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Sinus infection from tooth root infection?

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  • Sinus infection from tooth root infection?

    Hi, I'm new here but have been lurking for awhile now. I have a 25yr old exracer, who started with a thick white discharge from one nostril yesterday morning. Was only a small amount, never came back that day once I wiped it. This morning there was quite a bit in that one nostril only, I wiped it and right away was alot more. But did go away for the whole day, checked her a little while ago and it's starting up again. I called the vet earlier today and they're coming out tomorrow to examine her and take an xray, she thinks it's sinus troubles from an infection in the tooth root.

    My question is if it is an infection in the root of the tooth, does this mean there's a possibility it'll need to be removed? The vet seemed to think since it was presenting in only one nostril it was the tooth, if it were both nostrils she'd lean more towards a respiratory illness. Is there anything else in your experiences that this could be? Would sinus troubles from a tooth only show up with the discharge during what seems to be only evening/early a.m. hours? The mare is fine otherwise - no fever, eating/drinking great, bright eyed, full of p*ss n' vinegar lol, etc. I dread her having to have a tooth removed, she's a horror about things with her mouth she's "known for it" at the vets If it needs to be done, it will be. I assume they'd pull it right here at our barn, right? She's the type of TB that needs enough sedation to knock down an elephant & stills fights it when it comes to her mouth, then trots off high headed once let go {of course once vet leaves, she's nearly falling over drunk, sigh}... if they can't for some reason do it 'cuz of that, could I be facing bringing her there? I'm worried about this on many levels. Just looking for other's experiences with this sort of thing, any and all input is appreciated.

  • #2
    Discharge from tooth infections are usually not white......more pale yellow to greenish and often smell.



    • #3
      I knew a horse with a bad tooth infection once years ago. It SMELLED. It smelled like something crawled up the her nose and died. Lots of nastiness coming out of her nose...

      The trainer let it go on for months even though he knew what it was. The horse seemed fine for all that time. When they finally did the surgery, they had to drill through her skull to extract the tooth. The mare came out of the surgery fine, but then had complications and died a few weeks later.

      Calling the vet is the right thing to do. If you catch it early, you can treat a lot of those infections with antibiotics so not to worry.

      Good luck!


      • #4
        Welcome to the club! Look at the thread "Tooth Extraction". http://www.chronofhorse.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=274467
        I am dealing with this right now.

        My mare had the yellowish and very smelly discharge from the one nostril (it started as a watery orange discharge on the Friday, but by Sunday/Monday, it was egg yolk looking and it stank). We started her on penicillin right away and sulfa the next day (our vet had just been in touch with one of the OVC (vet college) professor/vet who said they used both antibiotics together). The smell disappeared within a couple of days and the discharge stopped as well. We did a scope, a visual exam of the teeth which showed that everything looked normal (yes discharge, but not in the guttural pouches). We had to wait a week to get a portable digital xray machine, which confirmed that it was a root tooth abscess.

        Did it look like this? http://i339.photobucket.com/albums/n...m/ac4e0b42.jpg

        We are in the process of getting a better time line and estimate from the clinic to remove said tooth. I have not heard from either my vet or the surgeon today (but my vet was sending the cd last night). Hopefully, I will hear tomorrow.

        I don't want to hear of the horror stories (like the previous poster!!!) or some on my thread. I want to remain optimistic that we caught it early, treated it effectively and we are going to remove it asap.
        I am a nervous wreck though. My mare is 18 and a fairly substantial draft cross. She is not the best traveler either. Sigh!!

        Good luck.


        • #5
          At 25 it would be unlikely to be a tooth. At that age their tooth roots are generally fairly short. Not to say it couldn't be, but unlikely. The first method of treatment in almost any case of tooth root infections is 3 weeks of antibiotics unless the tooth is actually loose and has puss around it when they do the exam. In those cases, the tooth will come out realatively easy say in 30 minutes or less. Pulling a tooth in a 25 year old tooth is much different then a tooth in a horse younger then 20.


          • #6
            Thanks everyone. And thanks for directing me to that thread FalseImpression, I found the shared stories there very educating as I don't really know anything about equine dental problems. I'm the sort who'd rather hear the horror stories and know what could happen so I'm prepared somewhat and more aware of what/should done, of course always hoping for the best!

            My mare's discharge doesn't look like that of what you shared in the pic False. The discharge she's getting is white and thick, there's really no off color to it either just white and seems to only be appearing during the evening and early a.m. during the day nothing. There is no smell to the discharge either. Am hoping it has nothing to do with her teeth and maybe is just a little cold or something. Vet said she'd be out before noon tomorrow to exam and xray her, I appreciate your input folks and will share what she says. All fingers, toes and hooves crossed it'll only be for antibiotics... especially after learning a bit of the other end of the spectrum with this sort thing


            • #7
              After a week on antibiotics, she did have a few "goobers" that were white and non smelly. When we cleaned her nose, it did not come back right away. The earlier discharge was like a tap, drip, drip, drip... Now, no more discharge, no smell but the xrays did show a problem with one tooth.

              I don't mind knowing what could happen, but the 4 days of tapping almost sent me over the edge!! But, true, there are not that many plane crashes either... Let us know what the vet says!!! My mare was sedated for the digital xray, but they only used a twitch for the scope and dental exam the week before (well, they did give her something, but she was bright eyed and perky ears the whole time).

              Good luck!


              • #8
                When they take the xray False, is there anything in their mouths? Or is it just a snapshot taken from the side with nothing? All the vets, it's a multi vet practice, who've had to work on her mouth figures she had some sort of trauma in her life with the way she reacts. I've owned her for about a year. She's even horrible with any sort of tube meds, like wormers, etc. She's an absolute mushy love otherwise with very good manners, even just the exam will be horrible for her tomorrow hate to think what it'll be like for her and am praying she isn't too big of an arse and cooperates.


                • #9
                  Nope, nothing in the mouth. She was sedated so that her head would be still. The tech was holding the machine on one side (the no discharge side) and the vet was holding the plate on the other side, close to the jaw. But we needed a digital x ray machine. I don't know if my horse in particular (Clyde x) has thicker bones, or as a rule for a skull xray, digital is better. Your vet may still do a visual exam with the "?" whatever they call the medieval device they use for floating. Mine is ok for wormers and other meds (my BO has done ALL the medicating and says, she can go out in the field and do it w/o a halter!).

                  She only had something in her mouth the week before for the visual dental check up and they twitched her to do the scope through the nostril. She argued a bit, but not long. She let them do it, until she decided "That's enough, I am done". They were done, just triple checking!


                  • #10
                    Similar symptoms in one of my retirees.

                    Did a course of antibiotics. But it came back. Decided against tapping.

                    His teeth at the back are really worn down, below the gum line in fact, and food stuffs get stuck under the edge of the gum. He's 27 y/o.

                    Vet said at this point it's chronic.
                    I make this horse's food really sloppy. I have a big syringe so when he gets the white, snotty drip, I can flush his mouth out.

                    For this old guy, no surgery, just staying on top of it.
                    Did find a "breathe" supplement that worked wonders in the summer to combat the snots. He's the only one on the farm getting a supplement, but if it works...
                    You're entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts!


                    • #11
                      Well the vet just left, she had a full exam and I caught everything early thank goodness. In one of the mare's back molars she had a deep cup and food was getting stuck in there. Vet gave me the option of a course of antibiotics with it most likely coming back at some point down the road or the antibiotics and doing a "diastema widening" today, basically drilling a channel between the two molars so food can travel thru rather than pack in & get stuck there. Opted to have it done today, why wait for it to come back or even the root to get infected, weight loss or something and have it turn into a bigger expense and more pain for her. Per the dr. a mash tonight with some bute and Tucoprim, antibiotic, for the next 5 days for the starting of her sinus infection. Was happy that she "somewhat" behaved for it, I had tucoprim {that stuff's pricey, urgh} on hand from before and that the cost wasn't that bad. Thanks again everyone, I learned alot here on the board regarding all this stuff


                      • #12
                        Is Tucoprim the same as sulfa/trim? I think mine is called TMS?? (the vet bill says sulfa/trim - 500 mL - $52.65 - We are on our second bottle).

                        Glad to hear your problem could be solved so quickly and easily!! I only wish...
                        Still waiting to hear from the surgeon. My vet emails me on a regular basis and will get in touch as soon as she hears from him. I really would like to get it done next week if possible, because the week after, trailering won't work.


                        • #13
                          Glad to hear it was no big deal. Tucoprim is cheap. 5 day supply which is 200 grams is 20-25 bucks from the vet. What did they charge u for the drilling?


                          • #14
                            I have no idea if Tucoprim the same as sulfa/trim False. The tucoprim is $50 here davistina, we must be in different regions. Whole thing was about $200, including farm call of which $50 was.


                            • #15
                              Maybe they gave u a large tub of tucoprim and u will have 5 days left after the treatment. The vets cost on the 5 day supply is only 12 bucks.


                              • #16
                                That was a very reasonable call.

                                So far, my vet bill for two visits stands at $515.78 (including xray of pasterns for ring bone)
                                Our vet call is $52 + $40 professional fee (whether she is here 10 minutes or one hour) x 2 - 4 rad study was $145 (even though they took many more than 4), endoscopy ($62.50), dormosedan ($12.29), antibiotics $52.65. To this, we can now add the 13% tax. Grr!
                                I don't have the bill for the digital x rays (which should be steep as they had to "hire" another clinic with the equipment ...)

                                I am not complaining as I have not had ANY vet bills in years other than xrays for ringbone (04 and 06) and regular vax/herd health. I was due...

                                I wish it had been as simple as yours though... and there would not be a surgery looming.


                                • #17
                                  Hey False Impression I have you beat by a long shot for a dental extraction and sinus infection. Over $10,000 and counting.....Yep no mistake. Just brought my mare home from Guelph 2 days ago.

                                  After two and half months of battling first a unilateral nasal discharge, that cleared up with 10 days of TMS, only to find approximately two weeks later that a small cyst that erupted on the side of her face which produced white thick mucus and pus that literally dripped down to her nostril we tried yet another anti-biotic and another and another. Some of these drugs were costing me over $200.00 PER DAY!

                                  I had finally had enough...after two veterinarians at home could not clear this up we shipped her to OVC. Had a thorough exam, full set of radiographs of her head, teeth checked (again), culture done and still nothing. She had a foley catheter placed into the open hole in her head and was sent home with yet the fifth type of antibiotic in hand. Instructions to lavage the site daily and keep an eye on the discharge.

                                  10 days later, NO improvement, back to OVC we go. This time our wonderful surgeon suggested an MRI to be done on her head to see what exactly was going on in there. What the heck...its only money at this point right? Sure enough there it was as clear as could be...a tooth root infection. Physical examination did not detect it, my Veterinarian at home (who specializes in dentisty) could not find it, no one suspected a tooth infection although it appears to be one of the leading causes of sinusitus in the horse. Heck even the horse did not appear to be bothered by any of it. She never stopped eating and looked great through the whole thing.

                                  Anyway back to my story......so here I have my horse at home standing in her stall with a bandage wrapped around her entire head and wires coming out of the side of her face that are holding the dental packing into the now empty upper tooth socket to prevent any food etc from going up into her sinus cavity and re-infecting the whole area. The good news is that for the first time in nearly three months she is actually OFF the antibiotics. She looks a little sorry for herself and will remain on stall rest for the next two months but at least that darn tooth is gone!!!!!

                                  Oh and did I mention this is the second tooth extraction we have had done with this mare? The first time not quite as bad as this but still almost as expensive. I am now starting a collection of horse teeth if anyone is interested in seeing them......


                                  • #18
                                    oh God, nooooo....
                                    My vet thought tooth root infection right away on her first visit (and she just graduated in April!! , but only the digital xrays showed which tooth.
                                    She never really showed any discomfort and behaved normally, except for that smell... I guess I can't complain about the cost of TMS then... I am only on my second bottle!
                                    I am still waiting to hear from Dr. Watt at CEH and I really was hoping to do this next week as I can't get trailering from the 12th to the 15th (and I need my BO's mare on the trailer as well or she may colic on her own).
                                    And the cost!!! Here goes my renovation money...

                                    Good luck to your mare and to you!!!


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by FalseImpression View Post
                                      Is Tucoprim the same as sulfa/trim? I think mine is called TMS?? (the vet bill says sulfa/trim - 500 mL - $52.65 - We are on our second bottle).

                                      Glad to hear your problem could be solved so quickly and easily!! I only wish...
                                      Still waiting to hear from the surgeon. My vet emails me on a regular basis and will get in touch as soon as she hears from him. I really would like to get it done next week if possible, because the week after, trailering won't work.
                                      SMZ = SULFAmethoxazole and TRIMethoprim


                                      TUCOPRIM® (trimethoprim and sulfadiazine)

                                      "Sulfadiazine and sulfamethoxazole belong to the sulfonamide class of antibacterial compounds." So, similar but not the same.

                                      It looks like SMZ are sold to the human and equine market ...in fact, the SMZ I get are labeled for human use whereas Tucoprim is marketed to the equine/pet market.

                                      I have been told by a vet in the past -five years ago that SMZ are so expensive because the manufacturer was the only one selling in the USA and it is labeled for humans as well as animals (I don't know if that is still the case). I wonder if Tucoprim is pzifer's market response to that?
                                      Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


                                      • #20
                                        hum, mine is like cherham.

                                        It says TMS on the vet's instructions and sulfa/trim on the bill. The bottle is at the barn and my BO has been an angel at doing all the meds for me... I'll look at the bottle itself when I go tomorrow, but I have not seen any mention of SMZ anywhere on the bill or diagnostic/treatment sheet.

                                        About $52 + 13% tax for a 500 mL bottle which last about 10 days.