Friday, October 03, 2008

Dr. Tooth

On Tuesday Kaswyn saw a new pony dentist. He had been having hand floats all his life, but in April had his first "power float" with sedatives and power tools. I wasn't around to see it, so I wasn't really sure what all it entailed. I had seen pictures but never seen it in person.

I definitely wanted to be there for this tooth visit, considering all the eating and tooth issues he has been having. I ended up calling a new pony dentist who is a vet and does only teeth. He has a website and the bio on it was pretty impressive, so I made an appointment. He was a little late but was a very nice guy. I had explained to him on the phone what Kaswyn's issues were, and he asked all kinds of questions.

Of course, Kaswyn ins now not only eating normally but is Dipping and Sipping with his usual gusto. So I couldn't demonstrate to Dr. Tooth what the problems were. He sedated Kaswyn (and added some Banamine too so Kaswyn wouldn't be sore) and put in the mouth speculum and did the exam. He showed me everything that he came across, which was helpful because I got to see it all before he did any work.

Kaswyn did have a slight wave mouth but it wasn't anything that was bad. The tooth in question that might have been cracked wasn't loose or painful, so Dr. Tooth said he didn't think it was cracked. It does have a little discoloration on it, but nothing else. What he did find was a tooth on the lower left that had a large hook on it that was pressing on the lower tooth and causing a problem. There was also a tooth on the lower right that had a pit in it, probably from the upper tooth have a sharp spike on it that had essentially poked a pit in the lower tooth. Yikes.

Dr. Tooth got all of his equipment ready and showed me everything he was setting up. I told him that I had never seen this kind of float before so he just kept talking and explaining while he was working. And he answered all of my dumb questions without rolling his eyes, so he gets points for that too. He showed me the grinding instrument, which looked kind of like a laser gun with a huge rectangular barrel. The end of the barrel had a spinning disc on it that was abrasive.

Here is what it looks like (taken from the Flexi-Float literature here)

He started it spinning and told me that I could touch it with my finger and it wouldn't hurt, which I did and he was right. He told me that it makes a lot of noise but it's not nearly as destructive as it sounds, so not to worry. When he was ready to start, he put Kaswyn's head up on a stand, and asked me to put my hand over his nose to steady his head when he started.

Here is Kaswyn in the mouth speculum with his head on the stand.

Dr. Tooth doing the exam.

Using the mirror to see the sides of the questionable tooth

Starting to grind the teeth

More grinding

Here are two videos. They really sound bad but I'm here to assure you that the grinder really can't hurt him!

He kept stopping to point things out to me, and show me how much better it was once the work on that area was completed. He stopped three times to give Kaswyn a break and allow him to close his mouth for a bit, which was very nice. He did quite a bit of work and said that Kaswyn should get Banamine the next day also because he'd probably be sore. He said that the wave mouth is simply a function of Kaswyn getting older and having the growth rate on some of his teeth slow down. He would like to see Kaswyn in six months just to make sure that he fixed all of the issues, and then seems to think that we can go once a year. I asked if he was sure that we didn't need to do every six months and he said "Well I'll come out and do him every six months if it will make you feel better, but honestly you'd be throwing your money away." That's nice to hear.

I was very pleased with the whole experience and Kaswyn was a star, like always. I had always been scared to let someone go in my horse's mouth with power tools, but now I see that it's really no big deal, and nothing to worry about if done properly by someone who is experienced.

On Dr. Tooth's orders I gave Kaswyn a day off after the appointment and then rode him yesterday, and he seemed just fine in the mouth. Today is bath day cause that pony is filthy!! I'm going to give him a few more weeks and then I think I'll try for a lesson.

I also started riding Albert again yesterday. He had torn up his leg in his stall and had a few weeks off, but he's ready to go back to work. He's great but he's gotten into the habit of being a bully with his neck when he gets tense. He tightens up his neck and just pulls, and for a little horse he is very strong. We're working on doing hard things, like downward transitions and a little counter canter without him making his neck into a solid rock and trying to pull me out of the saddle. He's getting the idea but when I challenge him his first reaction is to work his neck instead of work through his back. Maybe I'll get to show him next year? I hope so, cause he's a lot of fun to show.


Katie said...

Awww he looks so dopey in the pictures (Kaswyn not Dr Tooth) very cute!! Its good to hear that the Dr did a good job on him.

Katee said...

I want that stand for my vet! Whenever my horse's teeth are floated I force my husband to come out to the barn since holding that giant horse head is really difficult. The smell of dental work also kind of gets to me and if there's any bleeding I'm a goner!

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