Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Floating teeth

No, there are no dentures wafting around in the sky - lol!

Floating a horse's teeth simply means filing them down. Since equine teeth continue to grow throughout their lifetime it's important to make sure they all wear down evenly to allow proper chewing, otherwise some sides and ridges will grow uneven and sharp, cause pain and gulping of food since the grinding surface isn't functional anymore.

And boy, did Big Daddy ever need his teeth floated :-o

Poor baby... We think this may have been the cause of his recent colics - we'll see if things improve now.
Here is what the vet's device looks like
(this is a google'd photo, it is not Big Daddy):

Looks proper medieval, eh?

Basically the hinged metal apparatus cranks the horse's mouth open and holds it in position to allow access to the back teeth. There is a light in the front metal plates that shines into the mouth and it's still difficult to see way back there with a big tongue in the way (the vet pulls it out of the mouth and twists it up on the side to allow for tools, it's not a pretty sight).

Differently textured long metal files are used on most of the teeth and a motorized grinding tool completes the work on longer points.

It took the vet and her team over an hour to file down his teeth and even then they could only get 75% of the job done, they had to stop as it's not a comfortable situation for the horse.

Big Daddy needed three doses of sedation during the procedure, he's just that big..!

He passed his physical with flying colors though, so that's good.

What a morning!

He's such an awesome boy though, everyone was impressed with how docile, gentle and trusting he is - he better be, at that size! I cannot imagine controlling a bucking aggro horse in such a situation, holy cow.

I had him measured: 17.2hh (hands high) :-o

They guessimated his weight to be around 1,300 lbs right now (they do this with different measurements) so once he's all filled out and has gained his muscle back he should weigh around 1,800 lbs. Yep, he has at least 500 lbs to gain... and this is after eating and gaining weight the past 4.5 months.

Can you imagine what he must have looked like when the SPCA seized him last spring??

A little flashback...
remember what he looked like
the day we brought him home two months ago?

(that's not me in the photo
but it shows how thin he was)

Here he is today,
slowly getting there!

It looks like he's pooping a horse here - he he!

He wouldn't stand still for pics,
always curious to smell my camera
aka "hi mom!"

It's funny how a couple of hours after the procedure
he was super cuddly and affectionate, much more than usual -
it's like he knows we are caring for him
and he appreciates it:

Gratuitous bum shot :-D

I can only imagine how amazing he will look
with 500 lbs more muscle on him!

I'm so pooped. The weekend was très busy/stressful and you read all about yesterday... and this morning was no better. Just glad it's all over now. Vegas left for a business trip a couple of hours ago so I'm on my own (with no car) until Friday night - that will either force me to relax a bit or all the farm-and-animal work will drive me to the ground, LOL.

Stick around to find out :-D

/end of I Love My Horse post/


Lou said...

He's gorgeous. You should be very proud of yourself.

C said...

ugh that looks so painful although its prolly not!

he is so beautiful, nikki... yes you should be really proud of how you and vegas's love has helped him heal.

cute vet, too!

wow. so big.

Adventures In China said...

Wow, I had no idea about horse's teeth growing like that. Learn something new everyday!

He is a beautiful horse. Our goats used to get more affectionate like that too after we had something done for them, it was very cute. For sure animals know and appreciate what we do for them.

JeanMarie said...

I had no idea that horses teeth continued to grow like that. BD is such a handsome boy and I am sure he does know and appreciate all the love and caring you provide to him. Thanks for educating this city kid : )

Busy Bee Suz said...

BD is looking so wonderful; he is in good hands. Poor big ol' teefers he has.
I do hope you take the relaxing side for the rest of the week TD!!!

Debby@Just Breathe said...

I never knew that about their teeth. So glad you got that done for him. Hope it helps with the colic, that would be awesome. Wow he is looking wonderful and filling in nicely.

Foothills Poultry said...

He is looking great. Won't be long till those visible ribs are gone.

I bet that the fixed teeth will stop the colic.


prin said...

He looks so much better than his arrival pic. :)

And rest youuuuu. *finger waggle*

Anke said...

He is beautiful! I'm just grateful I don't have to have that done to my teeth...

Lady Banana said...

Now that is some heavyweight dentistry!

What a gorgeous boy he is though!

Anonymous said...

Horse don't have teeth like humans. There are no nerves in the teeth, and they don't get cavities. They are more like "tusks". So yes, they need to be floated to help with proper chewing, ergo, digestion.

The sedatives are to relieve the sensitivity of vibration to the ears and jaw. Most horses that have had the proper care from birth need no sedative, as they are used to such procedures.

Big Daddy is looking most wonderful, and I really commend you on taking him in. It is a huge responsibility and not to be taken lightly.

Many blessings on you for doing so.
And a smooch on his muzzle for me, please?