Banfield Pet Hospital / my dog's dental cleaning
A long story, but definitely worth reading for a few minutes if you are considering a professional dental cleaning procedure for your pet.
I adopted my poodle-mix winston who was a stray at a miami animal shelter. Winston was estimated to be anywhere from 10 years old + in aug. 2010. His teeth had a lot of plaque on them, there was clearly green and brown decay in his mouth. However, he was healthy otherwise. Over the past 3 months he has continued to eat hard food, like beneful, and his energy was going up more and more every week (The first few weeks he was very timid in the house, and would sleep almost all day), and by middle october he would run on walks and play around the house with our mini dachshund. He has been groomed 2x since I got him at petsmart in south fl, where they also brushed his teeth. When I took him 2 weeks ago to banfield pet hospital located in a petsmart near my house, they recommended that though he was healthy in all other aspects he should get dental cleaning. They said it would cost $189, plus the anesthesia fee of $40. I wasn't even concerned about the cost, but rather if it would benefit winston in the short and long term to go under such a procedure, and I was extremely concerned about the physical pain and mental he may endure. I told them his appetite had been great, he maintained a healthy weight for his size (20lb) and he seemed really happy. They insisted that I do the dental cleaning, so as winston being the first dog I am solely responsible for, I decided to go ahead and do the dental cleaning.in the middle of the procedure the vet called me (While he was under anesthetic) and told me he had 4 teeth that must be extracted, but they said it would cost $37 per tooth. I told them to go ahead and extract, (I trusted the doctor's judgment that the extractions would be in winston's best interest) and I wasn't even concerned about the extra cost.
Now, after it has been done, I completely regret my decision for a number of reasons that are worth reading about. First, and least importantly, the cost ended up being over $400, which included the original dental cleaning, anesthetic, extractions, pain killers, and antibiotics. Secondly, winston had constipation for days, he didn't want to eat even soft food, and barely drank water. I felt so sorry for him seeing his trying to go the bathroom for minutes and clearly in pain as he was unable to. After a sleepless night because for winston and me, the night after the dental cleaning, I called banfield and told them how much pain he was in, as he was whimpering and pacing all night. I brought him in, and the vet casually walked in to examine winston after we waited over 1 hour, even though there was only one person ahead of us. She said that his pain was gastrointestinal and said it was normal, and she gave him a shot to ease the pain, as well as medicated to give him 2x a day to help his stomach pain, and improve his digestive system. Additionally, when I took him to banfield that next day after his cleaning, he was shaking terribly as we approached the building. The pain relief only lasted a few hours, and winston was again up all night trying again and again to go the bathroom. I asked the vet at banfield if this was normal after, and she said not to worry, and he would be fine, he is just uncomfortable. If I would have known that winston wouldn't be able to eat or drink normally for days, and be in constant pain so that he couldn't even sleep for 48 hours even with pain killers, I would not have done the dental cleaning. The vets at this banfield completely ripped me off, and misled me 100% in terms of the pain winston would have. As more and more studies show dogs can have psychological issues like depression, I firmly believe that the mental trauma winston has gone through to address a health problem that wasn't even present was a terrible experience. I blame the doctors and staff at banfield in plantation, for causing winston so much pain, and not warning me about the possibility. One of our other maltese-mix female that was found on the street as a stray and tooth in 8 years ago had one loose tooth, and our vet in sarasota said he could extract it, but at her age (Which was unknown but assumed in 2010 to also be over 10) it may cause her some pain that is not worth the results. I wish I would have not taken winston to banfield. Another point, is that if winston's teeth were that bad, then how come his energy level was great and improving, and his appetite was continually healthy day in and day out. I also had his teeth brushed when he got groomed, and gave him oral care at home with dental spray. Also, I had a panel of blood work done after the first week I got winston to ensure that winston did not have any worms, cancer, or any other type of disease that could harm his health. His blood work results showed he was healthy. If his teeth were to the point that he couldn't eat, or if other health problems showed a connection to his teeth, then of course I would understand that the pain of the dental cleaning was an overall positive decision for winston's health. But because he is an older dog, that clearly had been through a rough life, and given his drastically improved condition from when I got him a few months before, I advise a more hands off approach. I strongly suggest that anyone who is considering getting an older dog dental cleaning be warned of all the potential pain the dog may be in. I personally think that if a dog has to go through as much physical and mental pain as winston did, then the professional dental cleaning is not worth it, and any vet that tries to tell a pet owner otherwise is not advising is the pet or pet owner's best interest.
Ps: I do not suggest going to the banfield pet hospital in plantation, fl, as they showed no individual interest in winston, they had slow service, and I misguided me in how to care for winston. I do not know how other banfield pet hospitals are, I only hope they are much better.
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