ridecamp@endurance.net: Re: my horse's visit to the dentist

Re: my horse's visit to the dentist

Linda VanCeylon (LVanCeylon@vines.ColoState.EDU)
Tue, 15 Apr 97 9:50:38 -0600

>Date: Tue, 15 Apr 1997 02:07:58 -0400 (EDT)
>From: Tivers@aol.com

>Well, now we're into the anecdotal, but, hey, I'm game. How did this top
notch endurance vet realign the left knee, pray tell. Some kind of surgery
just a laying on of the hands?>

There are some top notch Vet's out there, and not just Endurance Vets
getting into all kinds of alternative therapies. Around here there are
non-degreed technicians as well. Chiropractic is "laying on of hands", so
is massage, rolfing, and TTEAM. These methods all work to some extent or
another. Maybe not every time, but enough to convince me. And, I might
add, just as often, or maybe more so, that traditional Vet Med.
Unfortunately, there are not enough Vets taking these therapies seriously.

< I've never seen a knee realigned.>

Maybe a shadowing experience is in order here. Jim?

>Truman, in the Standardbred game, this is one of the very basics--the
thing you do when a horse goes on a line is check the mouth. But hey, it's
not a religion and doesn't require a tooth fairy.>

Oh yes, this is the old nickel, dime, dollar game. I've played that one.
The vet says "Yep, we've gotta float every one of these horses' teeth, once
a year. Twice is better." Sure, better for the Vet's pocket book. The
average Vet will tranq each horse, stick a file in his mouth and rub it
around for 3-4 minutes. Then proclaim "that should do it" and charge you
$40 per head. (But, if you happen to have a horse that hasn't been handled
much, mysteriously, that horse "doesn't need it right now").

If you get a Vet that actually knows or cares a little something about
Equine Dentistry, they will probably find that the guy that charged you
$40/head did little or nothing in that 3-4 minute routine. Often your
horse needs a lot more work. Not everyone has access to these specialists
and MANY regular Vets don't even own a tooth float.

I'm convinced a specialist is the way to go on teeth. I never go to the
doctor to have my teeth done.

>>Clearly fixing the tooth did not immediately fix the legs - it took time
for the legs to heal. But if the tooth had not been fixed, it would have
done no good to fix the legs.>>

>What's amazing is that the mouth problem was neglected so long that it
hind leg problems.>

Not so amazing in the above scenario.

>>In the endurance horse if you don't fix the root cause - you don't fix
problem. In the case of the horse above the distance between the root
cause and the soreness was about four feet as was the case with my mare.>>

>In any athlete, human or equine, if you don't diagnose the problem
accurately, then discover the etiology, then eliminate the, sometimes
multiple, causes, you're just playing games. It is very rare that today's
right fore lameness does not originate in the right fore. At least to the
extent that when you see the horse nodding at the trot, the first, second,
third and fourth examination areas do not include the mouth.>

Head Bobbin' lameness is not necessarily what we deal with in Endurance.
The subtle, chronic lamenesses are the ones we must learn to conquer before
they become acute. They don't always manifest themselves in a way that
blatantly points a finger at the problem. The mileage can bring out
problems that would never be seen in other sports. Not even good Endurance
Vets have the background to diagnose most problems of this sort. Even the
so called Lameness Vets here at CSU can't diagnose those problems.
Reliable diagnostic tools (infrared & nuclear) are not available to the
majority of endurance riders. But, if they were, might only show a
secondary manifestation. Reliance on the more intuitive side of Veterinary
Art is then our recourse. (Or, shown success, even our first choice).
Thus, we may find a seemingly illogical root cause, as with the tooth
scenario. Hooray!

Tom, you must remember that in the race track game you are dealing with
younger horses with fewer miles, than with the average endurance horse.
Black-and-White versus Grey.

Linda Van Ceylon

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