Saturday, May 25, 2013

Donkey dentist

I learned lots about my donkeys' mouths yesterday.  Did you know there was such a thing as an equine dentist?  I guess I never thought about it until a vet suggested I call one to take a look to see what's going on in Mac's mouth.  He's had a snotty nose for months and we suspected an infected tooth.  It appeared not to be that but he did have a deep hole in his upper gum that collects "stuff" and goes way up into his sinuses.  Maybe that's what's causing an infection and exrays were recommended.  I was really hoping it was a tooth that could be pulled and it would all be over.  Mac and Jaz both needed their teeth floated.  I had no idea what that meant either until yesterday.  Donkeys' teeth move side to side when they chew, not up and down.  If their teeth grow longer on the outsides they won't slide back and forth properly and their bite is, what the vet called, locked.  They showed me how to check for proper bites.  The equipment they used was fascinating too.  The donkeys were sedated before any of this was done. 
They used a regular garden sprayer to wash out his mouth.

At one point I was asked to hold Mac's gigantic tongue.  I wish I had a picture of my fistful of tongue.  I have to admit I kind of enjoy visits from large animal vets.  They teach me so much.  Not only did I learn a lot yesterday but the vet and her assistant were hilarious and I could have hung out with them for hours.   Here are some pictures of horses' teeth.  The long tooth in the center belonged to a young horse and the short one to the right of it belonged to a much older horse.  The tooth grows out from the gum and keeps getting shorter and shorter.  It's hard to believe that long tooth could be way up in the gum. 

Mac and Jaz were both troopers and behaved beautifully.

Our 12 year old boxer, Lex, also had dental work this week.  He had 3 teeth extracted and now his breath no longer announces his entry to a room.  Unfortunately his right rear leg seems to be bothering him worse after his visit to the vet.  I wonder if they hurt him while moving him around during his teeth cleaning procedure.  He's on pain medication and I hope we see some improvement over the next few days.

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