|The crowd of horse owners, one tag-a-long husband, and two pre-vet students congregate outside the dental rig.|
It was a whole day affair, but my only "victim" was Cricket this year. He is nearing the end of his dental care career, however, as most of his teeth are worn to the point of being minimally useful for munching anymore. I figured this was the case, but I wanted to be sure that none of those almost-expired teeth were loose or infected or otherwise needing attention. There is not much to be done when a horse uses up his teeth, other than feed him lots of healthy food that doesn't require much chewing. So, his summer diet of lots of green grass is perfect, but winter will be tougher this year than last. He will continue to eat beet pulp, senior feed, and alfalfa pellets, and I will likely add in a fat source for extra calories. He eats hay, and actually doesn't drop, or "quid," at all that I'm able to tell, but at this point he's probably not masticating the hay effectively enough to extract all the nutrients & calories out of it that he could. And, he packs hay/grass into the spaces between his old teeth ("diastema"), which so far isn't a problem but can lead to infected gums and/or teeth, so I'll need to watch carefully for any changes in his eating behavior or a putrid odor emanating from his mouth.
I hate to say it on a steamy late July day, but it is already time to start thinking about winter, at least for Cricket. Now is the time to get some extra weight on him if I can - he is too thin for my taste already with his ribs slightly visible, BCS 3/9. These few weeks of awful heat and humidity that we've had, plus the record hordes of flies & other nasty biting insects, have really taken a toll and I've seen some weight drop off many of the horses this month. Every afternoon that the horses spend in the barn to escape the unrelenting sun, heat, and bugs, I put extra food in front of Cricket and so far he's doing a good job of eating most of it.
Unless a problem arises requiring more dental work, such as pulling an infected tooth, this will be Cricket's final dental "maintenance." I didn't get any pictures of Cricket's session, but here's one of Paco getting "tuned up."
|Dr. Bowman works on Paco.|
|Killian supervising the goings-on with an expert eye.|