Equine Dental Float – Day 1

Have you thought about an Equine Dental Float for your horse?  The equine dental floating is when an equine dentist, or veterinarian, files the teeth, of a horse, to make a smooth grinding surface.

This is one of the major contributors of many horses living longer now-a-days.

When a horse eats, the surface of his teeth can become uneven. Something as simple as a small stone here, and there, will chip the teeth.  The process of chewing, tooth against tooth, will cause slight fractures that eventually break. When the horses teeth have become chipped, and cracked, like this it can become painful for them to eat.

In the photo, the inset at the lower right, is what a horses teeth may look like after years of grazing.  The equine dentist, or veterinarian, will use a file to file the teeth level, so the occlusion is flat, inset to the lower left of photo.  The “hooks” and “points” removed in this fashion give your horse a nice smooth surface to grind his food like he should.

My gelding, George, is 17 yrs old.  He lost weight over the last year. I separated him from my mare who eats like a pig.  I started chipping his hay, and giving him senior supplements.  I was feeding him about 25 lbs of chipped hay mixed with alfalfa (chipped as well) twice a day, and he wouldn’t gain weight.  I wormed him with panacur, then ivermectin.  Nothing was working!  I know this horse can be heavier than he is.  Yes, he’s a Thoroughbred, but I know he can weigh more than this.

Then, about a month ago, I was watching him eat and he paused every so often, opened his mouth just a bit, and would hold that position, then go back to eating.  It appeared to me like something was hurting him in his mouth. I called the vet and asked her to float his teeth.

The soonest available appointment was Wednesday Oct 27th, so I took it.  When she got here, first she sedated George so she could open his mouth. After he began to get groggy, she put the speculum into his.  A speculum goes in between the horses teeth with a strap that goes up over the pole of their head.  Then, a lever is activated that forces the horse to open its mouth. There are several varieties of speculum’s, but the point is to force the horse to open its mouth wide enough to get a filing device in to the back molars.  The vet found a few hooks in his back molars, one that was particularly worrisome because of its size, and a couple on the other side.  In short, George definitely needed tooth filing (floating).  The vet went to work.  George didn’t cooperate, more tranquilizer was given. Tried again, no good, more tranquilizer.  She was able to get the points off for the better, but couldn’t get George to stop throwing his head to get the way back molars perfect.  George was nearly knocked out with tranquilizer. He was buckling at the knees.  Anymore and he’d go down.  Once a horse is THAT tranquilized breathing becomes a problem, and we didn’t want to go there. So, the vet did her best, George, groggy as heck, protested the best he could. Two hours later, and $200 (good deal for floating teeth!), she called it done. I sat with George where he was at until the tranquilizers wore off enough for him to stumble back to his paddock, he was out of it!

Now, let’s see if it worked?  For the next month, I’m going to take a picture of him every other day.  I’ll post them for you to see as well.  I hope the floating of his teeth will get him back in shape!  Wait and see, wait and see…

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