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[RC] equine dentists - Kathie Ford

Well, since I'm looking for horsecamps, thought I'd wonder on into the dentist posts.
Just had one of our mares floated at the vets.  My vet also does the dental.  He came  out to give them their rabies and check all their teeth including my 4 year old.  I've been checking her since I've had her and yes, she did develope some sharp hooks already.  Pluse we were able to keep an eye on how her teeth/jaw were developing.
Our mare Dolly had developed a couple o sharp points on the molars in the very back of her mouth.  So we took care of those.  She was pretty good about the whole thing.
I had been lucky enough in the last 2 years to have assisted an equine dentist who would come out here once a year to work on some horses.  I learned a lot and saw first had what she was doing.  I would not have even known to ask my vet to check the very back of my horsess' mouths had I not worked with her those couple of times.  She is also a vet.  Worked with USET during the Olympics in Atlanta.
Anyway, Dolly our little mare was suddenly not keeping her weight as well, and was a little fussy with her head.  Sure enough she had the points in the back that developed.  I had her teeth checked yearly too.  Luckily, since my vet also does the dentistry (which I didn't know until recently) he said to bring her in.
Did a great job, got to see the before, during and after, and could see and feel the difference.  Her weight is already better and she has full range of motion again with her jaw.
The gal I worked for previously is Katherine Burnette.  She lives in Spokane Washington.  She told me she used to be skeptical about equine dentistry until she started really hearing and noticing results and positive feedback from clients.  Now she does more of the denistry rather than the "vetting" in her practice.  She said it was also rewarding to hear that the horse was more comfortable and performing better after treating various horses.  She said some folks not knowing the horse had a tooth issue, would get "after" their horse thinking it's just a bad attitude or bad behavior, when in a lot of cases she saw, it was the teeth.
She said the points in the back can be like needles if the horse tries to flex at the poll or even try to come on the bit proberly.  So she likes to give the animals the benefit of the doubt first.  When she took history, and vitals, she also wanted to know of any certain "behavioral" differences.
Anyway, I'm for equine dentist work, but I do think we have to be careful of whom we chose to work on our horses and make sure the folks doing the work are highly skilled professionals, and vets.  Have to be careful and know how and what type of sedative to use.  They give small increments and as little as necessary and each horse was different about that.
Ironically, the arabs were usually the best to work on.  Warmbloods and some TB's had a weird reaction to the sedative.  They'd be fine one second than pull back and fling their head.  I had to be real careful as I was the one helping the horse!  Got good at ducking and then getting them straightend up again pretty fast.   Best part of the job was keeping the horses calm and comforting them.  Loved that!  Like they were my own!
hope this made some sense as I'm pretty sleepy.
take care and hug your horses!


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