Thursday, November 16, 2017

Floating Away

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.

You may wonder why the name "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.

Then the teeth are inspected and felt for sharp prominences.

Those hooks, and sharp points are filed down until the tooth is smooth.

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!


daisy gurl said...

I can see from the video why they need to be sedated! Holy juniper! Glad everyone is squared away for a little while.
Thank you for the valuable information.
It's lookin' cold there. Brrrr.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

So both ends get taken care of in one visit!

littlemancat said...

And I thought I hated having my teeth cleaned - ha,ha!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i would have to be heavily sedated if someone was doing that to me.

Jody in Georgia said...

Beverly, you never cease to amaze me!!

Donna said...

Glad everyone got taken care of! Yikes...
Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

Do you have to do something like that with the pigs? I've heard about "hooks" on horse teeth for a long time but I can't picture it so I'm off to google "equine hooks". lol Thanks so much for sharing and helping us feel like we are there!

Heidi said...

My 31 year old quarter horse had to have an infected wolf tooth pulled. While the vet was in his mouth i asked if he needed a float and if he could check for other loose teeth. Amazingly he has all of his teeth. He didnt do a float since we are concerned that the enamel might be worn down and a float would make them more sensitive. he got a sheath cleaning too!


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