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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 29, 2012
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    Coppell, Texas
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    Default Dental issues and concerns to be aware of

    I wanted to share my story so that you as a horse owner have more information on restorative dental work on premolars and molars and not have to go through what my horse is dealing with. 2 years ago my horse was found to have a cracked and broken #210 (left side upper). Recommendations were to have a Equine Dentist look at my horse when he was back in town. Placed on antibiotics until seen. Broken part pulled then root canals and filling were done to the tooth. Later on the same process was repeated on #110 (right side upper). Since then my horse has suffered with mild to serve sinus infections. Finally after a CTscan that show an opening from the tooth area to sinus, we had to have the tooth punched out through the sinus. This happened on 1-18-13 followed by a 6 day stay in the hospital. LOTS has happened since then with the sinus infections clearing with antibiotics then as soon as he if off, the infections are back. He is now in the hospital receiving high volume flushes, IV antibiotics and may be facing another surgery. 4 out of the 5 Vets who have seen my horse have said that it is almost impossible for root canals and fillings to be successful in the molars of horses. Do your home work and ask lots of questions. Go for the second opinions. Yes it will cost more up front but it's a lot cheaper than what I have paid and still paying but that's not the most upsetting part. The most upsetting and heart breaking part is what my poor horse has endured. I have seen articles discussing successes but what about the failures and the cost of those failures? Oh, the horse is only 12 years old and has been followed yearly for dental needs.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2013
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    66

    Default

    So sorry to hear about all that. Your poor horse and poor check book. I had an equine dentist recommend a root canal on a horse once and after checking into it I found that he seemed to just want the money. From what I recall they only work about 10% of the time, it may even be less. How did you get talked into that?



  3. #3
    TRLMH08 is offline Training Level Premium Member
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    Aug. 29, 2012
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    Coppell, Texas
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    Good question Horsecatcher....... I kick myself everyday but I thought I was doing the right thing for my horse at the time and it was for a wet lab using a well known company's products/equipment so the cost was minimal. I guess I was just plain stupid.
    I honestly did not post this to beat myself more about it but to hopefully others will learn from my mistakes.



  4. #4

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    It sounds like your horse has been through the ringer..that's too bad. Although the root canal may not have been helpful what else could you have done differently? Often with fractured teeth the first step is removing the mobile portion and wait and see how things go with the portion that remains rooted. Keep the opposing tooth well filed and wait. It seems like your horse wasn't going to do well with the remainder of the tooth left behind and it needed to also come out. That both the 110 and 210 fractured suggests a flaw in the tooth that may have been there since birth but is just now showing up. It seems like he was destined to have some tooth trouble and it would appear he is lucky to have an owner who is looking out for him and asking questions.
    I agree that root canal on a horse is ridiculous. How on earth could you attempt to drill a tooth so far back in the mouth and an upper to boot?



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2003
    Location
    Baldwin, MD
    Posts
    617

    Default

    Eek! Sorry about your troubles, OP. Although many lay dentists are quite skilled and have years of experience, this is an example of why many in the veterinary community are rallying to eliminate lay dentistry. Definitely use your vet for your routine dentistry work, and refer to a surgeon or certified veterinary dentist for challenging/unusual cases.



  6. #6
    TRLMH08 is offline Training Level Premium Member
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    Lauren12, that's the problem in that I put my trust in someone who is not a lay dentist but a highly respected Veterinary dentist.
    Horrid lesson learned



  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren12 View Post
    Eek! Sorry about your troubles, OP. Although many lay dentists are quite skilled and have years of experience, this is an example of why many in the veterinary community are rallying to eliminate lay dentistry. Definitely use your vet for your routine dentistry work, and refer to a surgeon or certified veterinary dentist for challenging/unusual cases.
    So now your logic would dictate we dispense with veterinary dentistry?! The truth is the rallying cry to get rid of lay dentists has more to do with turf and less to do with what's best for the horse. The horse community is well served by having an alternative beyond the local vet when it comes to floating teeth. Bad apples should be weeded out on a individual basis. If lay dentists work within our historic skill set and refer anything unusual to the veterinary community a partnership could be forged. What should a lay dentist do when a vet refers clients or even asks for their own horses to be floated? It happens all the time.
    Every area of the country is different. Some have excellent lay dentistry and some don't. There are no simple answers.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2012
    Location
    gulf coast
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    1,080

    Default

    I too have had a horse with dental issues. I ,was told that no man-made substance can mimic a horses tooth, due to the way the tooth constantly errupts and wears down.
    I have also witnessed vets, doctors, and plumbers, and contractors, saying they could do things they really could not. They ment no harm, but harm was the result. My take-away, get a second, third, and fourth opinion. More if your still not satisfied.
    I think there is a gelatin infused with antibiotic that they can pack the sinus with, I know they use it for stubborn gluteal pouch infections.
    Jingles for you and your horse. You did what you thought was best. Keep looking and moving forward.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2003
    Location
    Baldwin, MD
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothgrinder View Post
    So now your logic would dictate we dispense with veterinary dentistry?! The truth is the rallying cry to get rid of lay dentists has more to do with turf and less to do with what's best for the horse. The horse community is well served by having an alternative beyond the local vet when it comes to floating teeth. Bad apples should be weeded out on a individual basis. If lay dentists work within our historic skill set and refer anything unusual to the veterinary community a partnership could be forged. What should a lay dentist do when a vet refers clients or even asks for their own horses to be floated? It happens all the time.
    Every area of the country is different. Some have excellent lay dentistry and some don't. There are no simple answers.
    Well, no? I'm confused as to how you came up with that. I think veterinary dentistry is great!! And of course there are some wonderful lay dentists out there - I have used some myself. I am not saying all are bad! However, I do feel that dentistry work, even a routine float, should be performed by a medical professional. I know a lot of equine vets don't like doing teeth, and prefer to send that work to a lay dentist, and that is fine! That is their opinion. Mine, however, is that a medical professional should perform the procedure.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 27, 2003
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    1,901

    Default

    I'm sorry to hear about your horses trouble. I went through something similar with my mare last year. Vet #1 missed a fractured 108 molar during the spring float. Vet #2 found the fracture at first glance. My horse didn't show an obvious sinus infection because her body built up bone inside the sinus effectively sealing off the drainage. She had a sinus flap surgery to punch out the fractured molar and to clear out the inspissated pus. She had a drainage catheter installed in her sinuses and I flushed 4 liters of diluted iodine solution through there twice a day for 3 weeks along with lots of antibiotics for a total of 2 months of antibiotics. Every time she came off the antibiotics the infection came back. The vet said he could do another surgery pretty much opening up the entire right side of her sinuses, but he said he doubted it work and ultimately recommended euthanasia. So I had to euthanize my beautiful 7 year old trakehner mare I bred from my favourite mare I had as a kid. Sinus problems are awful to deal with. I'm sorry my story doesn't have a happy ending for you, but I hope your horse ends up being ok.



  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lauren12 View Post
    Well, no? I'm confused as to how you came up with that. I think veterinary dentistry is great!! And of course there are some wonderful lay dentists out there - I have used some myself. I am not saying all are bad! However, I do feel that dentistry work, even a routine float, should be performed by a medical professional. I know a lot of equine vets don't like doing teeth, and prefer to send that work to a lay dentist, and that is fine! That is their opinion. Mine, however, is that a medical professional should perform the procedure.
    You did suggest since the OP had a bad outcome to a dental procedure that you assumed was performed by a lay dentist then the OP's example was another good reason why lay dentistry should be rallied against. It turns out the procedure wasn't done by a lay dentist but instead a vet so shouldn't we all rally against veterinary dentistry? What changed about the "evidence"? You dragged the lay dentistry issue into these posts although it wasn't part of the conversation originally.



  12. #12
    TRLMH08 is offline Training Level Premium Member
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    Coppell, Texas
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    Karosel, I am so sorry for your loss. I pray that my story does not end up the same. I will keep you in the loop.

    Toothgrinder & Lauren12, I posted my story not to throw rocks at anyone or any specific type of professional. My point is to do your home work. Not one professional or individual is the "be all" "do all". As a medical professional (Pediatric Occupational Therapist) of 25 years, I do not know it all or have all the answers. There are times that I may be working with a child and so focused on the functional use of the hand that I miss the gait pattern or sequencing the child utilizes to get to the object I asked them to pick up and my Therapy Tech will point it out to me. That just makes me a better therapist and doesn't take away from my me as a professional. Same goes for our horses. We use massage therapists, chiropractors, lay dentists, field Vets and whatever else we need to make our horses comfortable in the jobs they have. Everyone provides us with more knowledge but just one cannot do it all. My point is learn as much as you can, ask questions and most of all listen. Listen to the professionals you are consulting with and listen to your horse.
    One more thing..............What is good for one person/horse, may not be good for another person/horse. DONE!



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