Fixing Terrible Teeth
Teeth Cleanings For All
This month we're doing our yearly teeth exams. Yes, horses and donkeys need their teeth checked just like humans! It's often called "floating," though it entails much more than this. Equine teeth grow and the edges can get sharp and uneven, sometimes poking into their cheeks and causing lots of pain and can eventually stop horses from eating. So many of the animals that arrive at the sanctuary, do so with horrible teeth. And it's typically a contributing factor to how they've lost weight. Grinding is critical to food moving through the mouth of a horse. Broken teeth, missing teeth, rotten teeth -- all these issue have direct impact on their health.
Rosie is looking good!
You can see Dr. Metcalf filing the surface so that it's smooth. Dr. Metcalf is a Certified Dentist (in ADDITION to Certified Ferrier, Podiatrist, Chiropractor and Acupuncturist). Our horses get mild sedation. As you can imagine, hearing a drill sound is unnerving for anyone - especially horses who don't understand your verbal explanation of why this will be good for them!
It was in her dental exam that Mae, one of our most recent starved arrivals was officially categorized as "senior" - at least 30 years old and she barely has 6 teeth. Where Rosie has both rows, take a look inside Mae's mouth below. She cannot chew. And so we create gigantic bowls of soup that she slurps down 3 times a day, and we shake and strip-off leaves of alfalfa that she can easily swallow. If a family bought Mae and put her in a pasture she would wither and die because they would think she's eating. But she truly can't move hay or grass from front to back and into her belly without teeth. And unfortunately, there aren't implants for horses. We sure did ask! So forever, it's soup!
Here's Daisy below. In much better shape than Mae. As you can imagine, teeth days are very long. With over 22 equines, the process can get spread out over many days to ensure everyone is thoroughly checked and treated.
Thank you from all the horses here!
This month, purchases are going straight to ensuring the sanctuary residents are chewing and eating food properly and pain-free! Next month, it's our donkeys' turn. Yearly care is expensive and once the sedation wears off, and all our old timers are able to eat with ease, they send a big thank you your way!