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Tooth Abscess - Update, pg. 2

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  • #21
    Wow, Auburn. I am so sorry for what happened to you and Belle. What a terrible, tragic loss. And KellyS, I remember reading Traveler's story - how incredibly sad for you. He sounded like a once-in-a-lifetime horse.

    My experience this year with a friend's horse has been exasperating. She purchased him about this time last year. Before she got him she told me he had this draining wound on his face...I told her it was probably an abscessed tooth and it would be a big pain in the a$$. Unfortunately I was right. Her horse has had multiple minor surgical procedures, most done with standing sedation. When the tooth was first removed, it unfortunately shattered into a million pieces. He required multiple procedures afterward to remove pieces of tooth that were still in there. Finally, after 8 months, her horse went to Ohio State for a CT. They discovered a piece of tooth that was right up against the bone that would never have been visible on standard X-rays. It was removed, and he is finally healed.

    In my experience, antibiotics alone frequently do not take care of the problem. It may improve for a period of time, but the infection usually comes back.
    ~Nancy~

    Adams Equine Wellness

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #22
      Update

      So we went for Xrays today....

      Just to catch everyone up...we had started on antibiotics after the initial diagnosis of a tooth abscess, and while he was still discharging from one nostril. However, after consulting with the equine med. center for the Xray, we stopped the antibiotics 5 days ago, the theory being they could get a better idea of where the problem was coming from and what all was involved. However, the discharge had stopped after only 4 days on antibiotics and has not returned in the last 5 days he has been off them. We took him in for the Xray anyway because we knew something was up.

      So, the Xray shows a possible (likely) broken root at 209 (4 molars in). However, since he does not have any symptoms at the moment and is eating fine, they advised taking him home for now with no antibiotics, which can mask the underlying issue. If (when) the discharge returns, we are going to take him back in and have the tooth removed. As many of you have mentioned, the vet said it is unlikely antibiotics alone would resolve the problem.

      To remove the tooth the vet said they would probably go through the sinuses as it affords a better opportunity to really see the problem and clean out everything thoroughly the first time. He said pulling the tooth from the mouth in this case leaves more likelyhood of re-infection later because the sinuses could not be cleaned out as well.

      So...now we wait and see what happens...

      Hope that helps anyone else who may find themselves in this situation.

      ...and I may add, someone said this earlier in the thread but I think it is wise and bears repeating...find the best place you can to have this situation assessed the first time out...Having seen the Xrays, talked to the vet at length, and knowing the care he will recieve if it is necessary, is priceless piece-of-mind that I am doing the best I can for him.
      Wiiliam
      "A good horse is worth more than riches."
      - Spanish Proverb

      Comment


      • #23
        Bumping this old thread to see how you made out?

        Slightly concerned this is what im dealing with now. No discharge symptoms and vet was not visually able to see anything. Started antibiotics and am scheduled to have X-rays done on Monday.

        Currently symptoms are the swelling in the upper jaw ( which tells me is an upper tooth) and a fever. Fever has been addressed and all is normal now but, the swelling is still there. Feeling fine, begging for dinner ( although, I always feed soaked feed) and seems to be managing all his hay. Chews a bit gingerly however.

        Vet was completely honest that he has not had much experiance with this ( and hes been with the practice for YEARS). So, should I call my dentist? Let the vet do it? or by pass everyone and go directly to the hospital ( xrays depending of course).

        Horse in question is 12 for what its worth. So Im afraid he still has some strong roots.

        Im glad I did some investigating. I really thought it was no big deal but now im getting myself worked into a tizzy.

        Comment


        • #24
          Interesting. I dealt with that with my mare two years ago. Smelly nasal discharge from only one nostril. Without xrays at first, my young vet was pretty sure it was a tooth abscess and although the mare was already on penicillin, she put her on TMZ (?) as well. The discharge disappeared. Digital xrays showed the problem at the first upper molar. We took her to a clinic and they did a wonderful job. They did not cut her jaw but used http://academyofequinedentistry.word...fractured-307/
          Since she is a draft x, I did not want to use GA. They did it with her standing in stocks, tranq'd. It took about 2 hours from start to finish and she came home 3 days later. No special diet. She got off the trailer and went straight to her field..
          At the clinic, the vet had inserted some kind of packing between the two teeth. That packing had to be changed every 2/3 weeks (by my own vet). She was kept on abx for about 6 or 8 weeks. The packing was smaller every time since the gum was healing and coming level with the rest of the mouth.

          Last March, I noticed again some discharge, same nostril. Once again, she went to the clinic to get her sinus flushed every day for a week. Apparently, some food had got stuck behind the next tooth and made a tract into the sinus. She came home with a worse discharge than when she left and still on abx. However, a week or two after the end of the abx, the discharge disappeared and she has been fine all summer.
          The clinic dentist suggested we check her teeth every 6 months to make sure they were kept straight and level so that no food could get stuck if the gap increased. No need for a float in October.

          She does have the intermittent glob of whitish discharge (and a bit of a smell), but it disappears. We can put her back on abx if need be.

          She was 18 when it first happened.

          I really liked the fact that there was no hole at all in her head (no bigger than a knitting needle and when she came home, I could not even tell where the hole had been!).

          Believe me I was a wreck at first... but the clinic explained everything to me when we dropped her off and were great at keeping us informed.
          Good luck.

          Comment


          • #25
            Originally posted by cb06 View Post
            So...now we wait and see what happens...
            I would also suggest keeping 309 well floated so that it has minimal contact with the infected tooth. This approach seems to reduce flare ups of infected teeth once they are treated with antibiotics.
            http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

            Comment


            • #26
              I had this happen to my childhood pony, absess ended up involving 2teeth. When they got in there, they had to take 3 upper molars because he had a birthdefect and the 3rd tooths root was on an angle.

              So 1x3 inch hole right along his cheekbone. Literally took the gardenhose to his face 2x a day to clean out any junk that got into his sinus cavity. Another issue that we found is that he couldn't suck water from a bucket due to the open hole. After all the junk cleared out of his sinus cavity, he would close his mouth and drink until he had his fill.

              He recovered really well, we won the 4-H state high point later that summer, and is still kicking as a lesson pony at 28 years old. The surgery happened in 1993, when he was 9.

              Comment


              • #27
                My 30 yo broke a canine/wolf tooth off at the gum line a year ago. Dentist (not DMV) said it was fine, not bothering him.
                Then he chocked two months ago.
                Then they found a broken tooth part in the loafing shed. Questions was:did I want the dentist again or a vet.
                I was not going to let anyway touch anything without xrays, and specifically jaw xrays. So I got vet out, she took xrays and he had a "spongy" jaw bone.
                She ended up pulling three teeth. I never did learn what the spongy jaw bone was, she was kind of vague, so my guess it was part of an infection and the reason she ended up pulling three teeth instead of the conservative route she was originally going to do(only the wiggly one). These were all front teeth so special surgery involved.
                I'm glad I insisted on the X-rays. It cost 7xx (along with uveitis exam for my other horse), so it was worth it.
                I have the three teeth in a baggie in my frig. I plan to bleach them. They are much smaller than I thought a horses teeth would be.

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by Chall View Post
                  My 30 yo broke a canine/wolf tooth off at the gum line a year ago. Dentist (not DMV) said it was fine, not bothering him.
                  Then he chocked two months ago.
                  Then they found a broken tooth part in the loafing shed. Questions was:did I want the dentist again or a vet.
                  I was not going to let anyway touch anything without xrays, and specifically jaw xrays. So I got vet out, she took xrays and he had a "spongy" jaw bone.
                  She ended up pulling three teeth. I never did learn what the spongy jaw bone was, she was kind of vague, so my guess it was part of an infection and the reason she ended up pulling three teeth instead of the conservative route she was originally going to do(only the wiggly one). These were all front teeth so special surgery involved.
                  I'm glad I insisted on the X-rays. It cost 7xx (along with uveitis exam for my other horse), so it was worth it.
                  I have the three teeth in a baggie in my frig. I plan to bleach them. They are much smaller than I thought a horses teeth would be.
                  The only reason they are small is that with your horse the teeth are almost wore out. Otherwise on a younger horse they are more then 3 inches long. Good thing you had the vet out to look at the teeth. Often times just lay dentists ignore that type of thing because they don't have the resources to deal with it so they just ignore it. Without xrays and sedation your horse would have really suffered.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    We have Xrays today at 1:00. Some people are saying it cost a couple hundred others, a couple thousand. Hopefully after the xrays I will have a better idea of the monetary impact this is going to cause and the maintenance pending on what route we need to take.

                    IDK initially I was not as concerned, I mean its a tooth for goodness sake. Hes feeling fine (once we got the fever under control) stopped the banamine yesterday and no temp. In fact, he has not displayed a temp since Friday. I am sure the drugs had something to do with that so I wanted to see how he was feeling without them.

                    When I called the vet on Friday the entire side of his face was swollen and he had a temp. Vet got caught up and was not able to come out until Sat morning. By then the fever was down and the swelling was much more centralized in a specific area.

                    He’s still cleaning up his hay and grain and is as bossy as ever. So that makes me feel better knowing he’s at least feeling better regardless of what’s going on internally.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      The surgery 2 years ago cost $1600 or so at the clinic, but the previous vet visits, follow up visits, abx, etc, and trailering pushed the total to just about $4000. Like you I said, it's only a tooth and you don't put down a perfectly loving horse (who did not seem bothered by the whole thing but stunk up the barn)... Last spring, I reached the same total with the sinus infection/flushing. The total at the clinic for one week of daily flushings was $2600. Again, add vet visits to the farm, abx and trailering...close to $4000K again.
                      My horse is now 20 so insurance would not have covered her and would probably would not have covered the sinus (which was deemed related to the tooth...)
                      There will be no more surgeries and the DMV dentist said that she had show horses clients with a chronic sinus discharge. They can live many years just on abx and probiotics...

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Chall View Post
                        My 30 yo broke a canine/wolf tooth off at the gum line a year ago. Dentist (not DMV) said it was fine, not bothering him.
                        Then he chocked two months ago.
                        Then they found a broken tooth part in the loafing shed. Questions was:did I want the dentist again or a vet.
                        I was not going to let anyway touch anything without xrays, and specifically jaw xrays. So I got vet out, she took xrays and he had a "spongy" jaw bone.
                        She ended up pulling three teeth. I never did learn what the spongy jaw bone was, she was kind of vague, so my guess it was part of an infection and the reason she ended up pulling three teeth instead of the conservative route she was originally going to do(only the wiggly one). These were all front teeth so special surgery involved.
                        What possible bearing does a canine tooth breaking off a year ago have on a 30 year old choking 2 months ago? How does it become a referendum on lay dentistry? Sounds like your horse is suffering from incisor periodontal disease. Pretty easy to recognise. Old horse...loose incisors...thickening bases around loosening teeth...sensitivity to touch...red, irritated gums. Here is an article that was written by a lay dentist and describes incisor periodontal disease .

                        http://www.holistichorse.com/index.p...ontal-diseaseq

                        And here is an excellent explanation of the diseases progression and treatment. It's instructive that the first step in treatment of this disease is properly floating the molars arcades to allow the mouth better and proper function. The most fundamental procedure, floating, is the cornerstone of proper equine oral care!

                        http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/dvm.../detail/632539
                        http://www.traditionalequinedentistry.com/

                        Comment


                        • #32
                          No referendum on lay dentists, I was as skeptical of the vet just pulling the teeth as the lay person. What I wanted was an xray of the jaw, not so much the teeth. I was worried about the jaw bone becoming infected.
                          Choke and teeth : if bad teeth result in improperly chewed food then I assume a higher risk of choke. That's me as a lay person making that assumption.
                          What prompted me to move on the xrays was the horses tooth broke off at the gum line, and when they found another tooth part they thought it might be the same tooth. That didn't make sense to me (as the tooth was already broken at the gum line) so I went for the xrays.
                          Thank you for the links.
                          P.s. He is seen twice a year by the dentist and is retired out of state so I'm not there to monitor him.

                          Comment

                          • Original Poster

                            #33
                            Originally posted by SuperAlter View Post
                            Bumping this old thread to see how you made out?
                            Just saw this and thought I'd update. No re-occurrance, so we have not had to do any follow-up. Horse seems fine, eating fine, last float showed no issues...knocking on wood. . Hope all comes out well with your guy.
                            Wiiliam
                            "A good horse is worth more than riches."
                            - Spanish Proverb

                            Comment


                            • #34
                              Thanks !

                              Vet took X-Rays. Its the first premolar, upper left side. The x-rays showed what looked to be almost no root left. Granted, he had to point it out to me and admitted he has very little experiance with teeth.

                              X-rays have been sent to New Bolton to get another opinion ( and this is where he will get the surgery anyway).

                              He was able to get into his mouth ( figured since he was drugged anyway) and it visually is pretty nasty, blood and the gums are black surrounding the tooth, although the tooth is not loose.

                              I am hoping if the root really is decayed as badly as what the vet thinks it will be easier to yank out, that and since its the first tooth the leverage might help too.

                              Heres to hoping anyway!~

                              I am hoping we make out well. The horror stories had me in a panic attack, I dont know what I would do if I lost him to a tooth. I am glad things worked out for you cb06... its reassuring!

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