Yesterday was a busy day for all of the equines.
Dr. Becky came to float teeth.
Equine teeth continue to grow throughout their lives.
They keep them ground down by the process of chewing...
at least the chewing surfaces get ground down.
As a result, hooks tend to form on the edges of the teeth where chewing does not occur.
These hooks can be sharp and cause discomfort, and even tears, in the
inside of the cheeks.
Every couple of years Dr. Becky comes to "float" the teeth.
It is a British term meaning to file the teeth.
A float is a file.
Sedation is used to make the horse relax.
The mouth is irrigated with a large syringe and water to remove
and food particles,
and an oral speculum is placed inside the mouth and ratcheted open to visualize
the inside of the mouth.
It's a fairly simple procedure but requires a bit of strength and endurance.
Two hours later we had 7 sleepy equines with lovely smiles!
Everyone was well behaved and tolerated the procedure quite well.
After the teeth are finished, she heads to the other end of the horse and checks
the males for a "bean".
A bean is an accumulation of dirt and smegma that can accumulate
in the end of their male parts.
It is easily removed when the horse is sedated.
While discussing this with Dr. Becky she shared the latest data regarding
sheath cleaning (the usually twice yearly cleaning of the tunnel into which
horses pull up their male parts.)
Data suggests that sheath cleaning is completely unnecessary and actually
introduces harmful bacteria into the organs that would otherwise
be protected by natural oils.
Although Moonbeam never minded having his sheath cleaned in the past,
he was happy to hear that those days are over!