I recently made an appointment to have my cat’s teeth cleaned and it would cost $176.00 for the cleaning with anesthesia and $44.00 for an exam. I still live with my mother and I don’t work at the moment and can’t pay for the cleaning. This cat is 11 years old and never had a teeth cleaning and has one of the main long teeth chipped off at the gums (it’s been this way for at least 6 years). I feel bad for the cat and want her to have her teeth cleaned. When I told my mom about the extra exam fee she got mad and said no cancel the appointment because i can’t afford that. I tried to call the animal hospital to ask if I really needed the exam they said yes the cat must have it if she’s never been here before. I had to cancel the appointment. I want to know how much is the range you Dopers paid for a cat or dog teeth cleaning. Does $176.00 sound normal. I’m going to try to call around and see if I can get it for $100.00 or $125.00. I’m determined to get this cat’s teeth cleaned if I have to sell things on e-bay. When my mom told me to cancel the appointment she said the cat’s going to die anyway because she’s 11. How sad.
Call around, if you desperately want a vet to do it, you can find it for $50.
However, I clean both of my cats’ teeth myself. You can buy an inexpensive cat “toothbrush” that goes over your finger, and special cat toothpaste (obviously, don’t use human toothpaste).
That is an outrageous price, IMO, for feline dental care! Is that just for the cleaning, or is there something they need to remove? That would explain the cost a little better, anyway. But just a cleaning? No way.
I completely disagree with Anastasaeon - or perhaps she/he is thinking of a different kind of cleaning than what I understand Sunny to mean.
Sunny is surely referring to a procedure whereby the cat is put under anesthesia and has his teeth cleaned, scaled, and any necessary extractions performed. The fee probably includes pre-op bloodwork, the actual surgery, antibiotics, pain meds, and monitored post-op recovery time. Depending on the state of the cat’s mouth, this procedure could take an hour or two or more - maybe 3-4 hours.
I have a good deal of experience with vets and cannot imagine any vet who is only going to charge $50 for a surgical dental procedure performed under anesthesia.
Sunny, $176 is quite cheap for what you describe. Aside from the cleaning, your cat will probably also need that broken tooth extracted, and canine teeth are the most difficult to pull.
Now as for your vet saying she MUST have a dental procedure because she’s never been there before, you are probably either misunderstanding them; or they are idiots. Yes, the cat probably DOES need it, and she is probably in pain with that broken tooth and if she has a broken tooth in the first place, she may likely have absesses, which are VERY painful. But I have never heard of a vet who insisted on a DENTAL procedure for a new patient. They cannot really demand that you get any kind of procedure at all, except for rabies shots, which are required by law.
How old are you? Do you have any kind of job? Many vets will construct a payment plan for you, or you can inquire at Care Credit, www.carecredit.com.
Why does your mother think an 11-year-old cat is going to die? It’s kind of like saying that a 40-year-old person is going to die.
I had a tooth cleaning and one tooth extraction for my cat, and it was $169. She had already had an exam and shots for $93. The vet probably will want to extract that broken tooth, it may be painful and a vector for infections.
Missbunny, I think the vet is saying an exam (for $44) is required before the tooth cleaning, which makes sense.
We paid somewhere between 200-300 for one of our cats to be put under, have the full cleaning, scaling, and a couple of extractions, so your quote sounds about right to me.
February is “Dental Month” at the vets in this area, and some are running specials on cleaning, but I don’t know what it costs. You could ask around.
$50 is barely enough to get a vet to take your cat into the exam room these days.
I assumed the OP meant that the $44 exam was the standard new patient workup - weight, worms, peer into all the orifices, vaccinations if not up-to-date.
$176 is a little lower than we’ve paid in the past for dental cleanings. One of my cats had a tartar scaling & overall thorough cleaning with no extractions and I think it cost around $250. The other cat needed 2 extractions, so it was slightly more expensive, but not by a lot. The main cost is, I believe, the anaesthesia, bloodwork & post-op care.
Has a vet actually told you her teeth need cleaning? At age 11, if she’s never had dental work done before she probably does need tartar removal , but if a vet hasn’t specifically recommended it to you I would start with a general vet visit, and they’ll tell you if she needs a cleaning or not.
One of my cats needed a cleaning at age 4, and hasn’t needed it again yet (4 years later) the other not 'til almost age 8.
I’m in my last semester of college and I’m taking 18 untis of classes and haven’t had a job in a year. I have no real savings. I decided not to get a job until the summer because 18 units is a full load for me and I thought I would fail a class and couldn’t graduate.
She’s saying that since the cat is 11 that she’s up there in age and not important. She’s saying why do I have to pay for this cat, she’ll die anyway. She just believes in having cats, but never taking them to exams, dental check-ups or grooming or anything special. She likes the cats a lot but she’s an idiot that doesn’t believe in maintenance. It’s like buying a car and driving it around and never putting gas or oil in it or changing the tires. I’m going to count my change jar now.
Ah, that does make sense. Well yes, they can require a pre-op separate appointment. This is to prevent any unpleasant surprises when they get the cat on the table and under the anesthesia.
Sunny, I hope you find a way to deal with this. Your mom doesn’t sound like she understands the responsibility that comes with having a pet. It’s admirable that you want to take care of your cat. Please be honest with the vet and explain your situation; he might be willing to work something out. Or investigate other vets too, if that’s possible. Infected teeth are very painful to a cat.
For what it’s worth, I recently spent $1,100 on some extensive dental work for my 8-year-old cat. Seven teeth extracted including all four canines in four hours of surgery. But it was worth it to have my boy improve 100% and be pain-free, and to have the greatest feline dentist in the world, Dr. Rosenblad at the Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, MA, take care of him. That man is a god.
Ahhhh, then I misunderstood, for certain. I thought she was talking about a simple cleaning - no surgery, tooth extraction, anesthesia, etc. involved. My mistake, and humblest apologies - I do hope you are able to get the cat the care it needs, Sunny. I ended up having to work for my old pets’ vet bills when I was a teenager, having the same kind of mother as you. She thought pet ownership was just feed 'em and let them come and go as they please. Fleas/shots/vet needs be damned. Yet today, her precious dog gets everything it could ever need. Why cats don’t deserve vet care but dogs do is beyond me.
BTW, I’m a she.
Tell your mom I have a wonderful 16 year old cat who is still going strong.
I don’t think the fee the vet is asking is out of line. Try going to your dentist and getting a cleaning + extraction for that. Vets have to purchase much of the same equipment that human doctors use, and that equipment + the drugs used aren’t cheap. Cats (and dogs) have to have anesthesia before any type of dental work - you can’t just tell them to sit still while that stuff is going on. Pre-dental blood work will show possible problems with anesthesia, and most vets require it for animals that are over ten years of age before putting them under.
I tiotally understand how hard it can be to coe up with the money for it; we have a dog that needs cleanings every 6 months. But like someone said, it is part of pet ownership.