Thursday, May 2, 2013

Crossing My Fingers!

My vet came out today to give Lilly her rabies and strangles vaccines. Last year, Lilly had a reaction to the rabies vaccine, so we decided to give her a 1,000 lb dose of Banamine in case she starts feeling poorly again this year. One of the boarders checked on her for me today since I had to leave for work and she said Lilly seems to be doing just fine. Hopefully when I check on her tomorrow, she'll be her happy self.

That was one of the reasons I was so cautious this year about having her sedated for teeth floating. She's been getting rabies vaccines for years and never had an adverse reaction before, and then for some reason last year she did. My vet reported it to the manufacturer, but none of the other horses who were vaccinated with the same vial as Lilly had a reaction, so I don't think it was the vaccine itself. I discussed it a bit with my vet today because of the fact that Lilly will need her teeth done with a speculum in the fall, which means she'll need a sedative. I'm just concerned that she could possibly have a reaction from the sedative as well. My vet said she considers Lilly a low risk horse because she's healthy otherwise (no heart murmurs or anything), and reactions to sedatives are rare, at least in her experience. She said she only lost one horse to a sedative reaction and the horse was quite old.

One thing lead to another and before long she was trying to get me to tell her who it was that floated teeth. I hate lying, so I told her I was asked not to say, and she said she knew it was either a guy named "this" or a guy named "that". She was curious to know who it was because one of those gentlemen had fractured a horse's tooth and the horse was heading to the vet school for surgery. She wanted me to be aware of what can happen, aside from the fact that it's illegal for him to float because he's not a vet.

You know, I feel like I'm darned if I do, and darned if I don't. The dentists will tell you horror stories about how a vet used her power tools and filed off the horse's teeth until all he was left with was gums. The vet will tell you horror stories about how the dentists can't possibly do a proper job without a speculum, so unless the horse is SUPER calm, those horses will need a sedative, which dentists aren't allowed to give.

I just want my horse to have a happy mouth, and not die from a reaction to a sedative. Is that too much to ask??

After she left, I soaked Lilly with oxine for 15 minutes and brushed out as much of her winter coat as I could. If we ever see the sun again in this state, I'll take some pictures of her new spring coat. It's looking fabulous!

She seemed pretty comfortable today, so we should be ok to start riding again. I might have to open up the other toe because I haven't seen it getting any better yet, so if that happens, she might need another day or two off, depending on how she does. I can always use her boots, but I feel like if her hoof itself is ouchy, I shouldn't make her work.

After soaking, I locked her in the stall to dry up her hooves a bit. I tossed in some hay and then tried to get a couple pictures. Clearly that was stupid of me, because she'd come over just long enough to see if I had anything better than hay, and when she realized I didn't, I was old news. So I got a lot of crappy shots. Most of them looked like this:

No cookies? BYE!
So I went around to the back of the stall to see if I could get her to stick her head out that door, but she didn't even bother coming over. She just showed me her bum the whole time. Guess I'm just not worth her time!

Busy eating!
In barn moving news, I spoke with my barn owners about them selling since I hadn't actually heard it from their mouths. She said they hadn't decided for sure, but they are definitely leaning in that direction. They'll let me know within the next couple weeks what they're going to do. She said we're more than welcome to stay as long as we can, and thinks with the economy like it is, the farm will be on the market for a while. She's hopeful that perhaps the new owners will let us stay even after they're gone. I think if I was buying a nice horse property, I wouldn't want boarders, but I know the current owners kept two boarders when they bought the place from the previous owner, so I suppose it's possible. Since I haven't found anything worth a darn, I guess I'll just hang out until they kick me out, or until the perfect situation pops up.



    I totally feel your pain when it comes to trying to figure out who to believe. It is pretty darn frustrating.

    Some people like the idea of supplementing their perfect horse property with a boarder or two, especially a good one like you. So perhaps you will get to stay.

    1. It is, isn't it? LOL

      I'm hoping I'll get to stay, but there's no telling what kind of new rules might be implemented. So I'm worried about that as well.

  2. Our equine dentist, who is not a vet, but has extensive training, brings a vet with him just to do the sedations and keep an eye on the horses. You end up paying two call fees, but it works and it's safer. My dentist almost never uses power tools - he says too many horses get overfloated (particularly older horses) for convenience and speed and end up with teeth that are too smooth to eat properly. He pays a lot of attention to overall dental alignment - how the incisors move together, as well as the molars, which directly relates to TMJ alignment. He's careful to refer horses with more serious dental issues to a dental surgeon.

    Hope your boarding situation gets settled one way or the other soon - it's very stressful to have that hanging over your head.

    1. Your situation sounds ideal, Kate. I wish it was like that here in NC, but only a veterinarian can do anything related to teeth. At least legally... so you either have to do it on the down low, or hope your vet paid attention to their dental courses in vet school.

      And thank you. I was hoping to find someplace new so I didn't feel in limbo, but so far I just haven't found anything.

  3. I used to use a dentist, he wasn't allowed technically to use sedatives but I always okayed it on the down low, lol. I really liked him, but since I'm at school now I use a vet. I think it just depends on the person doing it. I trust both the vet and the dentist I used. I like the thought of using a dentist because they're specifically trained to float teeth, while in vet school they receive a very short time period of training. And things do happen with either, vet or dentist, so it's just who you feel is best for your horse!

  4. I actually have a vet (one of three at the clinic I use) who specializes in equine dentistry. He uses sedatives and power tools, but only when necessary. The power tools he only uses for a few seconds at a time, and uses hand tools whenever possible. Maybe there's such a dentist/vet in your area? You may have to look for a larger clinic where there's enough vets where they can specialize.

    As for the barn, clearly you should just buy it yourself! Then you wouldn't have to move! ;)

  5. I like JenJ's thought - buy it yourself! "My barn, my rules."
    Seriously, I've boarded in barns that were facing major changes, and I know how stressful not knowing what's going to happen is. Hang in there, friend.

  6. If I'm correct, here in Ohio the dentists can sedate but they can't do "surgeries". The tiny wolf-tooth extraction my dentist did wasn't strictly legal and he told me so, but said that it was so small he felt comfortable doing it and we had no complications.

    I did meet a horse once who had had some major nerve damage in his face from a power-floater. Scared the crap out of me, but my guy seems to be really good. He's a little quirky, but I've learned to expect that from most horse pros. ;)

    I've read statements saying you should NEVER use power tools on the teeth and NEVER sedate,etc. But it's definitely the norm around here.

    Lilly has a cute butt!

  7. I have a vet/chiropractor/accupunturist who works with a certified dentist. My vet completely supports a specialized equine dentist to work on the horses she treats. I had Ashke done in March and my dentist was wonderful. The vet sedated my horse, and the dentist did use a speculum, but she released it in between checking his teeth, which she did without the speculum in.

    The first time I had my horse's teeth done, the vet set him up in the speculum, pulled out his power tools and worked on him for almost an hour without releasing the pressure on his jaw. Syd was much better and Ashke's jaw was able to move easily without any hang ups when she was finished.

    Too bad your vet isn't open to working with a specialized dentist.