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View Full Version : Vet Costs How much does a molar trimming usually cost? I think my vet is over charging me!



Aaron Shin
06-13-16, 10:12 pm
Hello all.

Every since Saturday afternoon, my guinea pig, Winston has been showing signs of overgrown molars. I'm quite sure that this is the case.

Now, I went to an exotic Vet to get Winston checked up, but the doctor could not fully diagnose my guinea pig's problem; but she did note that my guinea pigs tongue was red and suspecting ' something '.

She then told me that she had to schedule Winston to be under anesthesia to get a better look, and had to take some x rays.

What came to my surprise was the estimation cost of every procedure/item. I was given a sheet full of different things needed to be done for the procedure- and man, it was long. Numerous Anesthesia fees, an endoscopy, etc. . As I worked my way down the page I noticed molar trimming was included into the estimation; so she definitely suspects an overgrown molar, but did not directly tell me this.
In total, the operation would cost at it's lowest 455$ and at it's highest 600$ dollars.

This seems INSANELY high for a molar trimming.

Also the examination cost me 68 dollars, feels overkill for a whole lot of nothing and a huge bill.

I am definitely willing to pay the bill, but am admittedly feeling slightly cheated.

How much do molar trimming usually cost? Is my vet over charging me? Should I seek a different exotic vet (and if I do will I be able to get an estimation cost over the phone)?

Thank you.

(Winston is currently in bad condition, she's been hiding under her house 24/7 and is highly stressed out due to the syringe feeding required; as she cannot eat on her own. ugh. It breaks my heart when she comes running with her cagemate for her routine vegetables only to find that she cannot eat them - despite her attempts)

bpatters
06-13-16, 10:30 pm
The costs vary widely across the country, and even within the same city. If there's another exotic vet near you, you could call and ask what their fees are.

But what I definitely would do is ask for an explanation of everything that's on that list. There's absolutely no need for an endoscopy for dental work, so I'd be suspicious of other things on the list. Your vet may think that guinea pigs need to be intubated for anesthesia, but that's not the case, as I understand it.

Aaron Shin
06-13-16, 10:49 pm
Thank you for your reply, bpatters. I will definitely ask around as soon as possible.

I have a question regarding caring for my guinea pig for the time being. I am currently syringe feeding her critical care, but I've yet to see her drink water. Should I syringe feed her water?

spy9doc
06-14-16, 08:20 am
Having been through the same issues with my Chester (look through my posts for about the last six months of 2015), I can tell you with confidence that a cavy is not intubated! A face mask is held over the face so that he can breath in the anesthesia, removed for the work, and the process repeated until the work is done.

For the initial visit, they only need to "gas" him a little, just so they can get a speculum in his mouth to hold it open in order to be able to visualize the back molars clearly. I would insist on that exam before any commitment to have dental work performed. The Vet may also wish to take x-rays which I would agree to. Arrange a time when you can take him to the Vet........and stay there for the duration of the visit. Only after the initial exam has been done, should you agree to dental work. AND, have them show you the x-rays before proceeding. The red spot on his tongue may be the result of a spur digging into it. And, DO call around to other exotic vets for prices because they vary widely......know that not every exotic vet is experienced in rodent dentistry.

Yes, you need to syringe fluids. I used unflavored Pedialyte which my cavies loved. Buy the generic kind at Walgreens, CVS, Target, etc. For the Critical Care, use a 30cc small animal feeding syringe (find it in pet stores in the kitten or dog section usually) and you can directly fill the barrel of the syringe without the tedious process of drawing it up. You may wish to add some baby food with no sugar added to entice him to eat.

bpatters
06-14-16, 08:47 am
Ditto spy9doc. I usually syringe water two or three times during each syringe feeding.

sallyvh
06-14-16, 12:17 pm
Having also been through a cavy with dental issues (Oct 2015-Mar2016) it can get expensive quickly. Don't be afraid to get a second opinion if you're not pleased with your first vet. I think it's very important to find a vet that is knowledgeable and that you trust with your piggy. Dental issues are often an ongoing issue so it's important that you have a good relationship with your vet.

If there is anything you are unsure about in your estimate have your vet go through each item on it and explain what it is. Also have them explain what they will be doing to your pig so you can understand.

I'm not sure where you are located, but vet care can be extremely pricey for these little ones depending on where you live. I'm in Southern Ontario and I'm convinced this is one of the most expensive areas, everything here at multiple different clinics in the surrounding area is considerably more expensive compared to prices I often see discussed here.

Once everything was done with my girl I spent around $1800 over 6 months. That included 5 molar trims, full blood work, chest and mouth/jaw X-rays, different medications, vet visits and her end of life arrangements.

I know her initial trim cost around $500. She had started losing weight but was still behaving normally so I took her in. They didn't find anything immediately wrong so they wanted to do a full evaluation of her mouth to see how her molars looked. She was not behaving in the slightest so they had me schedule a molar trim appointment. They were just going to anesthetize her, take her mouth X-rays and only trim her molars if they needed it. She ended up needing her molars trimmed so the $500 included the anesthesia, molar trim, X-rays from 2 views, day stay in the clinic, a large bottle of metacam to have on hand and critical care with feeding syringes. My vet charges $96 to walk in the door or sometimes a bit less if you're coming often.

After the initial trim the repeated ones were considerably cheaper, I believe a repeat trim was around $175 each time (she needed them monthly). However my pig had other issues going on that we never really got to the bottom of. She was losing weight regardless of having her teeth trimmed nicely, she had a great appetite and I was handfeeding through all of this. We did some blood work and chest X-rays over time to check for heart issues. She ended up passing away very suddenly on Easter morning from what I assume was some kind of respiratory infection that came on extremely suddenly. She was fine one night and not even 12 hours later she had passed away in her cage.

With all of that being said, it sounds like your vet's fees are expensive but I wouldn't say unreasonable depending on your location.

It's imperative that you're hand feeding her though, even if she doesn't like it. I know my girl hated the taste of critical care, both the plain and apple banana. To make it easier on me I put some of her pellets in the blender to crush them up them then mix that with the critical care. It made it much more palatable to her and she was almost always willing to eat. You can also try mixing it with different things, unflavored pedialyte was always a big hit as were some baby foods. Once a week I used unsweetened homemade applesauce and that was a good one. My girl was still eating on her own so I was hand feeding just to try and fatten her up as she would slowly lose weight. I would still get about 25cc's into her 3 times a day though. I would also use the 35cc feeding syringes that I would get at the petstore.

Good luck with Winston, let us know how everything goes!

lunarminx
06-14-16, 08:13 pm
About two years ago we had a piggy Who's There, had surgery for the same thing and it was almost $700. Six months later he needed the same surgery again and at 6 years old with the first surgery and problems, lost a lot of weight. We didn't do the surgery and euthanized him. Our exotic vet is Feather, Scales & Tails and normal office visit is like $60.00. It cost $300 to have my last boar neutered just so you know. I do not take the pigs to the vets unless they are sick. Good luck with Winston!

lunarminx
06-14-16, 08:14 pm
And as Sallyvh said about hand feeding, they will lose weight very quick with out it, you need to do water too. I added pumpkin to mine Who's There loved it.

Aaron Shin
06-17-16, 01:21 am
UPDATE -

Winston finally got her molars trimmed - along with her bottom incisor as it was too long.

I'm very worried because she still can't eat much of anything. She still has an appetite for her usual favorites and attempts to eat things like lettuce and cucumber but can't bite into them. Also, she still hides in her little house most of the time with her fur on end - just like before the operation.

I assumed that once the proper dental procedure was done, Winston would be able to eat again. Does it take time for guinea pigs to regain their ability to bite into foods after dental? Because the way she's trying to bite into the food and failing is very similar to before the operation was done. Also, she's still not using her water bottle so I'm still syringing water into her. In fact, she isn't even attempting to use her water bottle. Is there anything I can do to make her use her bottle again?

I'm hoping that things will start to look up, as it's only been a day since her operation. In the mean time I'll continue to syringe her food and water.

Comely Guineas
06-17-16, 02:39 am
Hi, I've heard that it is common for the vet to accidentally clip or hurt the gums in some way when doing a molar trim. So your pig might be in pain which is why it's not eating too well. Keep up the feedings and water syringing, if she still won't eat for a few days or so, then I would call the vet and get her to give you more/some pain killers or whatever.

It's not a surprise that the vet bill was so expensive. Trust me, I have been hit with that feeling a few times. A consultation fee at my vet costs $105 for a guinea pig. Just for them to check the pig over, that's it. I have had to pay the vet around $600 for some things for my pig too.

If you are concerned about her not getting enough water, dousing her lettuce and veg in water before giving it to her can help.

sallyvh
06-17-16, 05:40 am
It's common for them to still have difficulty eating right after surgery, especially when the incisors are trimmed.

Cutting her food into match stick sized slivers can be beneficial, try pushing strands of hay or veggies gently to her molars as she is likely having issues picking things up due to her incisor being shorter.

Did the vet send you home with any pain medication? If not I would call and ask to get some. It's common for their gums to get little nicks which can be quite painful. A pig that's in pain is a pig that won't want to eat.

Keep us posted on her.

Aaron Shin
06-19-16, 01:56 am
UPDATE - Dental done on thursday and it is now Saturday night. Nothing has changed. Winston is in even worse conditon than before the dental was done. She cannot even tear watermelon now, and she continues to hide in her home all the time. One thing ive noti ed is that she is constantly moving her left molar, as in it is periodically pulsing in a sense. Does anyone know what this may indicate?

lattiee
06-23-16, 12:09 am
UPDATE - Dental done on thursday and it is now Saturday night. Nothing has changed. Winston is in even worse conditon than before the dental was done. She cannot even tear watermelon now, and she continues to hide in her home all the time. One thing ive noti ed is that she is constantly moving her left molar, as in it is periodically pulsing in a sense. Does anyone know what this may indicate?

It could be pain or it could have been a nerve being hit . I have dealt with a piggy with dental issues and more worse issues . A long time ago I saw a ad from a owner saying they couldn't afford to take their piggy to the vet and said her piggy needs to see a vet so I ended up msging her told her to drop him off at my usual vet that I had usually seen and Holy Cow when I saw that poor piggy he was suffering from a Severe Maloccusion and Severe Mites Infestation . The bottom teeth were all the way grown past his nose and he was bald . He was having seizures from itching so bad . So he did get his teeth trimmed he nearly did die from the mite infestation but he ended up at the ER Vet got fluids and more mite treatment. He did make it thru and he was growing his fur back and gaining weight . He had a good life for like about 1 yr n half until one of the exotic vets that were ones that I hadn't seen but was a sub until the other vet came back . That vet clipped his jaw caused it to blister along the lip and his jaw ended up paralyzed so I had to put him to sleep while I was like 7 months pg but I'm like I'm grateful I gave him a better life than his previous owner did but many times wish i would had waited til his regular vet returned to get the teeth trimmed .

spy9doc
06-23-16, 12:48 pm
It's not uncommon for a cavy to act like Winston if she is in pain. There was one occasion after Chester's dental work that he wouldn't/couldn't eat for a week....or longer. I had to syringe both Critical Care and Pedialyte for the entire time until he felt like eating again. A Vet often won't tell you that they caused an ulceration or nicked the gums in the process.....and you're left to worry and wonder.

Definitely get some pain meds and try feeding some unsweetened baby food in the meantime. I used to mix baby food with the Critical Care to provide some variety.