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Tell Me About Tooth Extractions

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  • Tell Me About Tooth Extractions

    I have a 22 yr. old who is having issues with a tooth and sinus infection. We have been treating it for almost a month with 2 different antibiotics. It starts to get better ad then we regress. I have finally decided to get it pulled. I am really worried about it. In all the years I have had horses, this is the first. Is it horrible? What about aftercare? I am so stressed. Help!

  • #2
    We had one with a sinus infection that eventually had to have a tooth removed. He was on numerous antibiotics, then we flushed his sinus, then the tooth was removed through a hole in his sinus, then the bone got infected and we flushed his sinus again, then he got a fungus infection. Yup, it was ugly and time intensive. However he is now 23 and doing good. It took a year and a half to get him well. The tooth removal was the easiest part of the whole mess. I can only think that we had the worse case scenario and everything will turn out fine for you. After care was pretty easy. We fed him mush until the hole that the tooth came out of filled in. They used dental wax to keep it clear of feed, etc. Wishing you the best of luck!

    Comment


    • #3
      You will need to be sure to have his teeth floated more frequently, at least for as long as he has teeth to float. The tooth below where the missing one is will not have any wear on it and will continue to grow faster than the other teeth.

      Punching out a tooth is not fun for any of the parties involved but until it comes out, the infection won't clear up.

      Comment


      • #4
        There's not much tooth left on a 22/23yr old, doubtful that the opposite tooth will become an issue.

        I just had a molar extracted on a 4yo, and an incisor extracted on a 3yo. It's MUCH more difficult on a young horse, as the roots are full length. Your old boy should do just fine.

        BTW, we had to drill out and punch out the molar on my 4yo. That wasn't fun, but she is SO much more happy. The tooth was rotten.
        Hopeful Farm Sport Horses
        Midwest Breeders Group
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        Comment


        • #5
          I almost had to do this with my oldster because he had a cracked tooth that caused a sinus infection. He was on SMZ's, penicillin, and gentocin with no real results. Finally my vet mixed up a solution he called killer red and we nebulized him with that for a week or so and it finally went away. So far it hasn't come back so hopefully the tooth is no longer a problem.
          McDowell Racing Stables

          Home Away From Home

          Comment


          • #6
            We are on round 3 of sinus infection in one of our event horses. So far he has had an egg size cyst removed from the right sinus and he stayed clean for only 6 months.

            Then a tooth from the right side, a flap surgery on the left side to clean out a fungal thing, also a tooth removed from that side. He spent 30 days in the hospital on antibiotics and a fungicide in Dec, now he is again in a bad way. He is streaming yellow from both sides now. He is back on antibiotic and the fungicide as his left nostril was beginning to smell.

            Now what???

            What is in Laurierace's Red stuff?

            He's a doll to be around, anyone can ride him, and he has advanced level experience. He still has plenty to offer as a schoolmaster. He is 14 yrs old this year.

            Comment


            • #7
              It would be extremely unusual for a 22 yr old horse to have a sinus problem from a tooth problem. At that age their roots are usually not that long. It would be extremely rare to need to have a tooth punched out on a horse that age. What number tooth is it? Have you received any second opinions? Your vet might be correct but there are a few things I question. Also, how was the tooth diagnosed? X rays? Digital?

              I do agree with your vet putting the horse on antibiotics for 4 weeks to try to prevent the need to get it pulled. A lot cases can be solved, or managed this way. Sometimes the infection comes back, but if it only comes back every couple years, the risk of antibiotics is much better then that of having a tooth punched.
              Last edited by davistina67; Aug. 11, 2011, 10:31 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Didn't mean to hyjack! Sorry.

                Our horse never missed a meal after having 2 teeth removed at one time.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tuppysmom View Post
                  We are on round 3 of sinus infection in one of our event horses. So far he has had an egg size cyst removed from the right sinus and he stayed clean for only 6 months.

                  Then a tooth from the right side, a flap surgery on the left side to clean out a fungal thing, also a tooth removed from that side. He spent 30 days in the hospital on antibiotics and a fungicide in Dec, now he is again in a bad way. He is streaming yellow from both sides now. He is back on antibiotic and the fungicide as his left nostril was beginning to smell.

                  Now what???

                  What is in Laurierace's Red stuff?

                  He's a doll to be around, anyone can ride him, and he has advanced level experience. He still has plenty to offer as a schoolmaster. He is 14 yrs old this year.
                  It was an old time antibiotic that isn't used much anymore. I can ask the name of it if you want. It has to be nebulized though. No question it is what finally got the job done with my guy.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    My gelding was 20? or so when he had an infected tooth and sinus. We tried antibiotics, which helped short term but the infection came back. We made the appointment at the vet school to have the tooth pulled, and when they xrayed at admission, the pocket of infection was gone and the vet couldn't see any reason to pull it if it wasn't actively infected. Knock on wood, it's been a few years now and no further problems. They did say it was going to be a project to get it out, because while there isn't much root left in a horse that age, there's still enough to get in the way and the tooth was still tight in the socket.

                    He was sent home with a hole in his face/sinus and a drain that needed to be flushed daily. He was a rockstar for all of it.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Oh boy I so feel your pain (and your horses).

                      I think my mare has written the book on tooth infections, sinus infections and dental surgery at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Long and short of this is that it can be frustrating, time consuming and expensive! once you start down this path.

                      My poor mares dental problems were the result of a severe facial fracture that occurred years earlier but no matter what the cause it is best to get it taken care of right away. If the sinus' are involved you are probably into surgery to get that tooth out anyway. My advice would be to take the horse to a full surgical facility and see exactly what's going on. Even with multiple radiographs and numerous dental veterinarians examining my mare the only way we actually saw the infected tooth root was by a CT scan. I have now spent over $25,000.00 dollars on all the surgeries (multiple) CT scans, surgical procedures, hospital stays, medications, bandages etc. Not to mention the time off work to handle all the aftercare at home. The good news is that she is now 100% fine.....3 seperate tooth extractions later however (all under general anesthesia).....and finally off any antibiotics. The Vets' at the hospital consider her somewhat of a miracle considering all that was going on inside her head and the fact she has come out of this basically cured. Her case has even made the medical books!

                      Good luck with what you are going through......

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        oh tooth extractions, ouch, had one last week, still sore, still swollen. ooooh
                        you were wondering about the horse......hehe

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Stop Stressing....

                          STOP STRESSING.....
                          Consider a thorough dental/sinus/GP work-up
                          AND that all starts with a comprehensive manual and visual exam,,,

                          I have been called on to extract teeth in numerous cases when in fact the
                          tooth/teeth in question were not the "root"cause of the signs exhibited.

                          Dental images can be some of the most difficult to interpret.

                          Is it really a tooth(teeth) that are causing the signs
                          In my experience the tooth is can often be sound but a deep abscess develops-
                          that is treated forever(unrewarding) until the tooth is extracted.

                          Other consideration are GP issues infection/neoplasia

                          And of course the plant or other foreign body-that could be anywhere

                          Now for the good part
                          Intra-oral extraction is my treatment of choice in 98% the extraction patients.
                          Performed standing, no holes(trephenation), no repulsions(punching) and no flaps. Quick clean as is recovery- well its all relative Especially in a 20 yo
                          As far a normal dental aftercare future molar adjustments(floating) of the opposite tooth will be inconsequential due to the age(all things being equal),
                          I believe histologically horse teeth stop growing around age 7 yrs. and eruption slows and all but ceases around age 20 -years
                          It is reported(Pritchard,et al) that it takes 2.2 surgeries to correct a
                          problem when trephenation and repulsion are used.
                          and yes I have successfully even intaorally extracted a 109 /upper molar 1 in a 4 yo-standing patient.

                          Bottom line get a good working diagnosis first -then the dentistry if required
                          for this age is usually pretty straight forward-with favorable outcomes.
                          But stop stressing...this is not an unusual condition and has good outcomes
                          It will be alright...

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Not meaning to hyjack this thread but it pertains to my situation as well.
                            My 13 year old TB (whom I've only had 6 months) had a recurring snotty nose with a smell - ick - off and on for a while. Looking through his records i notice that it's been going on for a long time.

                            Vet came out and referred me to a great horse dentist in our town and last night he took xrays. Yup, it's definitely a tooth root that is causing the sinus infection and we could see from the xrays that it would need to come out.

                            I just am trying not to stress about the after care and the possibility of problems associated with the recovery. Molar Doc, you seem to know a lot about this. Can you relieve my fears?

                            I wouldn't be so worrisome it just seems that I've had absolutely terrible luck with horse health. My first horse died after an $8,000 colic surgery last year (he was only mine for one year!!) and this new guys has had a few issues of his own. And also the first horse i had needed his third eyelid removed (sarcoma). I look at some of the people in my barn who seem to never have the vet out and I wonder WHY. I take great care of my horse. I'm goin broke here!!

                            I adore my new guy and I'm thinking this may totally help his already happy attitude. The nasal infections were making him cranky and lethargic and not himself.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              My Irish mare had one of her front incisors come in REALLY crooked. It stuck so far out that it made her look parrot-mouthed, but it was just the one top tooth--the rest of her mouth is normal. Who knows why it happened.

                              It began to be an impediment to bitting and grazing, so as a late 4yo we decided it had to go. This was, although crooked, a young, sound healthy tooth and it took a LOT of muscle to loosen it! She was in deep standing sedation, and my vet and horse dentist collaborated, each obviously enjoying the other's talent and experience, and after an hour of cutting the big ligament that holds the tooth in, wiggling, pulling, and sweating, that tooth finally gave up and came out intact. Whew! I still have it--it's a perfect, healthy tooth that just came in crooked.

                              The hole got quite stinky but healed very well. I rinsed it twice a day with diluted peroxide, then saline, then dilute Listerine. Why that combination? No particular reason, but it worked fine and within a couple of weeks the healthy, straight teeth on either side moved right over and now 7 years later you have to look closely and count to even notice one is missing.

                              It had to have been pretty painful, but the sedation plus local kept her completely comfortable and she never missed a bite of her next meal--walked right through the whole thing without a hiccup. Of course the tooth wasn't infected, which probably helps.
                              Click here before you buy.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                                Not meaning to hyjack this thread but it pertains to my situation as well.
                                My 13 year old TB (whom I've only had 6 months) had a recurring snotty nose with a smell - ick - off and on for a while. Looking through his records i notice that it's been going on for a long time.

                                Vet came out and referred me to a great horse dentist in our town and last night he took xrays. Yup, it's definitely a tooth root that is causing the sinus infection and we could see from the xrays that it would need to come out.

                                I just am trying not to stress about the after care and the possibility of problems associated with the recovery. Molar Doc, you seem to know a lot about this. Can you relieve my fears?

                                I wouldn't be so worrisome it just seems that I've had absolutely terrible luck with horse health. My first horse died after an $8,000 colic surgery last year (he was only mine for one year!!) and this new guys has had a few issues of his own. And also the first horse i had needed his third eyelid removed (sarcoma). I look at some of the people in my barn who seem to never have the vet out and I wonder WHY. I take great care of my horse. I'm goin broke here!!

                                I adore my new guy and I'm thinking this may totally help his already happy attitude. The nasal infections were making him cranky and lethargic and not himself.
                                Have you tried antibiotics yet? If so how long? Generally you want to do antibiotics for at least 3 weeks before you even think about pulling a tooth on a horse that young. The complication rate for tooth extractions is about 20% so no reason to just jump in. Also from what i remember reading, antibiotics take care of this more then 50% of the time. Of course, this is all case dependent.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by davistina67 View Post
                                  Have you tried antibiotics yet? If so how long? Generally you want to do antibiotics for at least 3 weeks before you even think about pulling a tooth on a horse that young. The complication rate for tooth extractions is about 20% so no reason to just jump in. Also from what i remember reading, antibiotics take care of this more then 50% of the time. Of course, this is all case dependent.
                                  Hi Davistina,
                                  Yes I did a round of antibiotics and I know the previous owners did too a few times. I looked at the xrays along with both docs and it looked pretty clear that the sinus area was filled with 'stuff' unlike the other other side which was clear. I would love for a good antibiotic to work but I think we're going for it at this point. I hope it all works out
                                  Thanks for the input.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by Whistler View Post
                                    Hi Davistina,
                                    Yes I did a round of antibiotics and I know the previous owners did too a few times. I looked at the xrays along with both docs and it looked pretty clear that the sinus area was filled with 'stuff' unlike the other other side which was clear. I would love for a good antibiotic to work but I think we're going for it at this point. I hope it all works out
                                    Thanks for the input.
                                    Ok, good, I'm glad antibiotics were tried. I have seen vets or dentists just go in and start pulling without doing the standard of care. One wonders if they just want the money!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Thanks for saying that/Stop Stressing

                                      Originally posted by Molar Doc View Post
                                      STOP STRESSING.....
                                      Consider a thorough dental/sinus/GP work-up
                                      AND that all starts with a comprehensive manual and visual exam,,,

                                      I have been called on to extract teeth in numerous cases when in fact the
                                      tooth/teeth in question were not the "root"cause of the signs exhibited.

                                      Dental images can be some of the most difficult to interpret.

                                      Is it really a tooth(teeth) that are causing the signs
                                      In my experience the tooth is can often be sound but a deep abscess develops-
                                      that is treated forever(unrewarding) until the tooth is extracted.

                                      Other consideration are GP issues infection/neoplasia

                                      And of course the plant or other foreign body-that could be anywhere

                                      Now for the good part
                                      Intra-oral extraction is my treatment of choice in 98% the extraction patients.
                                      Performed standing, no holes(trephenation), no repulsions(punching) and no flaps. Quick clean as is recovery- well its all relative Especially in a 20 yo
                                      As far a normal dental aftercare future molar adjustments(floating) of the opposite tooth will be inconsequential due to the age(all things being equal),
                                      I believe histologically horse teeth stop growing around age 7 yrs. and eruption slows and all but ceases around age 20 -years
                                      It is reported(Pritchard,et al) that it takes 2.2 surgeries to correct a
                                      problem when trephenation and repulsion are used.
                                      and yes I have successfully even intaorally extracted a 109 /upper molar 1 in a 4 yo-standing patient.

                                      Bottom line get a good working diagnosis first -then the dentistry if required
                                      for this age is usually pretty straight forward-with favorable outcomes.
                                      But stop stressing...this is not an unusual condition and has good outcomes
                                      It will be alright...
                                      Thanks for saying that/Stop Stressing. I wish I had read your post before I started doing it. I was freaking out!!! I took my mare to local Vet Clinic in my area and they couldnt get the tooth out. They tried standing, then they put her on the table, she came off the table lame. She said she couldnt get out and I was unhappy about the money I was paying for no results.

                                      I received strange follow up phone calls from this vet, first telling me my mare was fine and the tooth was out, and then later on in her report she would say, no the tooth isnt out! Was my reality be tested, no I did her her say that! Very frustrating, waiting for calls from them that never came when they said they would call. I ended up looking like telephone pest by no fault of my own. I asked her, If you cant get the tooth out will I still be charged the full amount and she said YES!

                                      The day I was to take her by referal to a University Vet Clinic, she calls and tells me my horse is lame.,after I was all ready on the road with my trailer. I went up there anyways, looked at her,she had been x-rayed, no broken bones, no swelling, just a sore shoulder. I took her anyways. I wanted her out of there.

                                      Took her to The University of Oklahoma and what a difference. Best care ever!!! I was still wound up but I felt so much better and realized I was in the best possible place.

                                      My mare had a tooth absess and some kind of cyst or something that was seen in the scope. I saw it and it looked like a tennis ball size, not good, tucked up high away from her sinus's , but it was quite a stressful wait just trying to find out what they could find out, is it a tumor, a cyst? a nothing, a benine? I had to wait a whole week to find anything out. They couldnt biopsy it, it was too hard to get to. It was just a whole mix of one vet telling me this and another one telling me the same but other things I didnt understand. I was a basket case.

                                      Finally when I came to pick her up the vet sat down with me in front of her xrays . He said himself and the crew of other vets all agreed it was very likely benine and no it wasnt a size of a base ball. It grew in my imagination you see as the week went by. He said it was very small, 1/2 inch x12 inch. and nothing to worry about. I was about ready to collasp on the floor from all the tension, as it left my body you know I was sure if I still had the ability to walk. This episode had been so exhausting. I learned alot, thats for sure.

                                      My question is, what the best way to take care of them after this operation. She had jaw flap thing done. Shes on Sulfameth. and bute, but I just dont feel like thats enough. Her right nostrol is leaking a little of clear non smelling liquid. Todays Sat. she had the surgery Wed. Ive figured this little drainage is normal since the inside of her nose is healing and they went through the bone. But they didnt tell me much when I left. Im calling them again anyways. I want this to heal right and do all I can to make sure of this. If you have any advise Id really appreciate it . Thanks Molly
                                      SkyDancer5000 --3rd Level

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        My gelding cracked a molar a couple of years back and it had to be extracted. They were able to do it standing, and from inside the mouth, which was MUCH more economical and less traumatic for me

                                        The vet instructed me not to let him have any hay or grass for 30 days afterwards to lessen the chance of complications. He got a soaked complete feed AM and PM. He was bored, but otherwise did fine on this diet and maintained his weight. After a month, it was completely healed up. And he was on antibiotics for a couple of weeks following the extraction.

                                        Comment

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