A few weeks ago, the vet came out for our annual Coggins/rabies/FEC/dental day, and I get some less than great news about the state of the boy's teeth (refresher, for if you forgot), specifically Jack and his EOTRH. I immediately called up to schedule both Jack and Trigger into the vet hospital for the necessary x-rays and extractions, and due to how booked up they were, that appointment wasn't until last Friday.
Unrelated media - all four of the feral kittens we've been taming are off to their new homes and I am LIVING for these updates. They are all in GREAT homes where they are spoiled friggin' rotten and I LOVE IT.
And because if I didn't have bad luck I wouldn't have any luck at all, the prior Sunday my truck had to go to the mechanic for some basic maintenance that very quickly spiraled into a clusterfuck of epic proportions (as in it's still there and we have no timeline on when it might be done UGH). Thankfully, my neighbor was more than willing to jump in and give us a ride up to the hospital. Due to covid concerns, they aren't allowing clients to accompany horses for procedures. Also I guess they don't usually WANT clients to watch teeth extractions of this nature, so we made a handoff in the parking lot in the pouring rain, and I told my boys to make good choices. My mom recently transferred from the small animal hospital to the equine department, and I was hoping to get some pictures of the process. Trigger had one cracked molar removed, and Jack had all of his top incisors removed.
I should have remembered that my mom is the worst at taking photos so this is literally all I got of the entire day.
These were some of the rads they sent me, they're supposed to send more (and if they do I'll add them here). I'll admit to being wildly unfamiliar with trying to read dental rads (I'm more familiar with legs lol), but apparently two of the top incisors were fractured and came out in pieces.
I won't lie, I was kind of a walking bundle of nerves waiting to hear some news about them that morning - neither of them are spring chickens (Trigger is 23 and Jack is 25), but the vet called me at noon to tell me that everything was done and both procedures went well. We were able to pick them up (again, my neighbor is a hero) in the afternoon once the sedation wore off a bit. I got a goodie bag full of teeth and meds and lengthy discharge instructions. Both horses were perky and happy loading in the trailer, and when we got home, Jack immediately dragged me over to the grass to start trying to gum it. He also kept doing this weird licking thing, I imagine his mouth felt pretty different without all of those teeth!
mmmmm bloody teeth. Trigger's lone molar on the left and Jack's incisors on the right.
In case you wanted to know what $1K worth of teeth looks like!
I was under strict instructions to soak their food, rinse Jack's teeth holes daily, and also make sure they got their painkillers (both of them) and antibiotics (just Jack). Of course, despite eating soaked food for the last 5+ years (Jack has been on supplemental beet pulp and alfalfa pellets for ages, and we started Trigger on them this winter when he seemed to be struggling with his weight a little), they've both decided that soaking their (expensive) senior feed is UNACCEPTABLE so I've been scraping a lot of slop back out of their corner feeders and tossing it in the manure pile... assholes. In the beginning I was crushing the pills up and sprinkling them on their feed, but I was worried they weren't getting all of it. Yesterday I just dropped the whole pills into Jack's feed and he ate all but one of them. Today I tried crushing up the pills and dissolving them and attempting to syringe the pills (mixed with a bit of syrup) into him, but I ended up wearing quite a bit of it. So I guess it's back to sprinkling the pills on top and praying.
Mouth holes this am. Note the leftover antibiotic residue on his lips and the top of his nose was sticky from the syrup lol.
The vet who pulled the teeth will be out Friday to check him, so we'll talk about it then I'm sure. I'm getting most of the pills into him, I think, and he's certainly happy and perky and appears to be feeling much better. Every morning when I bring him in from the pasture he DIVES into his alfalfa, which is something he's never done before. And he's definitely grazing at night, based on how much grass I flush out of the holes.
The vet said his bottom incisors will probably need to come out next, but they weren't nearly as bad as the top incisors so we can hold off a bit to make sure he's fully recovered from this round before we worry too much about them. We discussed his weight and my concerns about some of that, and we're hopeful that without those painful teeth, he'll eat more and put some pounds back on (he has free choice third cutting alfalfa in his stall all day but usually only eats a flake or so). Since the extraction he's regularly going through about 3+ flakes now, yay!
I'm gonna have a lot of horse tongue photos to go with all my dog tongue photos!
Trigger will have a follow up appointment in a month to remove the packing from the molar hole, and they noted he also lost a molar on his own on the other side, so they want to check on that root in about 6 months and make sure it's still not causing any issues.
Trigger would like to go on the record that his only issue is not being able to reach Jack's feed bucket to clean up his leftovers.
At any rate, despite the cost and the PITA factor of meds and flushing mouth holes, it was obviously completely worth it to keep my old men healthy and happy! And I got to learn more about a medical condition I've never heard of, so you better believe I'll be watching everyone else's teeth like a hawk from now on.
That just seems really traumatic, and yet he's like oh cool thanks! Where's the food?ReplyDelete
I'm glad things went smoothly and that everyone is feeling better!
I was so worried about getting feed into him (well soaked feed is obviously still a problem lol) but he dove face first into forage right off the trailer! I guess he's more resilient than me 😂Delete
From past experiences of horses getting teeth ripped from their jaws (COUGHCOUGHOPIE), it seems like mouths heal up really quickly! The tongue sploot kills me. I was talking with a local rider who switched her horse from eventing to dressage right when he also got diagnosed with EOTRH and they wanted to take out all his top incisors as well, but she was worried about his tongue dangling out in tests. Fortunately they were able to compromise and only take a couple out. I'm hoping that's going to be my luck, too. Or, you know, he could just KEEP all his freaking teeth!!ReplyDelete
Yeah I could see that being a concern for a competition horse! Thankfully Jack is 25 and so so SO retired so he can hang his tongue as much as he wants, lol. Fingers crossed opie's is lower key with less bloody teeth being yanked out! 🙃Delete
Aww poor old dudes, glad that they'll be pain free in the mouth soon and much happier to boot (also who doesn't love tongue pictures!)ReplyDelete
I mean, I know *I* love the tongue photos but I'm sure some people get tired of them 😂 but I'm very happy they're more comfortable!!Delete
I wish there was an emoji to accurately convey my facial expression of shock-disgust-amazement-repulsion. Dental stuff skeeves me out like nothing else can. So glad for the pain relief granted from it all though!ReplyDelete
I probably should have put a *gross pictures ahead warning* haha. But yeah, ick! I am so pleased with how much happier they both seem, while simultaneously feeling guilty for not realizing there was a problem! Despite being reassured by the vets and techs that there was nothing else I could have done sooner (they were checked regularly and then booked in for this appointment as soon as I was made aware of the problem), I still feed bad!Delete
Woof I am so glad they came out of this so well! I'm glad that they're adjusting quickly and hoping your old men will eat a lot better nowReplyDelete
We have a checkup Friday, but he definitely seems to be doing well!!Delete