about a week and a half ago I took both dogs (Izzy and Buddy) to the vet, as Buddy had been having diarrhea for 3 days and wasn't getting better, and then Izzy started with it. SO... we recently relocated from southern MN to northern MN, so this was a new vet, I just went to the one located nearest us. Loved the vet, she was very nice and caring. Anyway, after a blood test that showed a low positive for Anaplasmosis (in Buddy) and complete checkups for both, it was decided to do a more comprehensive blood test ($125!!) which came back NO sign of any tick-borne disease and all was absolutely perfect. Great! The total bill ended up being just under $400... I was shocked, as I just wanted to find out why they both had diarrhea! Never did really find out the cause of the diarrhea, but after a couple days on antibiotics and eating rice and boiled hamburger all was fine. We did finish the course of meds.
BUT... while Izzy was being checked over, the vet discovered a broken canine tooth. Just the tip is broken off (we had NO idea, she never seemed to be in pain or anything) The vet said it needed to be extracted or she would end up with an infection. Well, the estimate they gave me was $500-$600! I can't afford that, and it seems a bit ridiculous that it would be that expensive. I did some calling around to other vets and finally made an appt with one that said he would charge $300-$320. Got good references from coworkers on this vet. Her appt is 7/28. Then I read some of a book by Dr. Busby (can't think of his first name) who is a Northern MN vet... a very no-nonsense vet. My sister takes her dog to him. Well, he's semi-retired and on vacation till the end of July so I couldn't talk to him about it. He says in his book there is no reason to extract a broken tooth, that it never causes any problems. So, I'm wondering if any of you have experience with this? The tooth does seem discolored, and I can see a dark spot in the middle of it, where it's broken, so I assume that would be the nerve, or the root? So it seems reasonable that infection could get into it thru this area?
Sorry this is so long.... just wondering if anyone has any info/advice/experience to offer? Thanks in advance!
If it's just the tip of the tooth, and it's a clean break, it may not need to be extracted. Teeth that are broken longitudinally, or with roots/nerves exposed are a different story. Tooth and gum health are important to the overall well-being of the dog and you certainly don't want infection getting in there. Sounds like this may a dead tooth.
One other thing.... often times a vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics prior to doing dental work, as well as a short course for after the surgery. This is to reduce the risk of infection to the deep hole that will result once the tooth is pulled (a dog's mouth is NOT the cleanest place on Earth! lol). If you are going to a vet other than the one who initially saw Izzy, you may want them to look at her first to see if this is recommended.
~Erin & the Eromit Labs
I would imagine that your vet's diagnosis was made dependent on what kind of fracture he/she saw in the tooth. However, if you're unsure, you should probably have another vet that you trust take a look at the tooth for a second opinion.
If it was a fracture without pulpal involvement and my dog was asymptomatic, I would tend to monitor it myself. However, cracks can propogate, and a crack that once did not involve the nerve can progress to one that does, which can cause an abscess in the tooth and subsequent pain.
My older boy had two of his upper P4s (4th premolar) extracted last year. One was complex fracture which included the roots of the tooth, and the other fractured with pulpal involvement. I paid over $1500 for both of his, but that included a full pre-anesthetic blood profile, pre-op IVs, the anesthesia, antibiotic IV, the extractions and post-op pain meds and antibiotics.
The dark spot that you see on your dog's tooth is likely the pulp canal (the root of the tooth is inside the bone, which you shouldn't be able to see).
Last edited by Henery&Ollie's mom; 07-24-2011 at 02:14 PM.
OMG! $1500?? I can't imagine paying that much... as it is, I had to charge the $400 from the initial visit because I was broke, having just moved and just starting a new job. And I'll have to charge the cost of removing the tooth also. The tooth does seem to have a crack in it, so I guess we'll go ahead and have it removed. I will call the vet tomorrow though, about the pre-surgery antibiotics, as they didn't mention that before. They will be doing bloodwork before putting her under.
Thanks for the replies I know I will always find good info here!
These "emergencies" never come at a good time! Henry's teeth fractured shortly after Christmas. Eek.
Izzy may or may not need pre-op antibiotics, Henry didn't, but he did have the post-op ones.
Good thoughts for Izzy and you both!
Zoe cracked her canine (bottom) and the pulp was showing so I know she felt pain.
The options: extraction or root canal. I chose the root canal so that she could save what was left of her tooth. $1500.
Good thoughts for Izzy. Hope she doesn't require either.
here is my old post:
Last edited by zoesmom; 07-24-2011 at 07:35 PM.
Linda and Zoë, the Umlaut
Flynn has a tip missing from one of his lower canines. Just the tip... about 4 years ago. I watch it, have Dr. Wendy check it when I take the boy in for his regulars. No problems at this point.
Seamus and Flynn
Oh Teeth.. My GSP has messed up his teeth so bad (chewing through 6 crates will do that) He has several broken teeth, Our vet monitors them but has not recommend removal of any of them.