February 07, 2009

who knew, continued... (a bit of a rant)

who knew that canine dentists would be soooo very expensive?!? I took a personal day off work yesterday to drive Bisbee up to Scottsdale to the dental specialist our vet recommended. We waited about 30 minutes till we got in to see him; he looked at her mouth, asked a couple questions, then proceeded to tell me he would need to clean her teeth and take x-rays before he could tell exactly what was wrong... and that this all would require general anaesthesia, and that it would cost over $900!! (Mind you, that expense is all before diagnosing whether she really has a cracked tooth, and then add to that whatever it would cost to fix whatever might or might not be wrong!)

I'm actually pretty miffed that they didn't tell me when I called to make the appointment that all those costs would need to be incurred before diagnosing anything (and believe me, I did ask). And when I said "I can't afford that," he proceeded to (maybe innocently enough) make me feel guilty about not being able to afford it! (read the following in a placating tone of voice) "Now, I'm only trying to help your doggie, after all..." and "well, how much did you expect it to cost?" Not that much, that's for sure!!! Don't get me wrong, we love our pets, and I would do a lot for them, but we certainly don't have that kind of money, even without the awful state of the economy right now... I wish we had endless funds to spend, but really, who has that kind of money?!?

So, we came back home, I brushed both dogs' teeth (they like the beef-flavored toothpaste a lot), no more super-huge rawhide bones for either dog, and we'll keep an eye on her to see if it gets worse... if so, we'll go back to our regular vet and go from there.

On a totally different subject, we're halfway thru another marathon of Deadwood episodes- we're into season two, and waiting to find out how the annexation of the town to the Dakota territory will turn out. Seems the politicians are only in it for the money, and there's opportunists coming into town to capitalize on the political unrest... not so different in the late 1800s as what goes on today, I guess, just with less bathing, and (maybe) more whiskey!


Mare said...

Oh my God! That is way too much money! And shame on them for making you feel that way and not offering an alternative! It sounds like your dogs teeth are well cared for-how "dirty" can they be for a young puppy?! The three male dogs i had before my pack now (i still have one of the boys left) ALL had teeth that towards the end of their lives needed work. I was ( and still am) a bad doggie mom and didn't brush their teeth. So tartar buildup was an issue over time. Bisbee is a pup, right? How bad can those teeth be to have to knock her out to CLEAN them??? Geesh! Will your vet help you when you go back and tell him what happened? My vet is wonderful... He has cleaned all of my elder dog's teeth when needed, and had to extract a few too. And it was expensive for anesthesia and the proceedure, but nothing like THAT! All anyone has to do is look at your dogs to see how healthy and beautiful and well cared for they are....mare (fuming)

crimsoncat05 said...

Thanks for the indignation, Mare! I was absolutely floored when they gave me the estimate, and really upset when I had to say No and they made me feel bad about it. Maybe I was being naive, but I figured I'd getting a diagnosis BEFORE having to pay hundreds of dollars!! After I left, I started getting mad at the way I was treated, and I will say something about it to my regular vet, because she is the one who recommended him. If it had been a true emergency (like her tooth was broke off, or something), I might have felt a little differently, but I was just trying to be proactive, here, and avoid large costs later- little did I know, huh?!?

Felicia said...

Wow, that seems kind of high. I think it was only about half that much for pretty much all those same dental procedures for my Lucky Cowdog. I'm thinking you should check out that Vet's reputation with the Better Business Bureau and your state veterinarians licensing agency.

crimsoncat05 said...

thanks, Felicia... I trust that Lucky Cowdog came thru with flying colors?? He certainly looks pretty happy in your photos!! I think this vet's reputation is okay, though- maybe TOO good, actually. He's on some international veterinary board of oral health, and he works on the exotic animals from the Phoenix Zoo... maybe the high costs are for his reputation as well as (I hope, anyway) his skill. (regardless, I don't think Bisbee will be going back there.)