Last week Little Alf had a visit from the Equine Dentist which he wasn’t very pleased about… No matter how many times I explained to him that he had to have the dentist for his health, he didn’t want to listen – but can I blame him? No, I personally don’t like visiting the dentist and I think a lot of us can relate.
Although we don’t like visiting it’s one of those things we have to do and so does Alf. All four of my horses last week had their teeth checked and it was Alfie who had the most work required.
I think he knew the dentist had arrived, as soon as he heard the car pull up on the drive he started to misbehave in his stable and trying to get him to stand still was impossible. So he had to be ‘sedated’ which was a separate story in itself…
For anyone who doesn’t know what horse sedation is – it’s an injection, which the vet gives your horse or pony to settle them down. If they inject the liquid into a vein it’s only a matter minutes until it starts to work – ALWAYS confer with your vet if your horse needs to be treated.
When the dentist finally managed to get some sedation inside Alfie, he soon began to settle down. We then put the metal brace around his head and opened up his jaw. Some people may speculate as to whether this is uncomfortable for your horse or pony. However to have the equine dentist treating your horse or pony has proven to be pretty painless and usually, your equines will feel so much better after having their teeth rasped and sorted out.
Once the metal brace was in place, it was my job to hold up Alfie’s head. He was watching me the whole time and I don’t think he was very impressed at someone sticking their hand in his mouth but hey ho, it’s a must and it’s important Alfie feels his best. As the saying goes when you feel your best, you look your best.
Upon inspection of Alfie’s teeth, he had lots of sharp pointy edges which needed rasping down or else they could cause him further discomfort. Alfie also had an ‘over shot’ jaw due to him having dwarfism, so he needed the front of his teeth rasping down as well to make sure they didn’t cause him any issues.
Once his teeth where rasped down they looked and felt a lot smoother and it was time to unclip Alfie and remove the metal brace. The whole process took just over 10 minutes – I think Alfie thought he took a lot longer but once his sedation had worn off he seemed a lot happier!
It’s important you get your horse’s teeth regularly checked and it is advised to have an equine dentist every 6 months unless they tell you otherwise. Your horse’s teeth are something we can’t often see, especially the teeth located at the back of your horse’s mouth. If your horse shows any sign of issues from not eating to extra saliva, it’s really important to call your equestrian dentist or vet to get them checked out.
by Hannah Russell
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