We have a three month old ferret that unfortunately jumped out of my
arms and into the metal edge of our Doctor's examining table when we brought
her in for her shots. She fractured her top left canine tooth about 1/3 of
the way down. Our Vet says that the tip of the tooth pulp has been exposed,
and with time can and most-likely will eventually abcess and become
So, we understand our options are either pull the tooth or do a root
canal and then cap the tooth. Our vet said that he will pull the tooth for
$75. He has never pulled a ferret's tooth but has done cat's and dogs, and
that ferret's teeth are a lot like a cats and he would be comfortable doing
the procedure. He is a very nice person and so far we have been very
pleased with his services. The complications of pulling the tooth, he said,
was a small chance of fracturing her jaw because that particular tooth (the
canines) are very difficult to extract. Also there is a small chance that a
fistula can open and so she would have a hole from the extracted tooth
leading into her nasal passage. He said that can heal, but is troublesome
because food will get impacted up there and go into here nose.
Option 2, was to refer us to a veteranary oral surgeon to do a root
canal and then cap the tooth for $250. The problem is that there is still
no guarrantee that an infection will not eventually develop even with the
root canal and cap. Also, the ferret will have to be put under anethesia
twice, once to make an impression, then again for the actual procedure.
And, caps can fall off.
He said that we can also take a wait and see approach. He will see the
ferret every three months free of charge to make sure everything is okay,
and then if an infection does develope, do something then.
I want to do what is right for our pet, and also what is less painful to
her. Our vet said that the canine is not essential, she doesn't eat food
with it, so if we pull the tooth when it heals it will be okay. Pulling the
tooth seems to have less risk of future complications. I would pay for the
root canal, but I worry about putting her under anethesia twice, and also
about caps falling off, in which case, the procedure will have to be
repeated at a later date. However, if this is what should be done, I will
If anyone could give us advice on this we would be grateful.
[Posted in FML issue 1354]