Thursday, September 20, 2007

Charlie's Dentist

As if my own recent dental work wasn't enough, I called Dr Jeff LaPoint this week to check Charlie's teeth. This is no small project for a 900 pound client who doesn't sit down. Notice that the drill is a cordless 14v DeWalt. (He's not really using it as a drill. It has a little horizontal spinning disk to file the points on the teeth.) Notice also that Dr LaPoint's hand is entirely inside Charlie's mouth.

Then notice how calm Dr LaPoint is. That's 'cause Charlie's sedated. As Maggy and Dr Ambis well know, sedation is really for the protection of the dentist. The scary looking halter isn't nearly as restrictive as it looks. Charlie's entirely free to bob his head up and down as much as he likes. And he did. Dr LaPoint was remarkably patient, even amused by Charlie's attitude.

The bottom line is that Charlie has "the teeth of an eighteen year old." This is good for a twenty-five year old horse.

And the excessive drooling we had noticed...? Turns out that was probably "Horse Fungal Saliva Syndrome" or "Slobbering Horse Syndrome" (that's a creative name, isn't it?) The articles said it's caused by pasture or hay with white clover. Dr LaPoint says it's likely to occur on newly cut grass. A fungus on white clover produces an alkaloid which causes the drooling but apparently has no lasting ill effects.


leendaluu said...

That picture says it all about why I am NOT a horse vet.

Anonymous said...

Dr. LaPoint is my uncle.

Mary Ann said...

Seems like you're lucky to have such a cool uncle.