Sraight From the Horse's Mouth
By Anne Kimball on November 30, 2012
Couple weeks ago, the farrier was here. And in the process of holding my pony Finnegan while he was getting his feet trimmed, I found myself with my hand inside his mouth.
OK, in looking back at that, I realize there are a whole lot of misplaced modifiers, let me clarify...
*I was holding the pony, not the farrier. I don't mean I wasn't holding the farrier (please allow me a second to daydream......OK, I'm back), I mean the farrier wasn't holding the pony, I was.
*The pony, not the farrier, was getting his feet trimmed.
*My hands were inside the pony's mouth, not the farrier's mouth (please allow me...oh never mind, I need to get a move on, here).
ANYway, when my hand was inside the pony's mouth (and I have no idea why it was really there), I cut my thumb on something razor-sharp.
That's odd, I thought. Pony's teeth aren't really all that sharp.
So I did a quick on-the-spot dental exam, and realized one of Finn's incisors appeared to be broken. The top part, where it meets the gum, was pulling forward, and seemed like the whole tooth was about to come out. YIKES! Without their incisors, they can't graze. Without grazing, they can't eat, without eating, they can't live. This was serious!
Soon as the farrier left (sigh), I called the vet, whose number I have committed to memory.
I explained the situation to the receptionist, and she put the vet on the line.
I recapped the sitch to the vet, and asked,
Is this something I need the vet for, or should I call the equine dentist?
Well, he says, how old is your horse?
Two and a half, says I.
If he's two and a half, that sounds like he's losing a cap.
That sounds serious.
Not at all. At around that age, a horse's permenant tooth starts to come in, and it pushes the cap out. So when can you come out?
I don't think I need to come out. This is a perfectly normal process. He'll do this again in about a year, and then the year after that until all his permenant teeth are in.
So how much will it cost me?
You don't seem to understand. This is normal. His tooth isn't broken. The cap is just pushing out. If I can find some other problems for you to work on while you're here, will I get a discount?
Nothing's broken! There's nothing to fix! I don't....I don't understand. Horse. Tooth. Problem. Vet. Money. That's the way it works.
I. Don't. Need. To. See. Your. Horse. Well, I guess if you're all booked up right now, I'll try to keep an eye on him. If he doesn't appear to be in discomfort, and he seems to be eating OK and not dropping weight, then we'll just sit on this for a bit.
OK. That sounds like a plan. You call me if he starts to lose weight. OK, Doc, thanks....
(Sheesh, you can't get good help when you need it.)
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