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Need help with cat dental questions, and advice

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
I want to get my cats teeth cleaned, so I called the vet to ask about prices, etc...

At first they said the cat will need an x-ray and (if I remember correctly, a bloodtest or listen to the heart before the actual cleaning (forgot which one was mentioned)

Anyway, I cant afford anything else BUT the cost of the cleaning itself.

I asked if the other two things are mandatory, they said no, but if they are not done prior, a waver must be signed by the owner that the vets are not responsible if anything happens to the cat while it's under anesthesia.

Now, that sort of worried me, but if the cats teeth are never cleaned in it's lifetime, then in the future it may get a cavity or tooth rot, and end up Needing a teeth cleaning anyway, and the risk of anything happening is worse as the cat ages, and plus rotting is painful, I wouldnt want my cat to go through that. My previous cat we had got a tooth pulled from it rotting (we didnt own him at the time he was someone elses cat) so this made me think about my cat we have now.

I dont know what to do though?

My cat is 6 years old, mabye a pound overweight (11-12 pounds) but otherwise healthy. She did fine when she got spayed, and each vet exam she is diagnosed 100% healthy.
post #2 of 10
I would first ask if a dental now is nessary ... i know some cats need them at the tender age of six but most dont until later ( ie the senior yrs)... I would not let any animal of mine go under without blood work ... Not sure about an XRAY
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention, I was going to have them do the cleaning the day (or day after) her yearly checkup at the vet, if that's a help at all.

I figured get the cleaning done now, because older cats have more risk under anesthesia, when their younger there is less chance of serious complications.
Plus my cat was a stray for two years, so, that was 2 years without any medical care, especially with the teeth.

The x-ray is to examine the teeth condition prior, so they know what areas need more care, and if there is any cavities/rotting.

I dont know, mabye that is necessary if you think about it.

Right now it's looking like I cant get the teeth cleaned, I jsut dont have enough money for everything.
post #4 of 10
As i understand it, the bloodwork really is necessary to make sure that there are no underlying issues that could make anaesthesia unjustifiably risky. Routine dental cleaning isn't usually particularly urgent, and you could probably just put it off for a month to save up so you can afford the blood screening. Rajah's full panel was about $100, and i think that they can run a less complete panel just to check for anaesthesia risks that should be less expensive. Some vets will work with you and set up a payment plan, and there is also a company out there called Care Credit which many vets accept that offers credit for veterinary services.
post #5 of 10
It can be urgent if there is a risk of infection. My 15 year old only had her teeth cleaned twice. The first time, she was probably around 9 and waaay over due..... second time was just last year. Because it hadn't been done fairly regularly, she had to have quite a few teeth extracted to avoid infection. (That gets pretty expensive )Her gums were all red and swollen. I had never noticed because she doesn't let me loook! lol . A few of her teeth had actually rotted away on their own. An infection can cause a number of problems. It can get in the blood stream and become quite serious.

I wouldn't pass on the blood work. It will be money well spent!
post #6 of 10
I'd call that dental "surgery" when they know they'll have to do extractions and there is already decay and infection present. If that's the case then it really can't be put off and hopefully you can come to an arrangement with the vet. But a routine preventive cleaning, where there is tartar but no known decay/infection can be put off a short time to save up.
post #7 of 10
Keith - have you talked to the vet about making payments over time instead of all at once? Sometimes they'll work something out with you.

But the blood test is very important prior to putting any animal (or person) under anaesthesia.

Is there any way your parents can afford it? Maybe you could work out a payment plan with them?

Otherwise, it's probably best to wait and continue to save your money until you can afford the pre-anaesthesia testing. The X-ray can be skipped, but to make sure your kitty won't have an adverse reaction to the anaesthesia, you need to have the testing done.

post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
You see, the money I saved is christmas money, I wont be getting any money until well, next christmas, a year from now. So paying later isnt even an option, I still wont have enough.

If the blood test isnt that expensive (20 or less) MABYE my parents could chip in the extra 20, but if not, I have no money for the test, which means there is no dental cleaning.
post #9 of 10
I would do the blood test. The pre-anesthetic blood test is there to make sure your cat can handle the anesthesia and if there is a problem they will take more care to get the cat under and out, even possibley hooking up fluids for kidney support.

If your cat seems to be in overall good health then it might be okay to risk it, if you feel comfortable with that.

If money really is the big issue why not try brushing her teeth and see if what you're seeing is stuff that can be taken off with simply a tooth brush? My cats LOVE the tooth paste so brushing isn't an issue, and might not even be a problem for you. That would give you time to save money to have the teeth cleaning and blood work done.
post #10 of 10
Did the vet tell you she needs them cleaned asap? my main reason of waiting if i were you is what if something happens down the road medically wise if you are resopsible for that and the cleaning is elective at this point? My cat went in for a cleaning and one pull and came to about 650( the bloodwork was mandatory as was the xray to make sure the others were in ok shape) but this vet usues gas to put them under and closely monitors, gives pain med and all that...also the toothpaste alone will do a little something(very preferable to actually use teh toothbrush but if the cat is dead set against it try rubbing the paste with your finger and some treats are supposed to help dental plaque
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