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Friend's yearling busted his teeth! Any advice or tips?

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  • Friend's yearling busted his teeth! Any advice or tips?

    A friend of mine has a long yearling who somehow busted all of his front teeth turned out by himself in a paddock. One broke off completely at the gums and a couple others were cracked so badly they had to remove the majority of the tooth protruding. These are baby teeth, of course, and top incisors.

    The colt is eating fine but pretty swollen. My only experience with tooth problems is my 3yo mare having a deformed tooth extracted and caring for the resulting "hole", which all went very smoothly with no complications.

    Any advice, experiences, tips to share? Hopefully his grown up teeth won't be affected and that the poor little stumps will just come out cleanly eventually. Poor baby--good thing there isn't any grass these days for him to have to use his incisors on.
    Click here before you buy.

  • #2
    No worries. This is more common than most people realize. Given he is a yearling, the adult teeth will come in and all will be well.

    My 5 year-old horse broke out 2 of his incisors 3 months ago. We just let him be and things are actually working out well. I only noticed when I say blood almost everywhere in his pen but could not find any wounds on his body. I found one tooth under his feed bucket

    The only thing to do is to flush the wounds with low pressure saline or water to keep the bacteria down and to keep an eye on behavioral changes signifying any additional pain.


    • #3
      It is amazing how well mouth and tooth injuries heal. My super-dumb gelding got his mouth caught on something or kicked and broke his two lower outside incisors off -- they were the baby teeth, just not ready to be coming out quite that early! He had some in-barn surgery by the vet to remove the tooth fragments as well as some pieces of jaw bone. It was ugly. He was off his feed for a short time, and we helped him with stuff like beet pulp and soaked hay cubes, plus soaking hay, but I think it was just a matter of days before he was eating everything like normal. I can't recall, but think we might have kept him on some NSAIDs and probably antibiotics - this horse has done so many freakish things, I can't keep straight all the meds/etc.!

      I was worried that we would have problems when his adult teeth came in, but they managed to grow in fine. When he broke the teeth, how I noticed is he had one sticking out sideways out of his mouth (he's a dark bay, almost black, so this white tooth sticking out sideways was pretty noticeable!). I always feared the new teeth might grow that way too, but no, they were just fine!


      • #4
        A mare I owned back in high school broke/lost an adult incisor on top. I had to get the tooth opposite (on the bottom) filed quite often because it would grow up into the space left by the missing tooth and there was nothing to grind it down when she ate. But she was fine!


        • #5
          My only advice would be to keep him on a very strict dental schedule, so he doesnt end up with a mess in there. Silly boy!
          "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
          The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.


          • #6
            Just keep it clean and do whatever followup was given on the discharge instructions from the vet. They can eat surprisingly well with missing teeth.

            A then 3 y.o. at our barn got her front teeth stuck on something and ended up pulling the front couple out of their sockets and then forward (so the teeth were sticking out horizontally). A literal bloody mess. The vet at the hospital said that people often miss these injuries for the simple reason that the horse keeps merrily eating away in many situations. Then the mouth starts to stink and they notice. He said that they don't need those front teeth to eat (but we live in the land of no grass so it may be less of an issue). He said hers happened at possibly the worst time in her life dentally as she had the permanent teeth but they weren't well established, or something like that. She lost a few of the teeth (permanents) eventually but seems to do just fine. They did tear up her flakes of hay into smaller pieces at first. And she couldn't have big pieces of things like carrots. Her jaw got wired so I think there was a broken jaw as well.

            Star didn't break any teeth when he broke his jaw. I was pretty religious about keeping the mouth cleaned out which I did with a hose (lo P as noted above). He's pretty cooperative though. A lot of stuff caught caught at first in the lacerations (no broken teeth, but deep lacerations behind his canines) but that got better with time.

            In the case of your friend's horse I'd want to make sure they ruled out a broken jaw. And ditto what the above poster said about being diligent WRT dental checks and care.
            The Evil Chem Prof