Is 1K a good price for Cat dental work?

GoldenMerryNovember 30, 2011

My girl needs to go for a cleaning. I have been quoted from the vet (Ottawa Ontario) for $850-$1000.

This depends on whether or no they need to extract a couple of teeth. A blood work is required as Luffy has never got one done. And the extractions, well that depends if she needs it or not.

Is this a good price or way too much?

- pre anaesthetic test: $89.20

- anaesthetic IV fluids: $80.30

- dental anaes induction: $157.30

- dental isofluorane: $158-$237 (depends on how long)

- dental exam/scale/polish: $82.90

- dentistry ward fee: $33

- dental x-ray (4 or more views): $155

- extraction - molar: $40.70 per

- antirobe aquadrops: $47.82

- analgesia - elective surgery: $26.10

- metacam feline 3mls: $35.26

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I got an estimate of $450 today and thought that was high, so yes, the quote you got is very high.
My quote included full blood panel, xrays, anes., exam/scale/polish, antibiotics and pain meds. Extractions start at $19.

You have a few things listed that I'm not sure what they're the dentisry ward fee & aquadrops, and why is the induction a separate charge from use of the isofluorane?

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 7:42PM
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That seems extremely high to me, but I have no idea what the going rate is for feline dental care in Canada. You should call around to other vets in your area and ask them for prices so that you know whether your current quote is competitive.

A couple of things jump out at me in your quote. First, the Antirobe Aquadrops (liquid Clindamycin antibiotic) is so horrendous tasting that you'll have a very difficult time getting any of it into your cat. Even if you do manage to get it into her mouth, she'll just drool it all out without swallowing. Ask, instead, for Antirobe pills. They're much easier to administer.

Second, I strongly recommend you insist on Tramadol or Buprenex instead of Metacam for pain relief. Metacam can cause very serious renal or liver damage in some cats. Tramadol and Buprenex are much safer pain meds. In fact, all of my vets have strict instructions NOT to administer Metacam to any of my cats for ANY reason. I simply won't risk it. Also, unless your girl requires deep or multiple extractions, she probably won't need pain meds at all.

I don't know what the analgesia - elective surgery fee is for. You should ask your vet for an explanation of any of these fees that you don't understand.


    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 8:04PM
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I don't think that is all that bad, depends on your point of view I guess. We had one of our cats in for some dental surgery, it cost us nearly $1800 at the specialty hospital. We have to take him in again on Monday, probably for more surgery and the removal of all his teeth. sigh...he's 5.

    Bookmark   November 30, 2011 at 9:07PM
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I think I paid about $250 or less for similar work done to one of my cats about three years ago. They did have to extract one broken tooth. Our vet routinely offers cat/dog dental exams and cleaning for about $165 annually during their dental special, pre-surgery lab work and extractions extra of course. My cat already had previous lab work and didn't need that.

The largest discrepancy I can see in your quote and my experience was in the anaesthesia. I think the charge at my vet is about $75 with no induction fees. No analgesia was used or require, either.

Yes, I love my vets. LOL.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 4:31AM
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I paid about $850(US) 3 years ago, for a rather complicated dental surgery on a chronically ill cat who needed just about all her teeth pulled. I live in a relatively high cost of living area, which I think sometimes translates to people being unwilling or unable to spend as much on their pets- for whatever that is worth. The base price for dental at my vet's at that time was between $450 and $500(US)- the additional $350 on ours was for extra preventatives and the large number of teeth that had to be removed.

I think the best way to figure out the "right" price is to call around to other vets in your area and see what they charge. I didn't call around to see what other vets in our area charge because I like the vet staff we use very much, have a long history of working with them, and trust them- and there is a lot to be said for that. If you like and trust your vet, and have a good working relationship with the practice, then it might be worth the price. If you are having misgivings, then call another vet or two and see how you feel after talking to them.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 10:16AM
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guess it depends a lot on where the practice is and how good a job they do on dentals. My wife is a dental tech at a pretty upscale practice in Encino California and $2000 for a full dental with multiple extractions is not unheard of. $1000 for a dental would be pretty typical. Getting a dental at her work for under $650 would literally be impossible. They do a LOT of dentals, though and have a very good reputation (my wife is anal about doing a perfect job). On your estimate I see things missing that would be on one of her dentals: after extractions, they close all defects so a gingival flap would be charged per extraction ($50). Extraction of a molar would be $80, not $40. They have a super high tech monitoring machine that is constantly monitoring blood pressure, end tidal CO2, temperature, heart rate, respiration, pulse Ox and ecg... so they also charge $70 for anesthetic monitoring equipment. Preanesthetic blood work is minimum $100, but can up to $200 if patients are old or infirm; you left out antibiotic injection, and preop x-rays for any older patients or ones with heart murmurs; analgesia is divided into preop, post op and during op (local anesthetic nerve blocks)- these are non-negotiable, but no one turns down pain meds... anyway, you can see how costs can go up much higher than what you have there. It's perceived as well as real costs, too... many of her clients go to that practice because it is expensive, knowing (and in this case they may right) they are going to get the best job done just about anywhere. Only the dental specialists would cost more, and in some instances, they are comparable. We have multiple dental specialists in the area and they are super busy as well. Average dental by one of them is $1500.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 2:25PM
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Ginny McLean_Petite_Garden

I think you need to shop around and get a few estimates. That seems high to me and I do live in Canada. Unfortunately, the vet clinics have no set cap on what they can charge so it really is up to us to shop around. Sometimes you are just paying for their equipment and reputation. My vet charges about $250-300 for routine dental work and usually has yearly specials in August. Extra extractions and/or antibiotics are extra but that does seem high, IMO. :)


    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 3:42PM
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I don't pay that much for my own cleaning and extractions. LOL. There are a few vets practising in my rural area. One of them in town has a fancy hospital and yes, they are good.........but my vet has a modest but adequate facility and are farm/small animal mixed practise. Both partners are experienced and very fine surgeons and diagnosticians and I have never had a procedure done to any of my animals they could not handle, including some very delicate urinary surgeries and really nasty amputation. Not saying your vet overcharges, but the fanciness of a facility doesn't always speak to the quality of the care. I'm just hoping mine doesn't have plans for retirement any time soon.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 5:35PM
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spedigrees z4VT

There is the difference in currencies to be considered. The OP is in Canada and the Canadian dollar is worth more than the USD at present.

My vet clinic is an AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) facility, meaning it meets the highest standards for an animal hospital in my country. My dog and cat dentals have run between $500 and $800 USD depending on the services needed. Extractions and sutures run up the bill.

I don't believe that my vet provides dental e-rays. It sounds like your vet clinic has very sophisticated dentistry. I guess my feeling is that you get what you pay for, and I am glad when the care standard is high, but if I were really strapped for $$ and could not afford the best I might shop around.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2011 at 7:10PM
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Actually the Canadian Dollar is not worth more than U.S. One thousand Canadian is the equivalent to U.S. $982 right now. Again..........price does not always convert to quality of care. I switched my pets from an AAHA practise to a different vet, whom I doubt is, because when they are, it's plastered all over the reception room. Both were good vets, but I'm more comfortable with the care they receive now, and I'm not paying for the decor and sometimes unneccesary services the old one provided I didn't always need. They were higher in price than the one I have now, but not to the tune the O.P. quoted. The fancy facility also referred their clients to the University hospital off hours too. My current vet will pack up their jeep and come in and take care of my animals themselves. That's good continuity of care and priceless.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 4:03PM
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spedigrees z4VT

Well according to
one USD = 1.01807 Canadian dollar right now. However this difference is not great, so I doubt this is much of a factor.

My AAHA vet clinic has a vet on call 24/7. Many times over the past 40 years I've woken up one of their doctors at 3 AM. Somehow emergencies always seem to occur on weekends and off-hours! There is a fee, $200 if I remember correctly, for emergency calls but it's worth it. I had thought that availability 24/7 was a requirement for AAHA status, but perhaps not. My clinic employs 4 veterinarians, so this may make off hour service possible.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2011 at 6:28PM
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Thanks a lot, folks! I'll talk to the vet & shop around to see what's needed & what's just being fancy

    Bookmark   December 6, 2011 at 8:23PM
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I am also in Ottawa and was quoted $400-$500 for my senior dog two years ago. I couldn't imagine it going up that much more. I would shop around too. We had to put her down and was shocked at the price differences after calling around. We ended up with someone coming to our home for that so spent a little more.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2011 at 7:53PM
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