DISCLAIMER #1 If you are faint at the sight of BLOOD, PUS and GUTS you might want to skip this post.
DISCLAIMER #2 Horses do not brush their teeth.
DISCLAIMER #3 Humans do not brush horses teeth…at least I never met any who did.
Horses eat hay and nibble on the ground all day. In other words….. get over their dirty teeth.
Did you know horses need dental work just like us humans?
Just like the human dentist the equine vet or dentist always starts with a needle. This is actually a vaccination being given but you get the idea. I could not photograph AND help Dr. Jessie hold GQ when the needle was going into his jugular vein with the sleepy medicine.
Without sleepy medicine how else would you get a horse to stand still and hold his mouth open? As you can see GQ is using all his concentration just to stay standing. It is amazing how horses don’t fall completely when sedated.
This is Dr. Jessie. She is one awesome equine vet. She loves her job which she says includes lots of BLOOD, PUS AND GUTS. My horses know Dr. Jessie and stand still for her even when she brings out the needles. As you can see GQ has his head laying in a hanging sling. Some vets use a stationary head stand but Dr. Jessie likes the sling. GQ has no choice in the matter.
GQ is doing a good job keeping his tongue out-of-the-way when Dr. Jessie goes in with her file.
Once some preliminary filing is done on goes the SPECULUM. Now we can get a good look inside GQ’s mouth to see exactly what work needs to be done. You see those sharp edges? They are not comfortable for the horse. Dr. Jessie lets me feels how sharp they are. I think to myself ….. It is very nice when humans take care those edges for the horses.
Dr. Jessie gets right to work filing down those edges with a drill tool.
See how she does it.
Are you are wondering how she runs the drill since she needs two hands to control the drill? It is connected just like a sewing machine. Now that takes some eye, hand AND foot coordination.
Dr Jessie is very nice to give GQ a break and while she gives him a break I get a lesson on horse mouth anatomy and how an over bite can cause a problem. GQ does not care one bite…I mean bit.
We can’t let the break go on too long because the sleepy medicine might wear off and we don’t want that to happen. So Dr. Jessie goes in for the final file down. She’s not concerned about polishing but maybe some smoothing.
When the speculum comes out but GQ is still in the sling a good flush is in order.
Then once out of the sling and out of the stall Dr. Jessie gives GQ another nice flush. Yes GQ was able to walk outside……very slowly.
And this is how GQ stands for another 30 minutes. Poor guy. He will be back to normal in no time.
While GQ wakes up. Chiron gets the royal treatment. He needs his teeth done too. Lucky boy.
Now I don’t want to go on and on with these kinda gnarly photo’s but I have to show a bite, I mean bit, of Chirons exam.
Chiron is only 8 years old so his teeth look much different from GQ’s elongated teeth.
Did you know a horses teeth is one way to tell his or her age?
Chiron does not have an over bite in fact he has almost a perfect bite. Mama Jo is proud.
Look at that smile!
Look at that schnoz!
Sorry I did not show any BLOOD, PUS and GUTS.
Maybe next time the vet comes.
That was so fascinating, and I love that photo of GQ’s tongue on that second out-of-the-sling flushing!
Oh I’m so glad you liked it. I was afraid I might gross people out. Believe it or not GQ likes to hang his tongue out like that when he is relaxed and I am riding him. It is his way of chillin’ 🙂
I got to watch the same thing being done to the raptor’s beaks last week when I was volunteering. The only difference is the birds don’t get a shot, they get put into a sleeve with velcro tabs and then unceremoniously called a bird burrito. But they felt better after their beaks and talons were clipped and ground down. Thanks for the equine dental lesson.
Ha ha I never thought of a bird getting beak work …..ha ha
I know, me neither. But if a bird lives a sheltered life, then the beak must be clipped…something akin to clipping a dog’s toenails I guess.
Yes and horses hoofs too. In the wild they trim themselves naturally. In captivity we usually need to trim every 4 weeks or put horse shoes on them every 8 weeks.
Having teeth floated is one way to keep that beautiful boy healthy thank goodness! Chiron is still a youngster and a cutie too! You have a wonderful vet thank goodness.
Have a great week-end
Thanks Marty’s Mom!
Really cool stuff! Now how did you know GQ needed the work done? Was he showing signs of agitation?
No he is a very tolerant guy. He allowed the vet about 5 seconds to put her hand and half her forearm in his mouth to feel way back there, she could feel the sharp points. You are supposed to do it about once a year. Some horses can go several years though between “floats” which is what you call horse dental work. If their teeth are sharp some horses do become agitated when a bit is in their mouth and/or some may drop weight if they can’t chew properly.
I didn’t know that horses needed dental works. But it looks really interesting – and amazing. I hope both GQ and Chiron enjoyed their “new” teeth afterwards even if they probably didn’t necessarily enjoy the treatment… Great photo essay, but the way.
Yes horses do need dental work even though they could probably tolerate not having it like horses do in the wild. I can’t tell if they are enjoying their dental work but I feel better knowing they don’t have to “tolerate” sharp points in their mouth. One day soon I must do a post about just how tolerant horses are of all the idiotic and cruel things humans do to them….dental work not being one of them. Thanks for your compliments.
Amazing! How fantastic that there are horse dentists, wonderful ♥
Thanks! Yes the horse vets and dentists do a worthy and fantastic job.
Amazing! I probably will not have the chance to look a real horse in the mouth this life time… I’ve only ridden a small horse once and only once in my life!!
You never know. Life is long, you might find yourself on a horse again some day. It is a cool feeling.