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Dog Owner Argues With Vet After They Do A Surprise Tooth Extraction During Neutering

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If there’s anyone you want to be fully transparent with everyone, it’s medical professionals.

Hard as the truth often is, it’s necessary to hear it when it comes to your health, so doctors should not sugar coat or keep anything they discover a secret.

The same could be said for vets, as pet owners should know the exact condition of their pet’s health.

Redditor cheneyk was surprised to find that their dog got extra special service on their most recent trip to the vet.

Including a surprise medical procedure, which was not included in the agreed upon price package.

Leaving the original poster (OP) less than thrilled with their vet and vet tech (VT).

Wondering if their anger was justified, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for being peeved about surprise tooth extractions during neutering.”

The OP explained why they were not at all happy to learn that their dog was given an additional procedure when visiting the vet.

“Today I dropped my dog off to get neutered.”

“He’s a six-month Goldendoodle.”

“This was part of a ‘puppy package’ of care, which covered all necessary shots and wellness checks, and culminates with neutering and microchipping.”

“I came back a few hours later to pick him up.”

“While receiving the aftercare instructions, I was informed that they pulled a few of my dog’s teeth by the VT.”

“Our conversation went something like this:”

“VT: ‘The only thing not covered by the puppy package is $20 for the two teeth we removed while he was under anesthesia, so if we can settle this up’.”

“Me: ‘Excuse me, you removed teeth? He was here for neutering’.”

“VT: ‘His two canines were starting to come in but the baby teeth were not loose so we removed them. It’s very standard and what the vet regularly recommends’.”

“Me: ‘Well, you did more than recommend it – you went ahead and did it’.”


“VT: ‘I’ll be right back’.”

“Now it’s important to note that I don’t care about the $20 charge.”

“Had I been contacted and told that they recommended this, I would have OF COURSE went with the vet’s recommendation!”

“But come on, at least act like I’m involved in the process rather than making me feel like I’m being suckered into a forced up-sell situation.”

“A few minutes later, she came back.”

“VT: ‘I spoke with the doctor and we are going to discount the $20 since we did not consult you first’.”

“Me: ‘It’s not about the $20. I’m more concerned about the fact that I came here for one procedure, and without any conversation or discussion, you expanded the scope of the visit to include tooth extraction’.”

“VT: ‘It was necessary. If we were to have done it at a separate visit, it would have been $250’.”

“Me: ‘I’m not concerned about the money if it’s necessary. I’m concerned about not knowing about it or approving it beforehand’.”

“VT: ‘It’s a very routine procedure. We regularly extract teeth while puppies are already under anesthesia’.”

“Me: ‘If it’s so routine and done so regularly, why was it not discussed at one of the many prior visits or even this morning?'”

“VT: ‘You know if we didn’t extract the teeth, it could have lead to issues with alignment, bacteria, and other complications’.”

“Me: ‘I’m not debating whether the extraction was necessary. I’m upset that I was not consulted first’.”

“VT: ‘I’ll be right back’.”

“This time she brought my puppy back with her.”

“I thanked her and left. To be clear, I was not trying to be rude, difficult, or cheap in any way.”

“But I got into the car with my poor sedated pup feeling like I was being rude, difficult, and cheap.”

“I spoke with a few coworkers after I got back to my office, but I could use some other opinions as well.”

“So, AITA for being peeved about surprise tooth extractions during neutering?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community was somewhat divided on where they believed the OP fell.

Some felt that the OP was justified in being angry, feeling that even if the vet was looking out for their dog, they still should have told the OP in advance about both the procedure as well as the price increase.

“While it IS pretty normal to extract deciduous, baby, teeth at time of spay/neuter, it should be on the consent form you signed or called in if there will be additional charges.”

“No clinic I’ve ever worked at charged for this though.”

“It was just like doing a nail trim during surgery, complimentary service.”

“You should talk to the practice manager.”

“When I managed a hospital, these sorts of things happened from time to time due to new employees and it was an opportunity to counsel.”

“NTA at all.”

“But I promise, they weren’t doing unnecessary procedures either.”- CheyBridgeMan


“I’m a vet.”

“Look, the thing that they did, it was absolutely appropriate medicine, likely necessary and often done at the time of spay/neuter.”

“However communication is key here and they fell down on the job on that.”

“You aren’t wrong to be miffed.”

“They should have called or pre-cleared it.”

“However, for perspective, if you would have approved it if they called, I might cut them some slack.”

“Absolutely express that wasn’t cool, and they should apologize for the communication break down.”

“But if you can, please be kind.”

“We have a difficult job, and people yell at us all day long for things that are very much not our fault, animals being sicker than people thought, medicine costing money, etc.”- CSnarf

“Removing retained baby teeth IS commonly done at the time of neutering or spaying, but it should have been discussed with you first.”

“This is usually picked up during the pre-surgery appointment and discussed at that time.”- FieldPug

Others felt that while it was fair for the OP to be angry, they also didn’t think the OP did anything wrong by pulling the dog’s teeth, as it was a necessary procedure.


“Former vet tech here!”

‘No one is really TA in this situation.” 

“You were upset that you weren’t consulted and that’s okay.”

“The vets office was doing what was best for the dog while under anesthesia.”

“They would have called and kept you in the loop if it were something bigger or more invasive, I.e a cryptorchid or retained testicle, but baby teeth extractions are just a little pulling.”

“In the time it would have taken to get you on the phone, the extraction would be done, and with all anesthesia ESPECIALLY puppies and kittens, the goal is to get them off the anesthetic and into recovery as soon as possible.”

“The teeth could be getting pulled while the neuter was taking place, neutering is super quick.”

‘My vet never made calls during surgery for little stuff like that, it’s just doing what’s best for the pet which is their job.”

“If you still feel icky about the situation, maybe go up there once you’ve cooled off, “maybe even take the staff a treat, we love sweets and coffee, and let them know that you’re thankful that they were looking out for you and your dog, but in the future you’d like to be kept more in the loop.”

“I’m sure they’ll make a note in the chart.”

“Also good for you for getting your puppy neutered and vaccinated!”

“Way to be a great, responsible pet parent.”- cat_lady3219

Others, however felt that both the OP and the Vet’s office were in the wrong, feeling that the OP overreacted, and the vet shouldn’t have pulled the dog’s teeth without at least consulting the OP.


“I honestly think you made a big deal about nothing.”

“What was your ideal outcome here?”

“Since they, initially, f*cked up by not getting consent, did you really want them to hold off on the tooth extraction so you would be pointlessly out another 250 bucks?”


“You have this weird fixation on them trying to ‘pull one over’ on when in reality they simply made an honest mistake by failing to get prior consent.”

“Seriously how do you come to that conclusion?”

“If they really wanted to bleed you dry they would NOT have extracted the teeth and then proceeded to bullshit you with ‘there were complications with his teeth, you gotta come back again btw its 250 dollars xtra’.”- Carwash3000

The OP later returned with an update, thanking Redditors for taking the time to comment while also clarifying a few parts of their story.

“I wanted to offer a few points of clarification because I’ve seen quite a theme in the comments.”

“Most important of all: my puppy is snoozing next to me and seems to be in overall good shape, for that, I’m grateful to the vet.”

“I don’t plan on talking about who the vet/clinic/hospital is or where it is located.”

“I was not pleased by their customer service, but I am not trying to hurt their business in any way.”

“I will not even post a negative review even though I will be changing providers.”

“I’m not upset about the fact that they made a decision that they thought was necessary.”

“I’m upset that they could not explain that decision, or perhaps felt it was unnecessary to explain to me.”

“Please keep in mind that I’m not a vet.”

“I went to school for history and business.”

“If someone had explained things to me, I might have quickly calmed down and the situation deescalated.”

“This would have been best handled, in my opinion, had the vet came to speak to me.”

One imagines that had this not been a routine procedure, not to mention a necessary one, the vet wouldn’t have gone ahead and done it.

Even so, pet owners deserve to know exactly what they’re pet is having done to them when they leave them in the care of the vet and their staff.

As the OP’s frustrations likely came from a place of concern for their dog, more than anything else.

One can only be grateful that the puppy is at least happy and healthy.


Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.