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Old 08-18-2010, 10:35 AM  
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MyMistyGirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Virginia
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Pulled Teeth

I have a 24 year old mare who has had 3 teeth pulled over the course of 3 years. I have always had an equine dentist examine her teeth once a year, and when I switched to this new dentist, who is also a Vet and highly recommended, he pulled three teeth and now my mare is unable to chew enough hay to stay healthy - and now I've been learning that it wasnt necessary to pull these teeth.

The first time I used him, he pulled 2 teeth. The teeth were'nt infected or loose. He said they were "cupped" because my previous dentist did not file her front teeth which caused her back molars to not meet properly. He said the "cupped" teeth had the potential to cause an infection because food was getting caught up in there.

Then last Fall, he pulled another tooth because it was loose due to the two missing teeth.

Another dentist told me that the only reason to pull a tooth is because it's infected or loose.

Has anyone ever heard of this? Ever since this happened my mare has been unable to eat hay, she wads it up and spits it out because she can't chew properly anymore. I've had to wet her feed, and change to Blue Seal LS which is a high fat complete feed and pricey, plus because she can't eat hay, I've had to buy hay replacers like cube/beet pulp/forage.

I'm really upset about this because it caused my already hard-keeper older mare to become a "harder" keeper. Plus I worry about her becoming impacted with the hay that she does manage to swallow because she can't chew it properly.
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Old 08-18-2010, 11:37 AM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyMistyGirl View Post
I have a 24 year old mare who has had 3 teeth pulled over the course of 3 years. I have always had an equine dentist examine her teeth once a year, and when I switched to this new dentist, who is also a Vet and highly recommended, he pulled three teeth and now my mare is unable to chew enough hay to stay healthy - and now I've been learning that it wasnt necessary to pull these teeth.

The first time I used him, he pulled 2 teeth. The teeth were'nt infected or loose. He said they were "cupped" because my previous dentist did not file her front teeth which caused her back molars to not meet properly. He said the "cupped" teeth had the potential to cause an infection because food was getting caught up in there.

Then last Fall, he pulled another tooth because it was loose due to the two missing teeth.

Another dentist told me that the only reason to pull a tooth is because it's infected or loose.

Has anyone ever heard of this? Ever since this happened my mare has been unable to eat hay, she wads it up and spits it out because she can't chew properly anymore. I've had to wet her feed, and change to Blue Seal LS which is a high fat complete feed and pricey, plus because she can't eat hay, I've had to buy hay replacers like cube/beet pulp/forage.

I'm really upset about this because it caused my already hard-keeper older mare to become a "harder" keeper. Plus I worry about her becoming impacted with the hay that she does manage to swallow because she can't chew it properly.

My dentist only pulls teeth in the event of an abscess. Thankfully, in the six years I've owned them neither of my horses have needed to have that done. I would seriously question a dentist pulling teeth that weren't infected, and I don't blame you for being upset by it.

My gelding, Chance, is almost 26 and he can no longer eat hay well because he lost some teeth naturally. However, I still provide hay just for "entertainment value." I found since moving him to my own property from a boarding stable, that he is much more capable of chewing the hay if it is good quality. He never even tried to eat the crappy hay offered at the stable, but he will happily munch on what I provide. He can't eat enough to sustain him, but at least it gives him something to chew, and it offers extra roughage. My vet warned me not to feed him stringy hay, like Bermuda, because he might not chew it enough to prevent impaction, so he gets good quality fescue. The bulk of his nutrition comes from Triple Crown Senior and soaked alfalfa/timothy cubes. I had to take him off beet pulp because it made him incredibly hot, even though I used the kind without molasses. He eats four pounds of Triple Crown and six pounds of hay cubes each day. I might have to adjust the amount this winter, but for now he's actually on the chunky side.

I'm not sure how much you're paying for the Blue Seal food, but I feel for you when you say it's more expensive. I'm paying $15.99 a bag for the Triple Crown and $14.99 a bag for the alfalfa/timothy cubes, and I go through about five bags of each per month. I also go through 30 bales of hay per month at $4 per bale. It ain't cheap feeding seniors!
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Old 08-18-2010, 01:36 PM  
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It is expensive, the Blue Seal is $16.75 and she goes thru a 50 lb bag a week!
I pay about the same for the hay cubes and with the 40 lb bag of beet pulp - been using the type with molasses for extra calories.

She was able to eat hay until the dentist pulled that third tooth. I will never use him again!! After that she would wad hay up and spit most of it out. The farm I board at provides all you can eat, and the owner even played musical round bales until we got a softer, less stalky bale. I bought her some better quality, soft orchard grass hay, and she was able to eat some of it, but not enough to keep weight on her. I've given up on regular hay and this Fall/Winter will start her on some kinda hay-replacer, probably Forage since it doesnt have to soak and will be easier for the farm-feeder to feed to her, and I'll still give her soaked beet pulp/hay cubes when I come out.
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Old 08-18-2010, 06:12 PM  
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look around for chopped hay. i dont think the price is tooo hideous. its loose so you dont have to soak like the cubes. too bad she doesnt have access to grass pasture full time. all my boys that have had teeth problems (gally, moon, zar) do best on the
grass.
gally was missing a few teeth himself. some were just plain sideways and not of much use at all.
moon had no upper front teeth, but still would wad his hay and spit it out as well. had him on senior feed with a cup or two of alfalfa pellets (which may also be another option for you to add- 9 have never used beet pulp) as well as when he was in the stall he got cubes galore and then free access to hay and grass while outside. he was FAT.
Zar- cracked tooth.

yes teeth shouldnt be pulled unless abcessed, infected or interferring. Like Zar had a cracked tooth (to my knowledge) for the last 5 years. dentist wouldnt pull it since it still helped him chew. this last time one side had come out the other was interfering with his cheek (and causing an ulcer) and was getting infected. smelled nasty after he got it out.

beside using triple crown sr or some other coparative brand, plus the cubes and chopped hay, you can find the best quality hay you can. thats soft easy to chew. you can soak it and maybe you can fidn a way to chop it yourself. maybe spread some flakes out and mow over it with your lawn tractor a few times??? (just idea bashing) make the stems shorter easier to chew.

good luck.
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