Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Teeth Floating Phenomenon

It's tooth time!
 I promise you I will update with last weeks SMS schooling, but the video is having a devil of a time loading onto Youtube, so until that happens I will just have to put off blogging about it. For now, however, I do have some interesting stuff to talk about. Suzie had her vet appointment yesterday for her annual wellness exam.

I will preface by saying that we are not fortunate enough to have large animal vets in this area - the closest one is a 6+ hr round trip away and the only Vets that DO come to our area come up only twice a year - once in the Spring and once in the Fall. These Vets are "mobile" so they travel all the way to my town - and surrounding areas - and provide annual vet care. In addition to this, when I brought Suzie home last year, the Traveling Vets had already been to our area and left. When the Traveling Vets came back in October, I was unable to make an appointment because I simply am stupid. I was told Suzie had been floated before I bought her, so I didn't bother to make the appointment. I am regretting that now.

Examination of the teeth - and finding some unexpected surprises.

The Traveling Vets were already at Suzie's boarding home when I arrived, they were working on the BO's two young horses. I readied Suzie up, got her all brushed out, clean, and presentable and when it was my turn, I introduced myself and gave the Vet a brief history run down on all of our struggles since I bought her. When I had finished, the Vet smiled at me but stayed quiet and I kind of looked at her like, "Did I say something wrong?" She must've seen the slight confusion on my face because she instantly divulged that she was impressed at the amount of work I had put into Suzie, especially considering she was my first horse and she commented that Suzie was very lucky to have someone like me in her life.

We started the examination and Suzie was sedated and vaccinated for West Nile, Tetanus, Herpes Virus and I believe Influenza (when I get the actual medical records emailed to me I will confirm this). Suzie was good, took the sedation very well and went to Sleepy-Land quite quickly; we took a look into her mouth and low and behold... it was a mess. Actually, to say it was a mess would have been an understatement. I never would have guessed what was next, as Suzie had never showed any of the traditional indications that her teeth were poor. She was a good eater, ALWAYS eating, never dropped food, had good poops, and never had trouble eating. Ever.

Just before starting on the filing.

Ulcers were clear as day along my poor mare's mouth and her teeth were as sharp as a knife - the vet actually let me and her volunteers feel in Suzie's mouth and I swear had I put any pressure on my gloves against her teeth it would've cut me. In addition to her teeth being ridiculously sharp, there was one of her lower molars that was 10mm high and subsequently, the top molar was worn down quite badly. The Vet corrected this molar and ended up filing it down by a whooping 8mm! Vet called her tall tooth a "castle"; I can't imagine having something like that in my mouth!! We also found three fractured teeth in Suzie's mouth and one of which was removed due to it being loose. The tooth oozed some pus and infection so as per the Vets recommendations we put Suz on antibiotics. So no riding for five days and only light riding for the first few rides back. She is also on pain meds in addition to the antibiotics. She was pretty good about the whole thing, although she did pull back and require a bit more of the "sleepy drugs" since her mouth was quite painful, especially for the pulling of the loose tooth.

Awful iPhone photo of her recovery.

She recovered quite well and when I went to check on her in the evening she was frustrated because she was having difficulty eating - I assume from the pain as well as having a completely foreign and new mouth. She kind of just rolled her hay around her mouth and spat it out and did the same with her soaked grain/antibiotic concoction. I tied the bucket up and left it overnight for her and this morning when I went out to give her her meds the grain was gone from the night before. She looks quite bright-eyed, although I can imagine how sore she is. She'll be okay in no time and I most definitely have learnt my lesson - get things done RIGHT AWAY. Don't assume things have been done and unless you have proof of it, consider it didn't happen.

The offending, and odor-filled tooth.

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