It is the season for vets to hold their Dental Specials.
Maybe all of you know this already. I didn’t… so, that’s why I’m telling you.
Usually, they do ‘2 for 1’… Or, they might say that ‘all sedation is free’. If you have horses that are difficult to sedate, this would be good because sedation can get expensive!
I have no idea what you vet has going, but it would be worth a call. Even if you are full for December, they usually honor the deal through January if you make the appointment this month. Just make sure to ask.
Vets have Dental Specials because they want the business during the slow time of year. In Spring and Summer, they are inundated with all the other kinds of calls. So, better to get dentistry done when veterinarian dentists have lots of time to be patient and careful.
MAKE SURE YOU GET A VET WHO LIKES TO DO DENTISTRY…
My father was a dentist… I know it takes a certain ‘knack’ to understand how surfaces work together. One has to be a bit engineeringlike and a bit gadgety.
So, make sure you find out which vet actually prefers dentistry. Sure, they can all float teeth, but do they understand the mechanics and can they ‘see’ the issues? I always ask them if they like doing it.
If they don’t give me a confident answer, I move on.
Also, your local teaching vet hospital might have even cheaper specials – but you might also get a student. So, that’s up to you.
Anyway, it is rare to find an equine dentist who can do this without sedation. So, the next best thing is to find one with sensitivity and patience – as well as knowhow.
Today, I had exactly that. I have found a new, young vet who loves to do dentistry, is patient with the sedation (and the individuals in front of her), and also loves-on and talks to the horses like I do!
I lucked out! She did a great job.
THEY WORKED WITH THE FACILITIES WE HAD HERE
We did 6 horses today, but I only have 2 stalls in my barn – and MT lives in the aisleway.
We needed a space to do the work (set up the chin stand for the horse and the tools) and a recovery area (with absolutely no food available for them to choke )for a drowsy horse to stand around safely until fully back to normal.
Luckily, this vet knew MT from her stays at Loomis Basin Large Animal Hospital and was happy to see her – even if she was kinda in the way… She was happy to work around MT, which was a relief for me. I did move MT’s bed to the far back of the aisle, but MT did her share of walking around and sticking her nose into the going-ons.
I think MT was gloating. Finally, SHE wasn’t the patient!
Anyway, we ended up using the small stall as the dental room and the large stall as the recovery room. But, some horses recovered more slowly… so we then took over MT’s veranda and used that as a second recovery bay. We had a rotation going that worked well! No one had too much sedation (thank horsegods, I hate that). Everyone recovered well and didn’t seem to hate me afterwards. ;)
WHY DO EQUINE DENTISTRY?
You’d be surprised how much a mouth can effect a horse’s mood. After all, we don’t breed for the mouth… so who knows what is being passed down.
More concretely, if you horse wears a bit, do it… Does your horse have wolf teeth? Does he have sharp hooks and points that dig into his cheek while eating? Is your horse a difficult keeper? Skinny all of a sudden and it isn’t worms, sand or illness? So you have older horses?
Although my horses haven’t had too many dramatic dental surprises, I have had some huge realizations. For one, Slick… last year. I had him done because he was difficult to keep plump and that was unusual. Long story short, his teeth needed help and now he is fat and happy.
So, today I made sure to check the eldest and anyone who seemed off their feed at all. The vet checked the potential mouths and we ended up doing (gulp) 6. But, I got the “Twofer” deal, so at least that took the sting out of it.
SO GO GET YOUR DEAL ON EQUINE DENTALS!
Call your vet or local equine hospital. Make sure the vet likes to do dentals and is accomplished. Know the terms up front.
If your horse wears a bit – do it. Do it for the both of you.
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