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 Post subject: Teeth
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:02 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
I have never had any of my horses teeth rasped or looked at, I do always make sure they have plenty of natural forage, and through the summer months I cut vast amounts of leafy branches which they eat fro the paddock floor, so have always hoped that their teeth should be in pretty good shape.

I have noticed however these last couple of days, bits of semi chewed hay that has been spat out on the floor where the horses have their hay each day. Could this mean a problem with someones teeth? I've never noticed it before, and of course I don't know whos doing it. Haveing their teeth rasped is something I've always hated the thought of, it looks awful.

Does anyone think that these lumps of chewed hay are a result of a problem with teeth.

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:10 am 
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Joined: Sun Sep 02, 2007 3:20 pm
Posts: 1822
Location: Norway
I think it might can be teeth-problems yes... I also hate to get the teeth rasped - but last summer I had a wonderful girl here (Iren for those who knows her). And she did sooo nice! Even Lisa who is scared of all such things - and even her face for strangers - did it in a calm way in the end....

Else lots of vets use drugs so the horses don't get scared (but in Norway vet's also often rasp waaaay more than they have to and make the teeth rounded - I don't know how it is with you..). But I guess even that would be better than so much troubøe that they get problems eating... (But I am definitely no expert - so I can be totally wrong in my thaughts..).


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:19 am 
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Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:45 pm
Posts: 788
yes, i think it does sound like teeth. i have my horses done with a special power disk, because i find that the rasp loosens old teeth. it is also much gentler. you can ask your vet if they have one.

i have a very old horse that gums hay and drops it, he does not have many teeth, and this is because he was unable to fully chew it up. i have him on a special diet, and he does well, but because of the lost teeth, the ones that grow down need filing often, as they cannot naturally grind against one another. when i first got apollo he had one tooth at the top that had grown down and was so long and sharp that it had grown and was sticking into the skin in his gum on the bottom. he was in enormouse pain.

i treat dentist for horses like i do my own, i only see them when i need too :funny: i am terrified of my teeth being done, oooooh, dentists scare me, but if it has to happen, well, then i will see them, but not befor!! ;) ;) arent i a sook!! :D

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 3:50 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
It does sound like it could be teeth, and at the end of the day you have nothing to loose by checking it out!
In my experience there are few vets who really know how to rasp properly, lucky for me I have a patient one that is a specialised equine vet and has been doing horses teeth for a very long time.
I get my horses teeth checked every year when I do my annual jabs. Most times the teeth are fine but there are times throughout the horses life when they might need teeth removed or filed so that they are comfortable and can eat properly. If you are stressed about who is going to do it, I would ask around your area as to others who have had horse's teeth done and what their experiences were. If the horse is approached with empathy and patience there is no reason why the rasping can't be done like any other routine procedure. They don't particularly enjoy it but if you give them plenty of breaks they will allow you. I have never sedated a horse for rasping and hold them loosly on a lead line while praising the acceptance of having it done. I have never had a problem this way. I don't want to have to clamp my horses mouth open or sedate him and he is very good like this as was my last horse.
It's possible that there is just one area that might be rough and grinding on the gum/inside of the mouth as he chews and when he catches it he drops the food. If he will let you, have a good feel inside his mouth, you can ususally feel the roughness. It might be an idea to watch when the new hay goes out to see which one is dropping the food.

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:43 pm
Posts: 598
Location: UK
Kirsti, Jess and Morgan, thanks for your very helpful replies, and oh Jess, bless your old horse, your so sweet.

Morgan, I will ask around for someone decent and kind, it realy does worry me. After reading Romy's diary about how she got Pia totaly cool about injections before the vet came, I'm now wondering how I can start crawling inside my horses mouth before the dentist comes, any ideas Romy. I'll probably be more stressed that my horse. Next task is working out who it is, my guess is that it's Storm as he's the oldest, we'll see, thanks again.

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:38 pm 

Joined: Sat Jan 03, 2009 11:33 am
Posts: 114
Annie,

I hate the dentist so i always stress when the horse dentist is due a visit but the horses are fine. They tolerate it really well so try not to stress yourself out about it! (easier sad than done, I know!). if you google search 'equine dental technicians + uk' i'm sure there will be a list of people in your area.

Good luck, Fiona


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2009 11:10 pm 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
Quote:
I'll probably be more stressed that my horse.

:funny: I know the feeling!

But I also have had a couple of weeks of reminders about how much my stress affects their stress... Relax, worried mama! :funny: ;)

It truly isn't that big a deal to get their teeth rasped. It doesn't hurt, and a good vet does it really quickly.

Sometimes Stardust lets John, my vet, do it without any fuss; sometimes he's not in the mood and John gives him just a light sedative to calm him down a little. And he holds no grudges afterwards! ;) So while I think your idea of working in their mouths is a great one, don't put off calling the vet while you get them ready -- in all likelihood, they're not every going to like this very much, and for me, it falls under the "necessary, but over quickly" category -- like paste wormers, etc.

And it can make a HUGE difference for them!

They can get weird physical stuff, aches, gait strangeness, all sorts of stuff going wrong when they've got a spur or something going on with their teeth.

I have had mucho dental phobia over the course of my life, too, and am paying for it with multiple dental trips and procedures (even as we speak I'm doing a chipmunk impression w/a wisdom tooth pulled on Thursday...have bone graft surgery (for the 3rd time) coming up in the next couple of months, etc.)...

The good part about all of this is that it's demystified the process for me and a lot of my phobia has gone away -- I guess this is bound to happen when you're in the dentist's office almost every week for almost two years. If you have a vet you like/trust, Annie, ask him/her to explain exactly what they're looking for, what they're doing to address it, etc. -- this may help a lot to cut down on your fear factor.

But if you're seeing bits of half chewed feed it's very likely that someone has some teeth wackiness going on that needs to get fixed -- 10 minutes, tops, and it will be done!

xoxoxo
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:23 am 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:50 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Upstate New York, USA
My horse dentist experiences are close to Jessy's. I only call them when I absolutely have to. She hasn't done such a great job with my horses and I am always hesitant to call. There isn't anybody else around here whom I could call. So when I call, I want the tranqualizer never mind the horses!
I would love to have a positive experience!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:09 am 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 8:18 pm
Posts: 4941
Location: Alberta
I'm with you Nina! I might be projecting my own insecurities on my horses, but I have never even considered floating teeth without a light sedative. Not for the horses. Now, I must say that I did have a little grinding done on two teeth to correct my bite, and this was done without a needle (much to my shock and amazement). But I've never seen horses' being floated without sedation...and have only heard of it here. I have never tried it. I'm not even sure the vet would do it.

:huh:

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:31 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:32 am
Posts: 3270
Location: New York
That's wild, Karen -- most vets here sedate only if the horse is a bit anxious...

My understanding is that it's a stress thing, not a pain thing.

Here's a site with some good info:

http://www.equidental.co.uk/equine-dentistry-faqs/

xo
Leigh

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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 12:14 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
That was a great link Leigh. I really believe it is very important for all horse owners to check their teeth at least once a year. A tiny rough spot can become a huge problem as the horse tries to avoid chewing there. As someone else said you can even get a lame horse as a direct result of pain in the mouth. I guess most of us here without bits in our horses mouth would probably not notice head shaking etc that most riders have as a first indication that something is wrong.
It is especially important as the horse ages (as also young horses where teeth are erupting, sometimes in the wrong place) as the implications to weight and well being becoming a secondary and very real problem
Karen it really is possible to float the horses teeth without use of anything other than a rasp. Obviously this will depend on the relaxed environment and to be honest the first time I did this with Morgan it was just after he arrived and green and barely broke, I asked a very competent friend to hold him while I stroked and encouraged in case he needed to be held firmly, I did not want to be the one insisting. He backed a little until he was against the wall and then just accepted that it was being done and relaxed and allowed the vet to spend some 10-15 mins rasping with breaks. It is very inetersting to actually listen to the sound of the rasp. An experienced vet will know just by the sound where the rough spots are and will breifly move over the smooth areas, working just the areas that need to be done.
My last two horses had their teeth done with me holding a loose line also. They know once it's been done how much better they feel and seem to be okay allowing it done again. I see it like a horse that has sore feet. They may be quite reluctant at first but as each trim takes place they feel bettter and better and understand the need for the trim and are happy to oblige.
If the horse has use of his head to move away from the rasp he has the ability to lean into the pressure or away from it. I see the problem coming from heavy handed rasping whereby the rasp is banging other teeth or the inside of the mouth which could cause discomfort or pain. The rasp does have to be used quite firmly but again an experinced person using the rasp will be familiar with their tool.
I have two equine vets that work in practice with each other and the one is very upfront about her experience with rasping and will rasp in an emergency but otherwise will leave her colleaugue to do the dentistry! Some vets will choose to leave the dentist work to an equine dentist as it is quite specialised. However I do feel that a vet is more qualified to do the job if they have experience. If you have an open relation with your vet, ask if you can accompany him/her to see another horse having his teeth done and perhaps then you will feel more confident having your horses teeth done. It really is not a huge thing yet so necessary for our captive horses!

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Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 1:06 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:50 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Upstate New York, USA
Morgan, can I have your vet? Will you send him to me in a package? Mine is terrible and very rough and does not answer questions. There are other vets but they will not do my area so I am stuck with her. My old horse Smokie had terrible problems afterwards and could not chew his food any more. It never corrected itself, he lost his teeth before that. Now I am wondering if it was a practice run on him. And I know for sure the vet here wouldn't do it without sedation either.

But the bottom line is I do believe it is important to float their teeth when necessary.


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:37 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
That's terrible and I have heard also horror stories of wolf teeth being pulled. I find it a fascinating subject and something I have spent time reading about as it is just another opportunity to learn more about horses.

We have an equine dentist that travels to others in my area. He is quite expensive but books his areas in advance. Maybe this could be a solution for you, if you can get enough interested parties in your area, you may be able to get one to travel.

This field is growing fast worldwide and often barefoot trimmers will work in hand with equine dentists and other similar complimantary professionals. My farrier is normally the first person I ask advice from when looking for something equine related as he has first hand exposure to many different horses and owners and sees what works well and what doesn't!!!!!

It must be devastating to have such a terrible thing happen to your horse, I'm so sorry you had this horrible experience.

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Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:43 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:58 pm
Posts: 1620
Location: Western Cape, South Africa
P.S on the vet thing.
When my horse was stabled a long way away, I would ask the vet to call in when she was enroute to someone else. So for the annual jab, I would let her know it was due a few days in advance and as soon as she was headed out on another call past me, she would call to say which day and when!
This worked really well and if it was non urgent (innoculations/teeth check/advice) the call out fee would be halved between me and the other call out. We now have all our horses in the area just about innoculated around the same time!!!!!

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Annette O'Sullivan

Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans. - John Lennon


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 Post subject: Re: Teeth.
PostPosted: Sun Mar 15, 2009 9:28 pm 

Joined: Thu Feb 05, 2009 7:50 pm
Posts: 129
Location: Upstate New York, USA
I have been trying for over a year to get somebody else to come and float my horses' teeth but no such luck. Either they don't return my call or they will not come here and trying to make it worth their while hasn't worked since other people do not have a problem with the same vet. It must just be me, I am too finicky I suppose but I love my horses and will not expose them to something unpleasant if I can help it.
I do have a new vet for general care but when it comes to teeth she refers me to the other one. We shall see what the future will bring. Hopefully a great equine dentist.


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