anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial medication. If any invasive
procedures were performed, such as wolf tooth extraction, molar or
premolar extraction, or bar osteophyte removal (removal of boney spurs
from the bars-the lower spaces behind the front teeth and the cheek
teeth-which the bit rests upon), then Tetanus immunization status is
verified with the owner or barn manager, and given if indicated. If
there have been major extractions, etc. anti-inflammatory meds. and
anti-biotics are given to be on the safe side, and often more are
dispensed to be given for the required time to allow safe healing.
tranquilization. A relatively new addition to my procedure is the reversal
of sedation, whereby I give an injection of an agent which restores the
patient to full awareness and coordination within just a few minutes,
greatly decreasing the danger of stepping out of the work area onto a
smooth concrete aisle, especially for shod horses, making the trip back to
the stall, and beginning to consume hay and/or grain easier and maybe
Recommendations for aftercare and provision of written record.
As the patient begins to
come around, the written record (dental chart) is completed by either me
or someone assisting (perhaps my wife, Dawn, my son, Joe or another
helper), including advice on feeding, time off if necessary (rarely),
medication, and time period recommended for re-check. If we found
ulcerations in the cheeks and it has been a year, then I advise checking
at six months, etc. A few individuals, especially younger ones less than
eight years, actually have pretty sharp points causing holes again in
three to four months!
dental charts are three part, the white copy is for the owner, the
yellow copy for our dental patientís primary care veterinarian and we
retain the pink copy for our records. Our contact information is also on
our charts for client feedback, questions, referrals, etc.
This work on the rows of
cheek teeth is where some of the large variation in fees charged comes in.
If the horse has been blessed with the inheritance of nice, straight
arcades =(rows of teeth), then the amount of effort and therefore the fee
will be much less than if we find big problems requiring much grinding of
offending teeth. This is why the first-time (for thorough dental care)
horse will very often be considerably more costly than a "re-do" (a horse
that has been done properly within the last few months.)
Yes, they do need help every
few months (6 to 12) because the incisors and the molars continually erupt
throughout the life of the horse, and the diet is very abrasive, (grass
and hay contain silica, tough stuff) so that points and major
malocclusions tend to recur continually. The more frequently the
corrections are made, the easier it is to do. The occlusal surfaces of the
teeth (the grinding surface) will always meet halfway between the space we
create between them and their opposing mates, within the first few months
after the corrections are made.