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Spitting up blood? Update: cracked tooth

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  • Spitting up blood? Update: cracked tooth

    My BO's wife just called me to tell me that my horse has been in for about 15 minutes and was spitting up blood (dropping hay with blood on it, BO stuck his hand in there and felt blood). They told me that he's acting otherwise normally and wants to eat, and I gave them the go-ahead to call the emergency vet, but I'm freaking out and I can't get out there for at least an hour because my husband's at work and has the car. Can anyone reassure me that this is something simple like an abscess or tooth issue, or is this sometimes a symptom of something else more serious?

    UPDATE: Well, he had his teeth floated today and the vet found a cracked tooth. She drew a diagram for me of the crack but I haven't gotten to look at it yet to know all the details--couldn't get off of work to go to the appointment today, sadly. She did say that any deeper and she would have put him on antibiotics, but she thinks as it is, it'll be okay and we should just keep an eye on it. Poor boy--that must have hurt like heck. Anyone know anything in particular I should be watching for? I know she already talked to the BO about care and left me a note, but I'm impatient and can't get to the barn until Saturday. (: I figure I'll make the poor guy a nice squishy warm bran mash or something...
    Last edited by SarahandSam; Nov. 12, 2008, 08:11 PM.
    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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  • #2
    Take a deep breath! The horse could have bitten the inside of its cheek or tongue, for example. If the blood is not running out in buckets, but merely smeared or dribbled on your hand or on the hay, it is probably a small quantity. If he's eating and so forth, he is probably not in much pain nor losing blood in a dangerous way. Can someone shine a flashlight in there to take a closer look?

    Jingles, too!

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    • Original Poster

      #3
      Thank you... I will shine the flashlight around in there as soon as I can leave the darn house... I think I'm more nervous because I have to wait.. I'm hoping it's just a cut or something because he's due for a float--I left a message with the vet a couple days ago to schedule one, actually. So I think I'm just having a heart attack because the BO was trying to keep me calm and that just makes me panic...
      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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      • #4
        If it's just a little bit in his hay, he probably bit his cheek. He may have knocked out a tooth, or maybe had an abcess in there that popped... but likely is just going to need some preventative antibiotics and soft food for a few days.

        Deep breaths.

        If it was gushing out...well that's another story. But in that case, they probably wouldn't have just caled and asked if you want them to call the vet...
        Strong promoter of READING the entire post before responding.

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        • Original Poster

          #5
          Thank you. I'm trying for deep breaths. Then again, I'm still waiting for the last emergency vet bill to arrive since this same darn pony got himself kicked in the head a month ago. Whyyyyy does he want me to prematurely age?
          "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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          • #6
            Sounds like he either bit himself or maybe even poked his mouth with some hay or something. I wouldn't worry too much.
            Tell a Gelding. Ask a Stallion. Discuss it with a Mare... Pray if it's a Pony!

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Okay, thank you all for your calm practicality... the vet determined he does have some sharp edges and needs a float and probably just cut/bit himself, though three people with flashlights still couldn't find the actual wound. But he stopped bleeding and went back to loudly demanding his supper, so he seems to be recovering well, as is my cardiac rate.

              Ironically, the phone call I ignored while the vet was there tonight turned out to be from the vet I left a message with a couple days ago, asking for an appointment to get his teeth floated. Sigh.
              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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              • #8
                Sarah I don't want to be an alarmist.... PM me if you want...

                But I'd have the doc pull blood, and keep a very close eye on him over the next few weeks.

                Will jingle for you guys.
                We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                • #9
                  How old is this horse? Is it possible he's just breaking through new teeth?
                  2016 RRP Makeover Competitor www.EnviousBid.com

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                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    He's a youngster, around 4 or 5, so that is a possibility. His regular vet is going to be out floating some of the BO's horses' teeth today, so she added him on... hopefully now we'll find out for sure. (:
                    "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Put an update in the first post...

                      On a side note, are cracked teeth usually pulled? I get the impression that for whatever reason the vet wanted to leave it at the moment, but I haven't read her note or talked to her yet... looks like as I read more about them online, I see a lot of people saying they should be pulled, and other sources saying to file them down/let them fall out on their own... I trust my vet, and want to hear what she says, but want to know a little more about whether it's probably still painful for him or not. Apparently he's eating just fine, though the BO isn't giving him his usual sunflower seeds, figuring that wouldn't be so good...
                      "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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                      • #12
                        Poor horse - ouch. I hope he will heal OK and quickly. Best wishes!

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                        • #13
                          Yay Sarah I am glad to hear it is just a tooth and nothing else! Excellent news.
                          We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

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                          • #14
                            Well, I'm glad that my boy isn't the only one who does dumb things like fracture teeth!

                            Here's my story....
                            Back in late April of this year Chevy (my Mary 2003 gelding) ran into "something". It resulted in a horizontal fracture of two lower incisors on the right side of his mouth, just below the gumline. Since the fracture was that low, it exposed the pulp cavity. My regular vet referred me to my equine dentist (Dr. Tom Johnson). Dr. Johnson cleaned everything up, treated the pulp cavity to make it clean & sterile again, filled the pulp cavity (just like a human filling) and then took off the broken part of each incisor. Because the teeth are NOT done growing in the 5th year, Dr. Johnson is letting the teeth regenerate. Also, since the pulp cavity WAS exposed, we put Chevy on SMZs for a bit over a month plus a gram of bute twice a day for 3 days. Digital radiographs on the day of initial treatment by Dr. Johnson revealed that the roots were fine and the pulp cavity of each incisor was still wide open (so the tooth still had a ton of growing to do). This was early May.... in mid-September we took another set of digitals to make sure everything was healing okay. Dr. Johnson also cleaned everything up under the gumline to prevent decaying. We still have more repair work and filling to do but it can't be done until each incisor is a couple of millimeters above the gumline. So it'll probably be late summer/early fall of 2009 before we can do the last of the fillings.

                            Is the fractured tooth an incisor or molar?

                            Oh & as far as letting the tooth regenerate vs. pulling. The first option at the younger age is to try to let it regenerate. But it'll depend on the pain level & if you can keep the infection away. If you can swing the cost of SMZs... you may want to consider putting him on that for a month. I've seen another horse go through major mouth abscess issues after a tooth injury that didn't have antibiotic treatment. The poor horses went through hell and pretty much soured in the bridle because of the pain he endured. Luckily, my young gelding, Chevy.... is healing up GREAT and has had absolutely no complications. The only issue we had was head sensitivity with getting the bridle on & off plus he did NOT want to take contact with the right rein for over a month post injury.
                            *bad shoulder clique * Member of "OMGiH, I loff my Mare" Clique! * Proud owner of a CANTER Cutie!
                            My Horses; COMH Page; My Blog

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                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks for the well-wishes for him, FG, BTR and Onetempies. (: Maybe I'll ask about getting SMZs again just to make sure--he just got off them after getting kicked in the head, might as well get right back on. d; I'm not sure whether it's a molar or incisor--how many are incisors, just the ones right up in the front? I'm assuming a molar but haven't gotten to see yet. Wish my barn was closer and that I had a working car at the moment... sigh. Onetempies, hope Chevy continues to heal up well--thanks for your thoughts.
                              "Remain relentlessly cheerful."

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