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Tooth Decay/Infection

April 16th, 2012, 05:18 PM
Zoe is a 9 y/o fem domestic short hair. She has stage 3 (advanced) tooth decay and has an infected tooth that needs to be removed. We've been quoted about $1000 for the surgery. My question is not whether or not the surgery is necessary... I think I trust the vet on this one.

The situation is that we can't afford the surgery and it will take us a long time to save for it. We will, of course, do so. But, while we are waiting, is there anything we can do for Zoe's comfort, dental health (or even for her breath)?
We discussed antibiotics with the vet and decided against them as Zoe does not seem too bothered by the tooth at this point. She is eating and drinking well, and the Vet says that as long as that is the case, there is no need to panic.

But I still want to know if there are other alternative treatments or things she didn't mention that can help Zoe until the surgery? I know almost nothing about this, so please... even the obvious would help.

April 16th, 2012, 05:53 PM
zoemisha, welcome! Have you contacted any other Vet Clinics to see if there is a lower price? Maybe a Clinic outside of the city will be lower? Spruce Grove, Stoney Plain? Perhaps there is a clinic that will let you make payments?

April 16th, 2012, 07:35 PM
We've been quoted about $1000 for the surgery.

That does seem a little high. I agree with shopping around for a better price, although make sure you ask what's all included. My elderly cat had 3 teeth removed a few years ago, including a very tricky procedure to remove a canine tooth that had fused to the bone. Total cost including post-op pain meds (very important!!) was $800. So ask your current vet what's included in that price (blood work? antibiotics? analgesics? blood pressure monitoring and IV fluids? type of anesthetic? etc), then see what some other vets say. Going with the cheapest rate isn't always the best either though, if it means your kitty gets shortchanged on something she needs.

Good luck!

Jim Hall
April 17th, 2012, 08:41 AM
can the give you some sort of payments over time?

April 17th, 2012, 09:16 AM
zoemisha, if you have a car, Spruce Grove is wonderful. We see Dr. Jennifer Stelfox, an amazing vet and very compassionate woman. Their prices are MUCH, MUCH more reasonable than in the city. I live in Leduc, but drive to Spruce Grove to see her. If you don't drive and need help with transportation, send me a private message. Good luck with your kitty!!

April 17th, 2012, 10:33 AM
Thanks everyone!

Especially Rgeurts - I called the Spruce Grove clinic and they quoted me approximately half of what I was originally quoted. And we can set up an account and start making small payments until we have enough to do the surgery. (We do have a car... thanks for the offer of help though!)

Apparently, there's not much to do while waiting for the surgery. There's mouth rinses and stuff, but at this stage it's pointless to use them.

April 17th, 2012, 02:27 PM
Just wanted to share my experience.
My cat had 5 extractions last week due to bad infections and gingivitis. (she has a serious mouth problem because her last cleaning and extractions were just 6 months ago and she gets her teeth brushed daily). We have had her less than 1 year.

Price in Montreal for everything - exam, xrays, anesthesia, surgery, meds..... 1100. Ouch.

Glad you were able to find something cheaper at a RECOMMENDED place. That's SO key. Thx for sharing that info Rgeurts.

April 20th, 2012, 08:45 PM
An update:
We looked into several options to finance Zoe's surgery, and finally were about to sign with PetCard, who lends money and then charges interest on the loan as you pay back at a set term. We were just ready to sign up when my parents offered us a loan interest-free.
What a blessing! Zoe can have her surgery immediately (which we couldn't compromise on) and with all the "extra" bloodwork and iv fluids that would not be done at a lower price. And we will be able to pay my parents back as we are able.
Zoe has her initial bloodwork on Monday, then we will book the surgery when we have the green light (probably within the next 2 weeks).
Thank you all for your input and support with our situation. :grouphug:

April 21st, 2012, 08:25 AM
That's such good news, zoemisha!! :grouphug: I'm glad it's all working out for you and Zoe.

April 22nd, 2012, 10:52 PM

Zoemisha, blessed you are with such comprehensive and generous parents! :thumbs up

Hope all goes well for Zoe! :cat:

Keep us updated pls.


April 24th, 2012, 02:17 PM

We took Zoe in for her pre-dental bloodwork yesterday and just got the results from the vet.

Zoe has major imbalances in her liver enzymes. The vet suspects that this is because she was never fed enough (in her previous home) and that her body was attacking its fat cells, giving her a fatty liver.
But there are other liver enzymes that are off as well, suggesting liver disease, infection, or even cancer.

Now we have to decide if we are going to use the money we have for the dental to get an ultrasound and figure out what's wrong, or just put her on antibiotics and see if she improves and gains weight.

What a decision! Obviously we want what's best for her, but what is that? If we spend the dental money on an ultrasound and it comes up clear, she'll be stuck with her tooth for a few years before we can afford it. So, if we can fix it with just antibiotics, I feel we should. But if something more is wrong with her...


April 24th, 2012, 02:37 PM
This is a very tough one zoemisha....I'm not sure others will agree with me but I'm pretty sure i would be doing the same thing as you. The bad tooth is a "known" and that too will aggravate things if you do not fix it. I think your instincts are correct in hoping that the antibiotics will work.
Sorry you are in this predicament and thanks for being such a caring pet owner!