Dental Surprises

You know what you never want to see when you go home mid morning to meet up with the equine dentist?

Blood. You don’t want to see blood

The appointment was originally set for Friday, but they rescheduled to Tuesday which ended up being better as I had taken it off to study for today’s Medicine Boards. I started off at Panera downing 60 oz of unsweet tea in 2 hours and taking many, many pee breaks. At least I was hydrated? Anyway…. around 10:30 am I headed home for a mental break (I had arrived there at 730 am) and to meet up with the dentist.

As I walked into the barn, she must have seen my jaw hit the ground and immediately said, while her arm was up his mouth and blood was pouring out of it, “This is ok. There is nothing wrong.”

Her assistant had blood speckled on her sweater, she had it all over her arm and Pete’s chin and lips were stained red.

Now I had been fully prepared to learn some interesting things about Eeyore since I knew his mouth was a bit jacked up and he has a history of being expensive any chance he can, but Pete? I was not prepared for that.

This equine dentist is amazing and I absolutely adore her. As she finished up she was muttering something along the lines of “Dusty says go ahead and distract. Sure, says the small animal vet with dental suite, X-rays and general anesthesia” I laughed.

The offending infected tooth now removed

Beyond that one tooth, Pete was great. No wave, no hooks, no ulcers, and a mouth that looks younger than his age. He got his sheath cleaned (I always pay anyone who sedates the boys to do this for me) and a good bill of health. He will be on antibiotics and a probiotic for the next two weeks as well as but for the next couple of days, but after he awoke he was already eating hay happily so I think he is no worse for the wear.

Then she moved to Eeyore. When I got him he had a known missing upper front tooth (he has 5 instead of 6 with no signs that 5 formed at birth or after) and a sideways upper front tooth as well. Also, while Gem and Pete have gorgeous white teeth, his are black and gross.

She sedated him, he fell immediately into a deep sleep and she looked at his mouth remarking “You should have named him Cleatus”. She also noted the missing tooth but, much to my surprise, she also said that the sideways tooth was a broken off at the gum line tooth now. Damn wood chewing. She was pretty positive it will grow down and eventually be normal though.

He got so little drugs and was swaying. Big Guy is a light weight.

As for the dark color? She said that it is genetic. Some horses have teeth more easily stained by the chlorophyl than others and can be born with dark teeth. Other than that though, his mouth was quite good. No ulcers, no hooks, no wave. Pretty mundane and routine for once! She also cleaned his sheath for me finding several large beans and a lot of smegma. She recommended Excalibar Sheath Cleaner used once a month as well as sticking the hose up his sheath after every ride to keep it clean up there. With his breeding and skin color he is at high risk of penile cancers and apparently studies have shown that smegma contact on the skin increases mitotic activity and the risk of cancer sky rockets. Guess I’ll be very familiar with his junk very soon.

He should have a tooth where you can see his tongue. Along the top row you see his last tooth, move back and that gap should be a tooth

Last was Gem and I am a bit disheartened by her. She was amazing for the dental as always. She needs elephant doses of sedative, but will stand nicely even fully awake so she was given just enough to take the edge off and they did her mouth. It was over quickly and she had some hooks and the earliest stages of maybe a wave forming but that is all for her dental appointment. Unfortunately the vet was pretty concerned that she may have Cushings given her breeding, age and some recent new ridges in her front hooves (thankfully no founder or laminitis) and so we are proceeding with testing and she was pretty sure she will end up needing prascend. The nice part is that Dusty is a vet and the prascend company is running a promotion for free testing through Cornell I believe, so that won’t cost anything (we will be pulling blood on Pete and Eeyore too because why not?) and she also gave me a $35 mail in rebate on the meds too should we need them.

Barely sedated and she stood like the wonderful mare she is with a hind hoof propped and let them do their thing without budging an inch. I love this mare.

I’m bummed for Gem. It isn’t something I wanted to hear or something I hoped she would get in her early 20’s but here we are. She said that the meds make it 100% manageable and she shouldn’t even need a muzzle even with all the grass we have, so that is a positive but ugh. Poor Gemmie. Dusty will get the blood drawn and send the test off by the end of the week so we will have results soon and then I will be conferring with the equine vet about what all I need to be doing to keep her healthy and sound for another decade.

Oh! The dentist is also certified in equine chiropractic and acupuncture so I made an appointment for her to come do Eeyore mostly because I trust her knowledge and opinion 100% but also because he deserves it.

We had been on an every other year cycle for dentistry for the horses and she said Eeyore and Gem could remain on that but Pete will need yearly due to his now missing tooth so we will end up just doing everyone every year from now on. The only maintenance required for the year is the Coggins on all three and Dusty will do that for me by the end of the month. After that we will be good to go for another year!

13 thoughts on “Dental Surprises”

  1. aw that’s worrisome about Gem, hopefully tho if the test does end up positive she’ll be easily managed with treatment! it must at least be a relief to have such an awesome dentist in your corner taking care of all those different mouths!


    1. I love this vet. She used to have her own equine practice and do everything including dentals, lameness evaluations, regular care, emergency etc but had a baby last year and went to dentals and chiro/acupuncture only.


  2. Oh poor Pete! I would have freaked out walking in to see that! I’m glad that everyone else was okay in terms of teeth. Cushings in older horses is quite manageable.


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