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I have a 7.5 yr old Pit /Mastiff mix. He's recently chipped…

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I have a 7.5 yr...
I have a 7.5 yr old Pit Bull/Mastiff mix. He's recently chipped his upper left canine (about 20-25% of it chipped off. I've gotten 4 different opinions on what to do about from 4 different vets, they all recommend to either extract it ($1,000) or do a root canal ($2,200) or leave it alone and risk bacteria traveling through a bacteria highway from his tooth to his brain and dying.What should I do? and what are the chances of him dying from this?
Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Dog Veterinary
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
12/1/2017
Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago
Dr. Beth
Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 461
Experience: Veterinarian in practice since 2004 - 5 years of exclusively feline medicine, 7 years general practice, 4 years shelter medicine
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Hi, I'm Dr. Beth and I'll do my best to help you today! To make sure I don't miss anything, please give me a moment to review your question - I am not the fastest typist so it may take me a few moments to type out a response.

Thank you for trusting us with your questions, this service is used for general information only and is not a substitute for a veterinarian patient relationship by examination.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Unfortunately those are the 'fixing' options, yes, though at least for my area that sounds like a pretty high quote for the extraction. It can be a difficult tooth to remove, and usually is several hundred at least - it is something you may be able to check with a few other hospitals about their cost if that was the only tooth that needed attention in combo with the anesthesia, they may be able to give you a very general quote over the phone.

Of course, you do have the option to do nothing, but there are risks to that too.

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Is it likely to be fatal? I would say a very low chance of that, though with a tooth infection, there is always a small chance of infection getting into the bloodstream and causing sepsis which could be life threatening.

A dentist I have worked with says, "It's not a matter of *if* you are going to have a complication with a broken tooth, but a matter of *when* it is going to get complicated."

Most often, this will manifest with the dog developing a swelling on their muzzle above the tooth, often very dramatically and seemingly overnight. Of course that can be more uncomfortable for the dog, and more expensive for you to take care of when that complication comes up so we normally try to address the problem before it becomes a problem.

There is also the concern for the potential for pain, even if the dog is acting fine and eating, they can have nerve sensitivity intermittently or constantly, and just be very good a hiding it.

So if it was something you wanted to take care of on the 'cheaper' end (and I would say 95% of my clients opt for extraction), but needed to save up for a few months for it, that would not be the end of the world; some dogs do not develop infections for several years after the trauma. But I have had some dogs come in with an infected broken tooth, that was not present at the prior wellness exam say 6-12 months prior, so complications can come up in less than a year's time.

We just generally want you to know your options, and doing nothing can potentially have eventual consequences, so we encourage people to address it sooner rather than later even if the dog is not symptomatic.

Does that help at all?

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Dog Veterinarian: Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian replied 4 months ago

Just checking back in to see if you have more questions about Sabbath's situation-

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Dr. Beth, Dog Veterinarian
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Experience: Veterinarian in practice since 2004 - 5 years of exclusively feline medicine, 7 years general practice, 4 years shelter medicine

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