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Hilarities of dental work

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  • Hilarities of dental work

    Just an observation about my silly horse. They got their teeth done yesterday, and it was the first time I had to help the vet with it (where I boarded previously was a more "full service" place and I wasn't usually there when the vet did the teeth). My old mare was such a ham! She had to get two extra tweaks of sedative, because she kept waking up and grabbing hold of the file with her teeth and rolling her eyes at the vet! And when I had to hold her tongue she was so strong she was mashing my knuckles against the metal thing in her mouth trying to pull her tongue away from me (the rest of her was standing perfectly still - just her tongue had the power of ten horses!)

    Then when I put her in a stall to recover from the sedative, despite the fact she was super drowsy she made this huge effort to search every part of the stall for something to eat, and when she couldn't find anything she stood at the door with her ears pinned back and glowered at me. She's absolutely the most expressive horse I've ever had - you always know exactly what she's thinking!

  • #2

    I had my mare done yesterday as well. My vet had me reach in to feel the teeth before she started work and after. I never thought I would put my arm that far into my horse's mouth. Ugh.... Mine also wanted to eat as I was leading her back to her pen...

    Nothing to eat in her pen, so she just turned her butt to me for her usual "butt scratch". She has me so well trained!!!
    We do not have an overpopulation of dogs, we have an under population of responsible dog owners!!!

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    • #3
      Sounds like a good mare to me, TFP.

      With our thoroughbreds, a shot and they're nice and dosey, teeth are no problem, life is good. We recently worked down the line like an assembly plant, and everyone had a nice dose afterwards.

      When my 32 year old was still around, not so much. Ace then Rompum, with her bum backed tight into a corner and two of us on her head to keep her on the stand. Instead of the ears pinned afterwards though, she just looked totally dejected Poor old girl, loved her so, but it was for her own good. Guess she loved dental work about as much as I do (had my own done today )

      Comment


      • #4
        Thought I would share my “day with the horse dentist” story.

        First, here is their website, very “high tech” in comparison to what I am used to – you know, the guy who shows up with a bucket, some float rasps and maybe a speculum:

        http://www.advancedequinedentist.com/home

        So, my appointment was for 10 – 10:30 ish. I didn’t want to be late, so at 9:45 I rounded up the herd and had them all in their stalls with hay. To kill time I did some extra barn chores. Well, every 30 minutes I would run back to the house to check the answering machine, humm, no messages. Finally at 11:30 I decide to call and see if I had the date wrong (wouldn’t be the first time). The dentist answers, relieved that I called, I guess he tried to call me 3 times and had the wrong number – he was on an emergency call, with a horse with a fractured jaw. I said no problem, I’ll just keep the horses in til you get here.

        Finally he gets here at almost 2:30 to meet my now rather peeved ponies (because they have been in their stalls on a gorgeous cool spring day). He pulls in with the big rig – it is so cool, a big trailer with stocks inside, and all the power tools, generator, sink, computer, A/C, fans, and power winches to raise/lower the two ramps (back and side). Very impressive. The head rest thing is the best invention ever. These guys are really bright, they actually patented the stocks inside the trailer and other equipment that they have designed, so that if anyone wants to do what they do, they will get royalties. I liked the “mouth rinse” system also, they have a sprayer and a big funnel-like thing attached to the drain, they hold the funnel over the horse’s muzzle, and then rinse inside the mouth with the sprayer, and the water goes in the funnel and out the drain under the trailer – very cool!

        So, I decided we should do the problem child first, and lead Peppy out of the barn – he is bug eyed and snorting at the trailer. The dentist gives him his first “cocktail” and we proceed to try to load him – HA! It took about 20 minutes, with a butt rope and another shot of tranq – not that either shot phased that horse. I won’t go into details on what we tried to get him to load (and I knew he was going to be difficult), none of it was mean, just not good “training”, if you get my drift (butt ropes, tried a blindfold, hand walking his feet up one at a time. . . ). So, we finally get him in the stocks, and he is still living up to his name. So, out comes the 3rd shot – a bit stronger stuff this time. He starts to mellow out, until the speculum comes out – oops, back to wide awake. 4th shot. Now he is starting to be a bit more co-operative. I should add that he has never been power floated before, so that was adding to his agnst. Luckily, this dentist has this high tech rig, and has learned by trial and error what works – he has a “seat belt” that goes over the horses head (around the neck down near the shoulders) and attaches to each side of the stocks – which are firmly bolted to the floor. The seat belt came in handy the few times that Peppy tried to rear up in the stocks. OK, the teeth are done, now for the sheath. Out comes the 5th cocktail, to get him to relax and drop so they can get the bean out. Ah, finally all done, teeth and sheath look great. The dentist is very kind, saying that Peppy is not his worst client yet – whew. So, we put him back in his stall to sleep off his “drunk”.

        Next comes Munchkin, the sensible child. He is also breathing hard at the trailer, but he wants to know what is inside, so he would cautiously approach it and lower his head to sniff the ramp. He got his ONE low dose tranq, marched right into the trailer with only one minor hesitation, and was an angel through the whole thing. I felt bad because he had horrible hooks on the outside of his molars, he actually has some calluses on the inside of his cheeks, and a few sores in there – poor little guy! It was interesting to be able to see in there and have the dentist explain everything to me in detail. He also did Munchies sheath, well worth the money. The dentist really liked him a lot, said he would be the perfect clinic horse – humm, maybe in 6 months I should see if I can get my neighbors to come and watch and call it a clinic, maybe get a deal on the service call.

        As we lead Munchie back to his stall, Peppy Monster is starting to perk right back up – he is NOT a cheap date!

        Last but not least is Sizzle. Good old girl, she is so funny, she actually dragged me up the ramp before the dentist was ready for her because she wanted to see if there was anything to eat in there (yeah, like she is starving – hahaha). She got her ONE mild tranq, marched right into the stocks, and was also a good patient for the whole ordeal. Well, she sort of “sat back” twice, but nothing bad. Considering again that she has only been hand floated all her life, and defiinitely not as often as she should be. What was interesting is the dentist did ask me if I was sure that she was 25, because her front teeth look more like a 28 year old horse. I said, positive, I have her papers to prove it. She still has all her teeth, but a few molars are slightly displaced, which causes some pockets where food can get trapped. This dentist was good, didn’t over float, taking her age into consideration, and was really good.

        As we lead her back in to her stall, Peppy is now wide awake and yelling for dinner! The dentist was amazed that he was that perky so quickly (5 shots of tranq, back to normal in under 2 hours).

        What was very cool is that later, after they all recovered from the tranq, I fed them, and could actually hear the difference in their chewing.
        There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

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        • #5
          LOL Twofatponies...got a giggle out of your description because it sounds an awful lot like my mare was getting her teeth done. She had to get "elephant sleepy juice" due to her hatred of anyone mucking with her mouth...and then would still try to give the vet crap during it.
          And she'd also be stumbling in slow motion around her stall...eyes half close, all wobbly and bottom lip hanging like a full baby diaper trying to find a single wisp of hay. You could hear those huge rubbery droopy drugged lips going "Fwap, fwap, fwap" in slow motion from her stall. The she'd lean on the wall and sleep it off...but if she heard the hay room door open those lips would fwap in her sleep looking for hay...even though by then they were hanging in the bedding, LOL!

          My funniest floating story was the first time she got floated...and the first time my hubby saw a floating. He has sensitive teeth and was already pissed at the vet for making his Darling Mare all droopy and drugged...when the vet started rasping he got a look of true horror on his face and loooked at me with eyes bugging out and whispered hoarsely, "Sweet Jesus, make him stop that...my poor baby girl!"
          You jump in the saddle,
          Hold onto the bridle!
          Jump in the line!
          ...Belefonte

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          • #6
            Last time my 4 yo had his teeth done, he got heavily doped. We left him in the stall to recover, and he woke up just long enough to stumble across the stall, stick his nose in the feed bin, and realize it was empty. We were working on the next horse, when I heard snoring...He was asleep, standing up, leaning against the wall, with his head in the empty feed tub! Funniset thing I've even seen from him.
            www.kentuckysidesaddle.com

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            • #7
              Ok so most of my teeth floatings are totally normal, a good cocktail and they sleep right through it. But then there was Colin! The only horse I have ever seen that enjoys his teeth being floated (hand rasps and power tools). You had to back him into the corner just so he wouldn't lean into the poor vet that was working on him. He would keep his mouth open and stretch his lip out (you know that "oh yeah thats the spot" stretched lip) and thoroughly enjoy the entire experience. You would think he would have been mouth shy as he had an unfortunate accident at the breeders and ended up having to have half the right side of his mouth sewn shut permanently. Wierd wierd horse that one was.

              Comment


              • #8
                I think if I loaded my horse onto a trailer, got her all restrained in stocks and a seatbelt, and proceeded to mess with her mouth, I would never get her on another trailer in her lifetime. She doesn't like people messing with her mouth

                She takes quite a bit of sedation, and usually needs topping off part way through. She always looks so pathetic and dopey, and then if the power float hits a noisy spot, her "eyebrows" kind of raise up, concerned. You can see her thinking "Huh!? Sounds scary... maybe I should? ... ehh, nevermind."

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Good gravy, munchkinsmom - that is some rig you describe!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Did you check out the website? It shows a photo of the trailer.

                    It really is designed for the horse, dentist, vet and owner in mind, doing dental work in Florida in the heat of summer can't be fun, being in a trailer with A/C is the way to go.

                    I didn't have any trouble loading my horses into my own trailer after the dental visit, they can tell the difference.
                    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Wow! That service is actually coming to my barn on Friday. I didn't know they had this setup, this is my first time using them. A new customer of mine recommended him and she never mentioned this rig.

                      They are doing her horse and one of my schoolies. I am glad that my niece's horse Gus isn't due yet, he doesn't load well so I may end up having the other dentist work on him to avoid the loading problems.
                      Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                      Bernard M. Baruch

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Great stories! That rig is something else. Wished my vet had a heated version of that and I bet he wished he did, too. Not everyone has a nice (heated) barn to work in this time of year. He does manual floats, not power, but it would still be very nice to have. Work great for the repro exams, too.

                        I should email him the link. Maybe he can ask his wife for it for Christmas. (She would LAUGH!!)
                        A Merrick N Dream Farm
                        Proud Member of "Someone Special to me serves in the Military" Clique

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Since when is it okay for a dentist to sedate a horse? I thought, unless they're a liscensed vet, it's very risky, and probably illegal?

                          I certainly would have a huge problem with a dentist having to sedate my horse. I'm definitely NOT into the whole power-tools-required thing for teeth floating. Honestly? Sounds like a money making scheme if you ask me.

                          Then again, I've never had horses with terribly difficult teeth. I'm of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' school. Current philosophies talks of changing the incisors, not simply rasping off hooks and leveling off grinding surfaces of molars... Friend of mine had someone who subscirbed to these 'new' philosophies regularly do her horse's teeth. Watching them attempt to graze was pathetic...
                          ....................................
                          ETA: Okay... I've just read their website, and I'm completely baffled. They have a vet there to sedate, only charge $99, and *include* sedation? For that price? In that rig?... Speechless. Have no idea how they're able to pull that off...
                          Last edited by Sansena; Dec. 11, 2008, 07:02 AM. Reason: more

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                            Since when is it okay for a dentist to sedate a horse? I thought, unless they're a liscensed vet, it's very risky, and probably illegal?

                            I certainly would have a huge problem with a dentist having to sedate my horse. I'm definitely NOT into the whole power-tools-required thing for teeth floating. Honestly? Sounds like a money making scheme if you ask me.

                            Then again, I've never had horses with terribly difficult teeth. I'm of the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' school. Current philosophies talks of changing the incisors, not simply rasping off hooks and leveling off grinding surfaces of molars... Friend of mine had someone who subscirbed to these 'new' philosophies regularly do her horse's teeth. Watching them attempt to graze was pathetic...
                            ....................................
                            ETA: Okay... I've just read their website, and I'm completely baffled. They have a vet there to sedate, only charge $99, and *include* sedation? For that price? In that rig?... Speechless. Have no idea how they're able to pull that off...
                            Well, that is just for the routine dental floats. They also do other work, like broken jaw repair, fixing broken teeth, etc, that all most likely costs a pretty penny, and because there are so few dental specialists like that in the area, they get called in a lot for those emergency cases. They were telling me about some of them while they were at my place.

                            Also, I bet the sedation might be for a single coctail, after that they might have to add a bit to the bill.

                            I'm out of their service area, so it cost me a bit more than the "special" price they are currently offering.

                            They also will do hand floats, and I was a bit concerned about the power tools at first, but since I was sitting there watching them work, and they showed me the problems before, and then showed me the results after, I was pretty impressed. There can be some hacks out there that could do a bad job with power tools, but not these guys.
                            There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                              Since when is it okay for a dentist to sedate a horse? I thought, unless they're a liscensed vet, it's very risky, and probably illegal?
                              That is awful cheap for such a fancy service! Wow.

                              Our floats get done by the vet (power), thus the sedation. The vet said if the local dentists (who do manual floats) need sedation, they coordinate with a vet to join them. That would be well over $100 right there, and that's in a cold unheated barn, not a fancy rig...

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Sansena View Post
                                I'm definitely NOT into the whole power-tools-required thing for teeth floating. Honestly? Sounds like a money making scheme if you ask me. <snip> ... Friend of mine had someone who subscirbed to these 'new' philosophies regularly do her horse's teeth. Watching them attempt to graze was pathetic...
                                That's a shame. I've had the immense pleasure of learning from a prof. equine dentist friend of mine and watching her work many times. She uses the power tools to great success, but also uses the hand tools as well. She works on everything from severely neglected rescues (obviously, once they're stable enough to sedate) to very high caliber performance horses, and I would never hesitate to recommend her to anyone. They ride straighter and chew a whole lot better afterwards!!

                                Perhaps the dentist your friend used was subscribing to some crazy philosophies instead (lord knows there's enough out there! ) To me, changing the incisors makes sense... if your horse's incisors are so long that they obstruct the grind along the length of the jaw, there's almost no point to doing anything else in the mouth.

                                Our dentist coordinates with the area vets to get it all done... some horses are better about it than others, but I can guarantee it's not a money making scheme - that equipment costs SO much
                                Last edited by sniplover; Dec. 12, 2008, 04:40 PM. Reason: 'from' to 'to'
                                RIP Adriane, aka Eyesontheground, 6/4/83-9/14/09
                                Proudly owned by:
                                Veronica II (Vienna Waltz/Woermann)

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