Friday, September 2, 2016

Leah's Trip to the Dentist: Wolf Teeth Extraction


Yesterday, we took Leah to the dentist.  The trailer ride there was AWFUL.  She was nervous, as usual, and the freeway was crazy busy with Labor Day traffic and, to top it all off, there was an accident, and we were diverted around it at a snail's pace.  A section that would usually take 2 or 3 minutes took 30.  The only way we survived was to inch forward and grab the brakes anytime she started to prance around in the trailer.  My usual veterinary clinic is accessible without taking the CRAZY freeway, but this Doc was highly recommended for equine dental.  We survived.

On inspection, Leah had two wolf teeth, and the one on her right side (the bracey side) was very pointy.  When the Doc extracted it, it flew out of her mouth and under the mats.  We didn't retrieve it.  The tooth on her left (when you're in the saddle looking down) is pictured here.



According to Horse.com, 13-32 % of horses develop wolf teeth and it can happen in either geldings or mares.  Some erupt, some don't, and there is a big variation in what they can look like.  The upper wolf teeth (they can also occur on lower jaw) can cause problems when you whoa or turn--anything that drives the bit upward onto that wolf tooth.

Will it solve our problem with the bracing to the right?  It sure won't hurt.  There were also some sharp edges on that side, but they weren't that bad. There wasn't any bleeding or abscess, just a little roughing up of the cheek, probably not a culprit in the bracing, but who knows.  Only time will tell.  Because of the extractions, she can't be in a bit for 10 days.


We let her rest for 30 minutes before taking her home.  The trailer ride back was wonderful...under  heavy sedation.

Leah is an EXTREMELY sensitive horse.  If I look at where I'm going when I'm riding, and sit deep in my seat, she goes to where I'm looking with almost no aid.  So, I wonder, is she picking up my own nervousness at trailering her and getting more amped up?  Maybe I should be the one taking a tranquilizer before hauling.

One thing she's great at though is being on the ground.  Once she was out of the trailer, she was a doll.  The vet techs loved her.

Speaking of trailers.  I thought it was time to give mine a makeover.  My husband and I went to Home Depot last night and got 10 2x8x16's.






When we got home we thought we'd just run out there and pop the old ones off and replace with the new.  Unfortunately for us, the screws were so old (the trailer is about 14 yo.) they'd morphed into the metal.  I had to put all my weight onto the drill and, even then, could only get about 10 out.  Today we're going to use a hollow round drill bit and saw the wood off around the bolts--then, we'll chisel them and cut them off at the base.  I can't live very long without a trailer!

I'll share pictures of our big remodel in my next post.

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

14 comments:

  1. I'd almost prefer to ride a bronc than to trailer a horse. (I should be careful what I say.) I won't trailer at all in the summer, because even with the windows down it gets way too hot in there where I live. If I have to trailer a horse on a freeway, I pay someone else to do it. I've just had too many traumatic experiences. When I first moved here I searched high and low for horse trainers, farriers, vets, and equine dentists who will make ranch calls, and if they only made ranch calls, all the better. My old vet in Nevada used to primarily make ranch calls, but in the last few years I was there, they kept pressuring me to trailer the horses into their clinic. I occasionally did it, but the road there was populated with bicyclists and speeders in cars, so no one had the patience to wait for me to pass a bicyclist. Drivers would just swerve around me going 80 mph right when I was trying to swerve around bicyclists once the oncoming lane cleared, and my poor horses would get jerked all over the place in the trailer as I tried to avoid accidents.

    Too bad the bracing to the right problem couldn't be easily fixed with dental work, and that the screws didn't come out easily. It's Labor Day weekend? Well, that explains all the tourists who keep showing up in my backyard.

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    1. Interesting perspective. I could have had them out for a farm call, but I chose to haul. I didn't expect the accident and blockage. Had I know that, I would have done the farm call. Being able to trailer, for me, is essential because all of the riding trails require a ride away from here. If they didn't, I wouldn't mind never seeing a trailer again. LOL.

      I can't say yet if the bracing will be fixed by the extractions. It's possible that could be the issue, but we won't know for ten days. Plus, the chiropractor comes in 6 days, so there will be multiple things accomplished before she's being ridden again.

      The screws are awful. I would almost rather buy a whole new trailer. This one is getting old in so many ways. I'm not even sure it's worth fixing up.

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  2. I prefer the farm call too but that's because I'm spoiled- my vet lives down the road. Also, the lots is a pain to get into with a trailer. I hope that this helps Leah!

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    1. That would be nice to have them down the road!

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  3. I'm sure Leah will feel much better now with those teeth out. Guess you'll know soon enough if it helps with her bracing. Goo d luck.

    I don't mind trailer ing. When we showed I trailered through different states on the east coast. The only thing I wasn't crazy about were some of the bridges in and out of N.Y. I really didn't like the George Washington Bridge or the Gothals Bridge. But like you said we survived.

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    1. I can't imagine trailering horses into New York. You're a brave soul.

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  4. Wolf teeth can be a big problem. I've had them extracted in horses as young as a year old when I had gelding done.
    My equine dentist says that even the ones that haven't erupted in an adult horse can cause pain to the horse wearing a bit, usually they are just barely below the surface and he extracts them.
    I think you are going to find a big difference when Leah realises that her mouth feels better.

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    1. We have a while until the true test, but I can imagine there will be a big difference without those ouchy teeth.

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  5. Glad you survived, and hopefully you will see a change in Leah's attitude. 95% of all our calls are on the farm, but occasionally folks will trailer their horses in here to the clinic. The main reason we chose to stay home and not go horse camping this w/e was having to trailer the horses through Portland. Not unless I have to!

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    1. Funny about the farm call vs hauling. I prefer farm calls, but they're not cheap, and I do like to save money. I don't blame you for not hauling through Portland on a busy weekend!

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  6. I find it interesting that your vet requires so much downtime from wolf treat removal. They're very insignificant as far as dental procedures go, and my doc usually gives the horse a day or two rest without seeing any problems. You can use a big syringe and give Leah salt water rinses which really help facilitate healing too. Hope I'm not sounding skeptical, but knowing where the wolf teeth are vs. where the bit lies and pressure is applied from it, I will be surprised if they'd make much of a difference. But I hope it proves helpful! And yes, farm calls are expensive. I guess people consider it worthwhile though. Your lake trip sounds wonderful! I'm really looking forward to going somewhere and having a little adventure, just not sure where that's going to be yet. Our finances are seriously underwhelming right now, especially considering all the supply purchases coming up soon. They never end do they? *sigh*

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    1. Well, Leah is lame. Makes me want to cry. Not the answer I wanted to hear. So, another vet trip to pinpoint the lameness. I suspect arthritis in her hoof, but we'll see.

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  7. :) I meant "teeth" - not "treat" !! Need more coffee!

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Please feel welcome to join our discussion--tell us about your own thoughts and experiences.