Thursday, March 19, 2015

Cat Dental Disease. How much does it cost and what does it entail?

This is Satin, a middle-aged domestic short haired cat who was found to have calculi and mild gingivitis on her last annual veterinary examination. Dental disease is one of the most common and most overlooked ailment that we see in veterinary medicine.

Dental disease can present in numerous ways, they include;

1. Drooling. Excessive saliva from the mouth.

2. Pawing or rubbing the face or mouth on things or using the paws to rub the face. Most cats doing this have brown matted fur on the inside of the lower front legs, or crusting of saliva on the chin.

3. Reluctance to eat. Trouble picking up the food.

4. Bad breath, or bad odor to the mouth.

5. Loose or missing teeth. These may be found, fall out in the food bowl, be seen projecting from the mouth at weird angles, or appear as empty spaces when they meow.

6. Dropping food from the mouth while eating. For instance they attempt to pick up the food with the mouth, shake the head, or drop the food. This is often caused by pain in applying pressure to the teeth to pick up the food and swallow it.

7. Weight loss. The pain or difficulty in picking up food causes weight loss.

8. Pain, or meowing when the face or head is touched.

Satin was deemed a Grade 2 with her dental disease. We use the grading scale as a way to explain and discuss the presumed severity of the dental disease.

Here are Satin's post dental cleaning photos.

Satin had a pre-op exam ($45) bloodwork and urinalysis ($130). Satin's dental included an i.v. catheter ($40), i.v. fluids ($40), anesthesia ($100), dental cleaning ($95), and post-op injectable 10 day antibiotic ($50). Satin also was microchipped ($10). Nail trims are free with exams and surgeries. He did not have any teeth removed. His total bill for his dental was $335.

Related Blogs;
Simba's Abandonment and Dental Needs.

How Much Does The Average Cat Tooth Extraction Cost?

If you have a pet question please find me on Pawbly is free to use and open to all pet people. Learn about your pets health, their behavior, and how to provide the things they need to flourish.

If you are in my neck of the woods stop by the clinic, Jarrettsville Vet and say "Hello." I am also on Twitter @FreePetAdvice.


  1. Does FORL fit in here or is it in a class of it's own as a different disease or condition? I had a cat with FORL and each time she had a dental (at least 3 in her 17 yrs) she lost a few teeth. They would 'crown' them unless they were so loose they came out easily because of the glass jaw thing cats have. Each dental also ran me a good $1000+. She eventually stop eating and was thinking it was her teeth again...but she had a tumor under her tongue at the frenulum that was inoperable and I had to make that decision. Related?

    1. Hello Lia,
      Resorptive lesions are very common in cats. I am not sure what you mean by "crowing" them. If the tooth is not viable it should be removed and yes the mandible is delicate, but that does not preclude removing a bad tooth. Cat dentals can be expensive.
      I am so sorry to hear of your cats tumor. I too have seen quite a few cats with oral cavity tumors. They are (all I have seen) impossible to remove.
      My deepest sympathies to you, I love my kitties to pieces, I do empathize.

  2. Thank you Krista...she was a precious torbie with white and a talker. Basically the dental surgeon instead of removing the tooth root and all, did a crown amputation. Kind of like snipping points off a horse? At least that's how it was explained to me. The gum healed over the remainder. She never had any problems eating after this either and ate with gusto as soon as she got home. The only time she had excessive pain was when they totally removed an upper canine. We went for check ups every 6 months anyway and the cervical lesions were caught early each time.
    As a side note, this vet was very excited about his advanced training and always took pictures and digital x-rays as he progressed. I no longer have them but he made me copies. he also saved the teeth for me, which I did decline, LOL.

  3. Hi, thank you your writing style is amazing. just found your site on aol. come back later for sure :)
    Dental Cleaning

  4. My 1 yr old boxer received 4 staples to close a wound that wouldn't stop bleeding due to it being directly over a vessel. Initially the ER vet sent us home without any pain medication or antibiotics but did put an ecollar on our dog. The next day my dog was very lethargic, didn't want to outside to go pee or poop until around 2pm when I made him go. He wasn't eating or drinking as usual either so I contacted the ER vet requesting pain medication. They gave me 3 syringes of meloxicam and instructed me to give him 1 syringe of 1.5cc by mouth once daily. Enough for 3 days. Today is day 4. He's back to being very lethargic, not eating or drinking. He is using the restroom as usual but it's day 4 and I don't have any more pain medication or anti inflammatory to give him. I believe he is in pain. 3 days of pain medication doesn't seem appropriate for a dog with 4-5 staples directly under the back of his ear on head. I paid $40 for 3 doses. Is 3 doses normal? The doctors notes say he can have staples removed in 11-13 days. Is it appropriate to call and get more pain meds or is it normal that my dog be in pain for the next however many days?

    1. Hello Erin,
      It sounds like there might be more going on? It is best to call your vet back and voice all of these concerns. Best of luck. krista