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Discussion Starter #1
First let me preface by saying it's not just cold out there, it's **** COLD!!! My gosh I am frozen solid.

Anyway, Toby has his teeth floated this afternoon. That's filing for the non-horsey peeps.

The horse dentist I used isn't a vet. All he does is horse teeth. He has a degree in Horse Dentistry. He shows up and straps a halter looking speculum thinger onto Toby's head and his mouth. Toby's like, "okay, no prob."

Steve, the horse dentist, opened the speculum and inside is a little light so he can see inside the horse's mouth. He shows me the points of Toby's teeth and tells me to run my hand over them. Ouch. Poor guy. No wonder he's been tossing his head with the bit lately.

So Steve starts working on him. No drugs. I was amazed. Toby wasn't even held as Steve started filing away. The speculum kept his mouth open so Steve could work. He kept it open for a few minutes, then closed it and let Toby experiment with his tongue on his teeth.

Then Steve would open the speculum again and use a different file. Toby never backed away, he never threw his head, he stood there and actually relaxed, cocking his back hoof and lowering his head.

A couple of times when Steve let Toby rest, Toby would turn his head to me and seek comfort, almost as if he wanted me to let him know he was doing well. Then Steve would start anew and Toby stood there.

Once he was done, Steve had me put my fingers in Toby's mouth again and even my inexperienced fingers could feel the difference.

Fascinating stuff. I didn't know what to expect when I went there, but it was so cool to watch. :happy:
 

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Oh my gosh, Laura. Toby is SO good! That actually made me tear up a little. With pride for you and T-Man.
 

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Thanks for sharing that .. i have been wondering today how they do that and how a horse would react. Sounds like Toby is pretty realaxed and the guy you used knows his stuff, so together things worked well.
 

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He floated your horses teeth with no sedation and no idea of how your horse would react to it????

Holy liability, Batman.
 

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looks like you got yourself the PERFECT horse! After all that looking! Glad to see it really paid off! :D
 

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Dukesdad said:
Geeze what a horse. My teeth hurt just reading your description of that proceedure.
As long as it's done properly, there are no nerve endings in the portion of the tooth that's filed off. It's like filing your nails. Many equine dentists use power tools now, so it gets done quickly, and with much less chance of catching soft tissue in the float.

ETA:
Not to say that Toby's not good. Many horses object to having the speculum in, or to the sound of the tools, or to the phase of the moon when the floating is done....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
MSUlady said:
He floated your horses teeth with no sedation and no idea of how your horse would react to it????

Holy liability, Batman.
Huh? Just how is he supposed to know how any horse is going to react to it? All horses are different. He also checked Dot and Gracie and while Gracie started out a bit on her toes, she too settled right in. Without sedation.

The guy knows his stuff. That's all I can say.

I guess I'm not getting why he's any more liable than a vet would be. Than a farrier would be. Or anyone else who works around horses. Maybe my brain is still frozen and I'm just not getting what you mean.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Toby is a good horse, but it was this guy's expertise that is the real story. From talking to other horse owners in the state, most of whom use him, he never sedates, never has to.

As he told me, "not even for the Arabs". LOL

I understand now why he came so highly recommended.
 

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I've never had a horse that required sedation for having teeth floated ..

I ran a 38 stall barn for long enough that every horse there needed doing and at my much smaller show barn horses were done all the time too

It wouldn't occur to me to sedate

you should be very proud of your boy!
 

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That is fascinating (something that a non-horsey person like myself had no idea about). Sounds like that dentist is really great. And of course Toby was a very good boy too. :happy:
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Found a picture of the speculum thinger.



This is similar to what happened with Toby. He became so relaxed, he dropped his head and the guy got down on the horse's level.

 

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You know, some animals may just find this relaxing.
I love going to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned twice a year. It's relaxing to me!
 

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Good boy Toby. I saw that done on Animal Planet a few weeks ago. No sedation, the horse just stood there. The horse dentist who did it said the horse actually feels better after the teeth are filed down & smooth It was amazing to watch on t.v. I bet it was amazing to see in person.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I was a pest, continually sticking my head in there to look. LOL I'm one of those curious people who like to see what's going on and ask lots of questions. Thankfully Steve didn't mind and liked to talk about what he does.
 

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labby said:
I guess I'm not getting why he's any more liable than a vet would be. Than a farrier would be. Or anyone else who works around horses. Maybe my brain is still frozen and I'm just not getting what you mean.
He's not anymore liable than a vet would be. Probably less. I guess I'm just coming from the vet perspective. A vet is technically liable for any harm that comes to someone while the horse is under the care of the vet. And if a horse starts swinging his head around with a speculum on it, you've basically just armed him with a weapon.

With how good Toby was about it, he's probably had his teeth done before. If you start acclimating them to it when they're young, they're usually pretty good about it. If it were me, and it was a middle-aged to older horse that I had no personal experience with, I'd sedate. But it'll be my malpractice/liability insurance premium on the line. ;)
 

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Good boy, Toby!!! :D

Laura, that's so kewl. Wish I could have seen it. I'm very fascinated by teeth. lol.

I need to get one of those speculum thingers with a light for my patients. Think they'll object??? :laugh:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hmmm, maybe if your first response is to sedate then you shouldn't be doing it. Sedation brings it's own problems for the horse.

He says he never sedates. For one thing, he's not a vet so it's against the law for him to sedate a horse. He comes highly recommended by the people on the Michigan Horse email list. In fact, he's the only guy who was recommended.

Not only was Toby quiet and relaxed, so was Gracie and Dot, 11 and 29 respectfully. It was obvious by looking into Toby's mouth he hasn't seen the horse dentist in awhile. The horse basically hasn't had health care in at least two years. No shots, no wormings, no floating. About the only person he saw was a farrier.

I'm not knocking you because you want to be a vet. I thought for sure he'd sedate because I couldn't believe any horse could be calm while having a metal file stuck in their mouths and some guy hauling away on it. I didn't realize he couldn't and I certainly didn't realize he wouldn't need to. Maybe that's why he's in such demand.

He'll be at the upcoming Horse Expo over Valentine's weekend in Birch Run. Go up and talk to him. I'm sure he'd love to discuss what he does. You might learn something as I did today.
 
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