At our first appointment with our new (cat only) vet, we were told Moo’s teeth were horrible! In fact, he had lost a couple already (likely because they rotted out) and she estimated that the remaining would need to be pulled. She explained to me how much pain he was likely in and asked if he was eating and behaving normally. I’m a fanatic at watching for behavioral changes, so I could confidently say he was eating normal and behaving as his usual geriatric self. I left with a comprehensive low and high end estimate for best and worst case dental scenarios. She wouldn’t know for sure which teeth were healthy enough to keep until we did x-rays.
Find a Vet You Trust
I’ve always been reluctant to put my babies under anesthesia unless it’s absolutely necessary, but I knew I at least needed to get started with the first step, bloodwork. Vets recommend bloodwork before anesthesia to ensure your fur baby is healthy enough to undergo surgery. They also do a full health exam for the same reason. We got the results back the following day and my new vet was confident that she could safely perform the extractions/cleaning. I was pleased to hear that she was very experienced with using anesthesia on older kitties with existing health issues, and she was able to do so without complication. I was still uneasy though and needed to do some research.
Weighing the Options
I ended up calling my old vet with whom I had a 10+ year relationship to chat about bringing Moo back to her practice to have the procedure done. It turns out they were quite a bit cheaper, but why? I got a detailed estimate from them as well as some other well recommended veterinarians. As it turns out, there are a lot of differences when you compare the details behind dental surgery. There are different anesthesia options, some considered to be safer (and more expensive) than others. Some will do local blocks for any extraction to minimize discomfort upon waking. Your vet may also offer post procedure laser treatment to help sooth gum inflammation. Some will give you the option for an injected pain killer (given by the vet) instead of having to give oral medication at home. This option may also be available for any antibiotic that might need to be administered.
Making the Final Choice
While the cost was higher, I decided to go with our new Vet. They were close to our new house so that minimized the car rides that Moo hated and I would be able to go stay in a waiting room while the procedure was done, and they would provide me with progress updates. He would need to stay for observation until the end of the day, but if all went well he could come home the same night. So I took a deep breath and scheduled the procedure. This was finally going to happen.
Check back next week to read how everything went with the procedure.