Friday, September 28, 2012

Teeth Floating

Dr. Neil Ruppel of Lodi Vet came out this week to do some teeth floating.  Many people don't realize that a horse's teeth continue to grow, at a fairly rapid rate, throughout its lifetime. When the teeth grow, they can come in unevenly, and get ground down unevenly when the horse chews. This is really why floating is required. (And it's also my excuse for not seeing my dentist for 5 years-- my teeth don't grow!)

 It was Annie's first time, and I was super nervous because she hates stuff in her mouth. Luckily, sedation took care of everything!

First a check-up, vaccinations and sedation.
"Jaws of Health" keeps the mouth open.

Then a "mouthwash" flush

Head gets hoisted up with a winch and padded halter. Vet probes for sharp points and uneven teeth

Say "ahhh!" At four, Annie just has some sharp points.

Scary-looking "drill" grinds down the sharp or uneven places. Note the vet's headlamp!

Mr. Strut's teeth were worse-- four uneven molars. It took a while to get 'em ground down! It looks and sounds rough, but don't worry, it doesn't hurt, it's just uncomfortable. I told Dr. Ruppel I was surprised vets don't wear masks, with all that tooth dust floating around. He laughed and said he was surprised too.

Drunken horse -- took her 15 minutes to walk veeeeerrry slowly out of the barn.

Soooo sleepy
Dr. Ruppel says that, in this poor economy, more and more people are skipping dental care for their horses. "It's short-sighted," he explained. "They may be saving money now, but they'll probably end up spending more later." A horse that doesn't get dental care for years can't be fixed up overnight-- several sessions are often required to get the teeth back in shape. That means more vet calls, and more money. If the poor horse develops abscesses or sores as a result of bad teeth, that means even more expense. Finally, the teeth can get so bad that a horse becomes thin. When that happens, sedation becomes more dangerous.

So don't forget folks-- get your horse's teeth taken care of!

P.S. Dr. Ruppel looks a little like Neil Patrick Harris.

1 comment:

  1. That's the third time NPH has popped up this week. COOOMEEEEE MONDAY COMMEEEEEE! *begs television*
    Hehee drunken horse. I love her color in that picture!