Straight from the horse's mouth: an hour with a travelling equine dentist
I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972. I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. Mark Spitz
Unlike Olympic medalist Mark Spitz, I never had an aspirations towards dentistry.
In fact, thanks to my mom's great genetic contributions, I can successfully avoid dentists for years at a time without suffering any adverse effects. When I do (finally) show up at the dentist's office, (usually following some sort of horse-related gravity-test that impacted my mouth) I am heartily scolded by the receptionist, the hygenist, and the dentist because they haven't seen me in the office since the last time a Democrat was President. However, since none of whom can ever find anything about my teeth that actually requires FIXING, I tolerate the scoldings and then wander away for another few years. The dentist must make his boat payments without my help.
Fiddle and Hana, however, are not given a choice. Today was their appointment with Dr. Sarah Metcalf, DVM. Hana had been here before, and recognized Sarah and her rig...but Fiddle was mystified by the oddly-appointed trailer and the strange smells inside it. However, thanks to tons of practice loading in every trailer
I could find last summer, Fiddle walked in confidently and got her first dose of sedative.
Then Sarah went to work.
Fortunately for me (and the checkbook that will be making farm mortgage payments in just a couple of months) Fiddle's mouth is quite uncomplicated; lacking my mom's great "teeth" genes, Fiddle still has terrific teeth.
Sarah uses a gigantic speculum
to help her in viewing inside a horse's long, dark mouth. She not only peers inside the mouth, she makes sure the owner looks in there too--so that I fully understand the minimal (but important) work that my horse needs. Fiddle had some "hooks" on her upper back teeth, which created dime-sized sores inside her cheeks. Hooks are a part of the tooth that has been ground down unevenly, so that the part near the tongue is flat (like your own back molars), but the outer edges near the cheek are pointed--and sharp!
Sarah removed the hooks with a special power drill--similar to my dentist's drill, but about 2 feet longer. Then she filed everything flat and pronounced her 1,000-pound patient ready for the "recovery room": a flat patch of sunny parking lot where Fee could walk in big circles while I sang Drunken Sailor and laughed at her sedated amble.
The sedation wore off quickly, and within 15 minutes the mares hopped in the trailer and snoozed all the way home, ready for another year of happy eating.