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Doc Sara
Doc Sara, Veterinarian
Category: Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  I am a dog and cat veterinarian with a lifetime of experience in our family veterinary hospital.
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I have a 14 year old shih Tzu and an 11 year old greyhound.

Customer Question

I have a 14 year old shih Tzu and an 11 year old greyhound. Both animals need dental surgery due to gum disease. I cannot afford to spend the 1400 to 1700 dollar prices for each pet from my vet. Are there any more affordable pet dentists in South Jersey?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Veterinary
Expert:  Doc Sara replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon - I'm Dr. Sara. I'm a licensed veterinarian who works with dogs and cats exclusively. I'm sorry for the delay in our response but I suspect Expert may shy away from this question because we likely can't tell you what you WANT to hear. I know that you're looking for more affordable options, which is completely understandable. That sort of cost is something anyone would have a hard time affording on short notice - myself included! My advice would be to ask friends and family about their vet and experiences. Most vet offices won't be able to give you a cost estimate on a dental cleaning without examining the pet first, so talking to your friends would be your first step toward deciding who to seek a second estimate from. When you're at the next vet, take your current estimates and ask if the same or similar items are included in the new vet's estimates and ask them to explain differences so that you're well informed on the procedure. For instance, some hospitals do full mouth X-rays, while others may not do X-rays at all. X-rays are technically recommended for all pets having their teeth cleaned because we can't see what's going on below the gum line without them and may miss treating important problems. However, if there's one or a few teeth that are obviously "bad", then your vet may consider just handling those first and cleaning the teeth while leaving X-rays to be done later. It depends highly on the condition of your pets' teeth and your veterinarian's style as a practitioner. You don't find a board certified dentist for any less than what you're quoting - my local dentist quotes $800-1200 just for a cleaning and X-rays with no other treatments. Any teeth found to be needing treatment would be on top of that cost.

I sure hope that this helps - please let me know what other questions I can answer for you - we can chat until we've covered them all.

~Dr. Sara