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Barn dog - Broken Tooth - Root Canal?????

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  • Barn dog - Broken Tooth - Root Canal?????

    My absolute best buddy broke her tooth today after taking a head digger off the gator. It's a bottom K9. I called the local emergency people dentist, who was nice enough to come out and make a house call. He said the dog would probably need a root canal. Anyone have any experience with that? Costs? Root canal v. extraction opinions?? She's so uncomfortable. I gave her pain meds, but the doggie dentist doesn't open until 8am tomorrow.

  • #2
    Did he explain why she would need a root canal rather than an extraction? It sounds like he thinks she needs a new tooth implanted ...

    Comment


    • #3
      My little dog shattered the carnassial (the largest premolar on top with three roots) and my vet removed it. There was a tumor that was also removed during surgery (with subsequent pathology), but I think my total for all was in the $700 range.

      Here's the tooth... http://good-times.webshots.com/photo...48290005PlBhEL

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      • #4
        My last bernese mountain dog broke a tooth when he was a two year old. He was a show dog and the breeder asked us to have a root canal done rather than extracting the tooth. If he hadn't "needed" the tooth for the show ring we would have had it extracted. The estimate for extraction was roughly $150 compared to the ~$900 root canal (thank god for pet insurance which reduced my out of pocket expense to $90!).
        __________________________________
        Flying F Sport Horses
        Horses in the NW

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          I've got an appointment at 8am tomorrow morning. I've now consulted with two people vets. One came to the house, the other one I talked to on the phone. The extraction sounds almost as awful as the root canal. They said because the root was so big it would be a fairly major deal. I'm leaning toward the root canal just for the sake of keeping the tooth, if possible. PNW, what was the recovery like on you guy?

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          • #6
            My quasi feral cat got his upper canine busted. After some years it got infected (about 6 I think) and the infection burst through the jaw. He was not really a cuddly cat anyway and was hiding even more than usual so I finally caught him and dragged him to the vet, who discovered it and pulled the tooth. This would have been in the late 90's. I had heard of root canals for animals, and capped teeth, but for big cats not house pets. The vet never even brought up the subject, maybe it was too late in the process.
            Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
            Incredible Invisible

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            • #7
              My old dog broke a tooth, either a canine or a carnassial I don't recall, biting on a bone and we had it extracted rather than mess with it. She was fine for many years after.

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              • #8
                Just had the top canine of one of my ridgebacks pulled. He had chipped it badly last year and it got infected but the meds cleared it up. The vet had said odds were good it would need pulled if it became reinfected. Had it done two weeks ago and he is rip roaring self again!

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                • #9
                  One of my dogs broke his tooth 13 yrs ago. AT his next regular checkup the vet told me it would likely be fine but if it caused problems it would have to be pulled. IT is still just fine all these yrs later. IF it had been a problem it would have gotten pulled, but sorry, no root canal, can't do that for myself. The dog will be just fine missing a tooth. Also have a 15 yr old cat with a broken canine who is and has always been just fine. And all the yrs I worked at the vet clinic it was the rich ppl who were suggested to get a root canal and the poor ppl were told to leave well enough alone unless it became a problem. That alone tells me all I need to know.
                  And, no, I am not one to just get by with what HAS to be done. I have a pic of my duck who I got for free, lying on her back on hte gas machine, with her wings tied down, having surgery to correct her bumblefoot. That cost me $150, 24yrs ago. But the duck was walking with an abnormal gait because of it.
                  So if the animal is in any type of distress, yes, I can see fixing it. But for a tooth which is brokken and not bothering the animal, no, wasted money. Initially a broken tooth may be sore for a few days just like with us humans but they usually are fine after that. I would watch the tooth and otherwise leave it alone. IF it keeps bothering the dog though you may need vet help.

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                  • #10
                    If the nerve is exposed, the tooth will need to either be removed or he will need a root canal, just like a human would.

                    I've had dogs that broke off the tips of their teeth (pulling at wire fences) and dogs who had dental problems and had extractions because of infections. Just like humans, they recovered and lived into their teens.
                    A good vet is the key.

                    Meanwhile, while waiting to get a vet to evaulate the tooth, you can get a teething product at the drug store and apply it to the gums to control the pain.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      My border collie had to have a bottom canine extracted when she was just over a year old (we think she slid into a tree on a snowy day- you could see the skid marks in the snow sliding up to the tree trunk! ). My vet, who has quite a bit of extra training in dentistry, said the best thing for her was an extraction b/c she had broken off too much of the tooth. Yes, it does have a big root but she didn't seem too bothered by it at all (well, she does seem to be one of those dogs that feels no pain! ). I think the procedure, including antibiotics and soft food for a few days, was around $200.

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                      • #12
                        Excellent advice

                        Originally posted by WaningMoon View Post
                        One of my dogs broke his tooth 13 yrs ago. AT his next regular checkup the vet told me it would likely be fine but if it caused problems it would have to be pulled. IT is still just fine all these yrs later. IF it had been a problem it would have gotten pulled, but sorry, no root canal, can't do that for myself. The dog will be just fine missing a tooth. Also have a 15 yr old cat with a broken canine who is and has always been just fine. And all the yrs I worked at the vet clinic it was the rich ppl who were suggested to get a root canal and the poor ppl were told to leave well enough alone unless it became a problem. That alone tells me all I need to know.
                        And, no, I am not one to just get by with what HAS to be done. I have a pic of my duck who I got for free, lying on her back on hte gas machine, with her wings tied down, having surgery to correct her bumblefoot. That cost me $150, 24yrs ago. But the duck was walking with an abnormal gait because of it.
                        So if the animal is in any type of distress, yes, I can see fixing it. But for a tooth which is broken and not bothering the animal, no, wasted money. Initially a broken tooth may be sore for a few days just like with us humans but they usually are fine after that. I would watch the tooth and otherwise leave it alone. IF it keeps bothering the dog though you may need vet help.

                        Excellent advice, specific and generally. I had a good dog break a canine in a fight and he was fine for many years after.
                        Bob Kane, Chairman Emeritus
                        Virginia Hunting Dog Owners' Association
                        Sportsmen and Animal Owners' Voting Alliance
                        http://vhdoa.uplandbirddog.com http://saova.org

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've had 2 dogs break their canines in 1/2 unfortunately! Both went to the caninine dentist for repairs. The difficulty in my case was that in each instance, they were a young dog....the pulp canal of the canine tooth is very wide in a younger dog....it narrows as the dogs ages.

                          Thus, those who posted they left everything as is may have had a dog over 2 yrs of age? In my case each dog was around a year old and a problem was just about guaranteed.

                          I did the root canal and pulp filling ($600 each dog) and they never had any trouble.

                          If you just pull the canine tooth...the dog's tongue will stick out of its mouth from then on as the canines helps hold the tongue in.

                          (I have Dobermans and one snapped a tooth when the she saw/heard the automatic waterer we installed in the yard go off the first day. She tore the bowl off the wood post!) The second dog tried to open her metal crate with her teeth and the crate won.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Same thing happened to our pup years ago. My husband is a dentist. He and the vet together did the root canal then put a gorgeous gold crown on the dog! The vet told us that he really needed that tooth (lower canine) to properly eat, grasp etc. Also that by extracting you could cause the other teeth to have movement problems, can you say doggie retainer?

                            That tooth was put in when the pup was 10 months. It held on beautifully till he died at 13 years. If done properly there should be no problem. Not cheap but worth it. He recovered beautifully and quickly with minor discomfort after the procedure.

                            Since then my husband has worked with our vet to help two sheriff's dogs that lost canines. They put in gold crowns with a rasp edge on the back . . .so the dog could grab the bad guys better!! Doggy dentistry at it's best!!
                            Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Brookes, where is your husband when I need him?!? So I went to the doggie dentist today. My dog is 9 years old. The vet said the easiest way to go is a root canal, which they can't do until Monday. So my dog is now completely loopy and out of it on meds. Hopefully she will stay that way until Monday. It's going to cost about $1500-$1700 when all is said and done. They said because it's the canine and has such a huge root and bone structure, to try to extract it would be major oral surgery, a much longer healing time, bone grafts, etc. So root canal it is. Maybe I should think about health insurance on the dog down the road???

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Gallop Girl, we are up in Santa Rosa. However my husband only helps out the vet when the dogs come from the law enforcement arena. But you would be surprised how many of our dog friends ask for help, and yup he always comes through.

                                We had a friends dog in the office (people office) up in the chair taking an xray, it was pretty funny. He is a breeding stud so we draped him with the lead shield etc. Should have taken pictures of that. I had to vacuum all the dog hair off the chair after!

                                I have a wonderful vet up here if you want a recommendation. Pm me if you need that.
                                Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  That's a bummer that you have to go the root canal route. FWIW, my dog's recovery from the root canal was instantaneous. Once the tranqs wore off you never would have known he'd had anything done. Of course it's also worth mentioning that the broken tooth didn't bother him either.

                                  Pet insurance is definitely a good idea....I figure every dog has at least one "issue" in their life, even if it's at the end. The thing I'm not sure of, is whether the insurance companies insure older dogs. Seems to me like a friend of mine couldn't get a policy on her 8yo (if I'm remembering things correctly). That could have changed, and it could just be that you can't START an insurance policy on a old dog, but whatever the case, it may be tough to get an insurance policy on a 9yo.

                                  Anyhow, I hope it all went well today and your girl recovers quickly!
                                  __________________________________
                                  Flying F Sport Horses
                                  Horses in the NW

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    My Samoyed had the majority of her teeth extracted at around age 10. She had recurring dental infections caused by receding gums. Vet advised that this would just be a continuous problem and cause her ongoing health issues. She quite happily transferred to a softer diet, although she also seemed able to chomp down cookies and other hard stuff when she really wanted to. We eventually lost her at the grand old age of 18, and I don't think she ever really missed those teeth.

                                    Just my $0.02. I don't think they even did root canals in those days.
                                    Be compassionate, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle. - Philo of Alexandria

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                                    • #19
                                      Jingles for your dog ~

                                      JIngles for your dog ~

                                      JINGLE JINGLE JINGLE & AO ~ ALWAYS OPTIMISTIC `
                                      Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by leakyb View Post
                                        If you just pull the canine tooth...the dog's tongue will stick out of its mouth from then on as the canines helps hold the tongue in.
                                        Pirate had a broken in half upper canine when I got him (and it was very clearly Not A Happy Tooth) and one vet I took him to for a quote said the same sort of thing - that he was lucky it was an upper because you have more problems if you remove a lower canine - tongue hangs out, drool, sometimes eating problems, etc.

                                        No one said anything about a root canal on his upper, though - maybe because it'd clearly been that way a while and didn't look at all healthy? We ended up just having it extracted and within a week he was fine - these days it's all healed up perfectly and he chews on chews and eats and everything, no problem. (Occasionally his upper lip gets kind of folded up into the space where the canine would be, and it's a bit silly looking, but no big deal.)

                                        We got a huge range of price quotes, though - $300 to nearly $2000. (That last one was a vet who seriously wanted to do everything under the sun and then some, and gave me the evil eye when I tried to explain that, you know, I was a COLLEGE STUDENT and wanted to do the best I could for him, but couldn't afford 'optional extras'.)

                                        I'm sure your dog will be much happier with it dealt with, though - while I was trying to find a darn vet who would a) work well with a prone-to-anxiety dog and b) not charge an arm and a leg that I did not have Pirate did have to go on antibiotics a couple of times because it was clear that it was acting up and inflamed. (He also had to be on antibiotics for a week before the surgery, and about a week after.)

                                        My aunt also had a rescue who had REALLY bad teeth - not his canines, but he did need bone grafts and all sorts and even while he was still healing up (but not on pain meds) you could tell that he was feeling a LOT better.

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