discount in Febuary since its dental month and see about sending the bloodwork out a day or two in advance as you can often get more tests run for less money in outside labs than doing it day of surgery.

    I wouldnt even consider anesthesia without an IV catheter and fluids, in the grand scheme of things they are so cheap but very very valuable.
    You can't fix stupid.... but you can breed it!



  16. #16
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    Arrows, diet is not the entire story for teeth. My two dogs have eaten exactly the same, same bones, same chicken wings, food, etc, forever. 12 1/2 year old retriever has never had or needed his teeth cleaned. 8 year old corgi gets hers done every three years, and may end up on the two-year plan.

    My vet says that dogs with narrow jaws (corgis, collies, shelties) and ones like pugs, pekes, and bulldogs need more dental care than dogs with wider snouts (retrievers, shepherds, pit bulls.) Something about how they chew and the abrasion of bones, etc, not reaching their back molars.
    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 28, 2006
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    346

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    Thank you all for posting - I knew if I asked here, I'd get some vets/vet techs responding who would give me the real advice. You've all been of great help.



  18. #18
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    Jun. 26, 2006
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    339

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    I have two shelties - littermates, who eat exactly the same diet. One has great teeth, the other has noticeable issues and will probably get a cleaning next year. So it's not just diet.



  19. #19
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Mass.
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    Quote Originally Posted by lwk View Post
    I have two shelties - littermates, who eat exactly the same diet. One has great teeth, the other has noticeable issues and will probably get a cleaning next year. So it's not just diet.

    I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
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    Lexington, KY
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    Quote Originally Posted by SquishTheBunny View Post
    Wow....do they even put the dog under anesthetic?? Nice!
    I was wrong. It was $102 not $120. Pre-anesthetic drug, IV, anesthesia, cardiac/oxygen monitor, clean and polish, tooth sealant, and an antibiotic injection. All for the grand total of $102. He also removed a small cyst from her back with laser ablation. $25

    Have I mentioned I love my vet? I love my vet.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



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