Category Archives: Medical

Have you heard of EOTRH SYNDROME? Resorption lesions of the incisors… very painful.

Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 | Filed under Medical

I belong to a riders’ group and this email was in my box.  I found it very interesting… I have plenty of older horses around here and I need to check for this.  However, it can happen in younger horses, too.

The article:


This attached brochure is from GCTC members, Karrie and Vern Dunham. It was given to them by their dental specialist vet from Oregon who came down to consult with their local vet on a horse with suspected Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorbtion and Hyperementosis, or EOTRH.

EOTRH is becoming more common, and you can keep an eye on your own horses.

EOTRH Syndrome
Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis, also known as EOTRH, is a syndrome in horses that results in resorptive lesions of the incisors and sometimes canine teeth. It is usually gradual in onset, though often isn’t diagnosed until quite extensive lesions are present. Most commonly it is a condition of older horses (15+), though we have seen it in horses as young as 13.

More in-depth information.
This is a fairly recently recognized disease that can cause severe changes to the tooth roots and surrounding gingiva (gums) in older horses, most often in the incisors and canines, although some very new research indicates it can affect their premolars and molars, as well. In moderate and severe cases it results in chronic infection of the tissues and is very painful to the horse; it can also cause loss of affected teeth or enough pain that they must be extracted to allow the horse to eat comfortably.

The cause of EOTRH is not known for certain, though it appears to be correlated with equine pituitary pars intermedia dysfunction (PPID, or equine Cushing’s disease), a history of overly aggressive dental procedures by improperly trained individuals, horses that are not allowed to graze (i.e., kept on a drylot), and the presence of certain types of bacteria or other microorganisms in the mouth. Geldings seem to be predisposed. It’s theorized that saliva constantly bathing the teeth, as occurs in the head-down grazing position when horses are at pasture for many hours per day, may be protective, so incorporating this into your horse’s management program might be helpful.

The earliest externally visible signs of EOTRH are gingivitis (inflammation of the gums around the teeth) or small draining tracts from the roots of the tooth that look like pimples in the gingiva–these appear as tiny red dots initially. These might occur years before the more obvious loosening of teeth or tooth root enlargements, and your veterinarian should take note of this during routine dental examinations. Dental radiographs taken at that time might show the start of small resorptive (bone breakdown) lesions in the tooth root or the laying down of cementum around the roots, which is the body’s attempt to stabilize the teeth.

Early identification allows more proactive care and can prevent your horse from experiencing chronic pain and complications such as chronic infections. When the affected teeth become painful or loose, veterinarians recommend extraction. Often, if all or most of the incisors are affected, the veterinarian removes them completely. While it seems like a drastic measure, owners find that their horses recover quickly, are much more comfortable afterward (with previous hard keepers often gaining weight more easily), and can still graze grass effectively!”

Radiographs from UC Davis

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A video on HOW TO DETECT ULCERS in your horse?! Wow! Very useful…


A few weeks ago, I told you all that Mama Tess had an ulcer and that I was able to help her quickly by using Omega Alpha Gastra-FX and Omega Alpha Biotic-8 – which were far less expensive than the paste cures offered.  (No affiliation)

Well, now I’ve stumbled upon a video by a vet showing 5 external, EASY, physical methods to determine if your horse has an ulcer.


I think this is incredible!  Why?  Because I think many horses have ulcers that go undiscovered.  And to incorporate this simple palpation method into your daily grooming would be very easy and very helpful to your horse!


Now that I know MT had an ulcer, the signs seemed so clear.

Hindsight is 20/20.

But, I have to say, I watch this horse like a hawk (literally), and unless you know what you are looking for, you don’t know what you are looking at – if you get my drift.

Tess is chronically foundered (chronic abscesses and complications until the horrible damage heals) therefore, she has many symptoms.  They can all overlap.

You see, I’ve always known that horses will grimace due to pain.  But when MT made that face a few weeks ago, I figured it was a bad abscess.  When she started eating the fence boards at the same time, I figured it was the same bad abscess.

I didn’t connect the dots until I woke bolt upright one morning with the word – ULCER – jumping off of my lips.   Could these same pain indicators also be associated with ulcers?

Of course.

Yup, you just don’t know until you know.  This is why I’m telling you.

Also, duh, MT was on antibiotics that contributed to her gut irritation.  THAT I should have figured out earlier, but I didn’t.  So, anyway, once I did connect the dots and called the vet, he confirmed her pain was indeed, ulcers.

*As an aside, I think anytime a horse is prescribed antibiotics, the vet should tell the owner to LOOK FOR signs of ulcer, since the result of ulcer is very common during and after a cycle of antibiotics – especially sulfur antibiotics.

TYPICAL SIGNS OF ULCER (other than the palpation video which is very informative – below)

–Off feed

–Off work

–Grimace face when laying down (and they lay down more often)

–Biting wood or fence boards, grinding teeth

–Soft manure, diarrhea, gas, mild colic

–Nausea face (If you think about it, you will see it.  They look ‘sick’ and nauseous because they ARE.)


Here is a link to the website where I found the video.

Here is the You Tube link to the how to find an ulcer video.

Click to go to site

Click to go to site

Click to watch the video!

Click to watch the video!

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