Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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Elly has a slab fracture on her 4th pre-molar with pulp exposed. My original thought was to have it extracted but after doing some reading it seems that a root canal could be a less invasive surgery and allow her to keep her tooth. The 4th pre-molar is the biggest tooth and does the most crunching so is worth keeping, she is only 4 and does enjoy her bully sticks. I have to wait until a week from tomorrow to get into a dentist, then it would be two weeks before they would be back in town to do whatever procedure is needed. I have a call into a second dentist but I’ve been told they are booked weeks in advance and in fact aren’t even in the office again until Tuesday. My vet can do an extraction but nothing more complicated.
My big question is what is the chance a repair would fail? Every extended vet visit is a huge setback with her separation anxiety so I don’t want to do things twice.
There is no visual sign of infection and her vitals and blood work are good so right now waiting a few weeks seems to be OK with everyone. She is on tram for pain although she wasn’t showing any overt signs.
22 August 2008
Basically you have to do an xray to see if the tooth can be saved. If there is bone loss at the root tip or infection then it needs extraction anyway. Does she need to have her teeth cleaned? I wonder if your vet can do the cleaning and xray the fractured tooth and then the radiographs can be sent directly to the dentist if needed and if there is infection the tooth could be pulled. I know this may require 2 procedures but is the only way to know ahead of time. Otherwise you might get to the dentist and then they have to extract it anyway.
I think it is worth doing a root canal on those big chewing teeth and on the canines.
She actually doesn’t really need her teeth cleaned, I’m pretty good about brushing, in fact that is how I found the broken tooth. She broke the tip off one of her lower canines and had two procedures to file down her upper incisors the first year I had her, she has a big under bite, so I’m pretty conscientious about brushing.
We didn’t do an xray last week because my first inclination was to have the tooth pulled which we scheduled for Wednesday, they would do the xray before they pulled the tooth. But after I got home I started doing some reading and decided I wanted to at least consult with a dentist.
We have a consult next Saturday but now I’m thinking I should get an xray done at my primary vet this week so they can look at it at the consult. I’m concerned on timing as they are only in town every other week. If the tooth needs to be pulled anyway I think I would have the specialist do it at this point unless there is some urgency.
Thanks again for your input.
25 April 2007
18 May 2014
Nitro had a cracked canine, and when he went in to have it repaired there were other issues too (can’t remember, it was quite awhile ago). He ended up with 2 root canals, and had his canine filed down – for lack of a better way of explaining it. It ended up half the size it normally was. I DO remember it was a hefty $4000+ bill – leading me to get Care Credit .
He spent the day at the dentist – a specialist did the work
Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro
Nitro 11 1/2 yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms. Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"
"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior
I’ll get a cost estimate when I visit the dentist but I expect it to be pretty hefty, it doesn’t help that I am in the San Francisco Bay Area! I spent between $2000 and $3000 (maybe more) on her choppers already with the issues she had her first year here. I was lucky when she broke her canine, there was no pulp exposed so they filed it smooth and coated it with sealant.