Tommy and Yue are 8 year old “almost” siblings. They’ve never had a dental cleaning. Tommy used to let me scale his teeth for tartar, but I lost the tool almost 2 years ago and shrugged it off. Eventually I bought another one, but his tartar had build up so much it would have been uncomfortable for me to try to remove it. Later down the road last August, the new veterinarian called me out on the state of his teeth and said they’d like to clean them.
For about $600
Now, I know I lived in the freaking desert for the last ten years where things were cheap and effective, but I don’t think I’d paid more than $400 for a dental cleaning for my dog or other cat aside from the additional costs for their extractions.
His new vet is a cats only facility 45 minutes away, and the $600 was a low estimate, so I started looking at alternatives this spring. Yes, I went from August to July before getting his teeth cleaned but you have to also take into account that we’ve had a rocky spring with Tommy going under general anesthesia at least 4 times since December. Then we changed his diet and over the last 5 weeks we’ve been working on keeping his weight from dropping to he’d be hearty enough for this next round of anesthesia.
If you’re going to get a good teeth cleaning in your cats or dogs, this will always be done under a general anesthetic. They put your animals to sleep for a time so there is no jerking or panic and they work to gently remove the tartar from not just the visible surface of the tooth, but up into the gum line a tad bit because plaque likes to harden in tucked away, hard to reach places.
So. To plan:
Yes. It seems sketchy. Like a $40 hotel room. But, it was a good start. I found several dental deals for pets available on Groupon, but you have to wonder if you get what you pay for. So, then you head to Yelp.com . Yelp is a review site for local business users to leave their honest opinions. The reviews are usually brutally honest.
I found a really good place 20 minutes down the street with a $199 dental deal that included pre op blood work.
But I could do better. Groupon was running a sale that gave me $30 off $100 local deal. And the terms of the offer is that you can get 1 for yourself and 1 for your friend. 2 adults live here so you know where this went. I got 2 Groupons for $169 for my two kitties.
But again; You can do better.
I did. I actually used an affiliate link from MyPoints.com to get reward points for the purchase and got a $25 value back.
Don’t think what you’ve spent leading up to the appointment is the amount you will definitely be paying. Depending on the condition of their teeth, you can run up additional charges for either extractions or antibiotics. Both my kitties gums were very red during the exam and we had a feeling we would run into significant bleeding during the cleaning, and we did. As a precaution we were sent home with antibiotic liquid to give the kitties twice a day for ten days for $75.06.
After we left the vet’s office we ran into a few problems. Tommy was yelling in the car the entire way home while he had been silent on the ride to the vet’s office late that morning. His eyes were very large and black. His dad tried to hold him to comfort him and he ended up being grabbed by Tom with both his nails and teeth out. Tom was not aware of what he was doing. He’d sit still for only about 10 minutes at a time before he was off to do something else. There was no afternoon nap, or evening nap, or any naps since we got him home. We tried to see if he could burn some of it off by chasing the laser pointer, only he couldn’t track it. He was having a reaction to his anesthesia and all we could do was wait.
His sissy, Yue, was not nearly as bad. She was a little overstimulated. She could not nap well either. But, she still tried to cuddle with me and when she was feeling rough she would tuck herself away under the sofa. She was also very hungry. Before her cleaning, her gum line was bright red, so I had no intention of feeding her the regular dry food while she needed some time to let the inflammation go down. She ate an entire can of food all by herself.
Today we’re great! Kitties are back to normal. Yue hasn’t asked me for any canned and her bright red gum line has turned pink. Both cats were taken care of for $390 after discounts and kick backs.
February is a great month to book dental cleanings.
It’s Pet Dental Awareness Month and you can save up to 20% for those clinics that participate. They will usually have a coupon available. Our cats-only clinic didn’t run that special this February that I had received at my old hospital back in Phoenix, but they did offer 1 free dental cleaning by sweepstakes via their newsletter.