Archive for Equine Health Services

Adventures from Dr. Darlene’s trip to Australia for Equine Dentistry

Darlene in Australia

Dr. Darlene visiting some new friends. She had the chance to do some touring and sightseeing while she was on this trip.

Dr. Donszelmann recently travelled to New South Wales, Australia to help tutor in a five day intensive course: Essentials of Equine Dentistry 2015. The course was hard work but alot of fun with new colleagues, past acquaintances and 26 veterinarians from around the world including Thailand, Chile, New Zealand, Africa and Australia. Dr. Darlene was able to bring home a few new tools to help with dentistry and lots of great ideas from around the world—she is looking forward to implementing them, both in practice and in her teaching of a popular fourth year Equine Dental Rotation at the University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine!

While in Australia, Darlene had a chance to try scuba diving and sea kayaking, as well as exploring the rainforest of Queensland to the beaches of Noosa, the great sandy Fraser Island, and the interior agricultural areas of New South Wales.

Dr. Darlene is now preparing to write her ICEVO (International College of Equine Veterinary Orthodontists) over May long weekend. And then will be offering advanced dental procedures like pulp capping, minimally invasive tooth extraction and more!

Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

Even Mini's need their teeth looked at

With spring shortly upon us, many horse owners and riders are thinking about gearing their horses up for the upcoming season (be it mountain riding, competition, 4-H, etc.). Often this means increasing time in the saddle, and getting their horse’s annual health check and boostering their vaccines. An over looked aspect of equine health is their dental health.

Many of your  horse’s teeth are  constantly growing/erupting. This growth, how they chew, and the feed they are on, can lead to the development of sharp points on the edges of their teeth or abnormalities to the grinding surfaces of their teeth. These changes can cause damage and ulceration to their sensitive cheek tissue or their tongue, or lead to more complicated dental issues.

If you are noticing changes such as: dropping feed, tilting its head while eating or being ridden, weight loss, head tossing, poor or abnormal riding performance, a foul odour from the mouth, facial swelling, and/or nasal discharge you should have your veterinarian out to do a complete physical exam as well as dental evaluation.

Even Mini's need their teeth looked atIf you have never had a licensed veterinarian examine your horse’s teeth, now is the time! Often based on a dental exam your veterinarian can determine if your horse needs to be floated, and then how often afterwards he/she should be rechecked. We recommend annual dental exams to ensure your horse’s mouth stays happy and healthy. This evaluation should be performed before a horse goes for training, or back to work; an uncomfortable mouth can lead to riding and performance issues. Annual examinations allow veterinarians to observe and treat any issues (i.e. retained caps or baby teeth, pockets in the gums, fractured teeth, sharp points or hooks, etc.) before major dental work or surgery may be required. Depending on your horses individual needs they may not need to be floated on an annual basis, but should at least be evaluated during their annual physical.

By maintaining proper dental health for your horse, you should see that your horse is more comfortable in the bridle, can utilize feed more efficiently, and may even perform better or live longer!

At Chinook Country Vet Clinic we recommend an annual examination of the entire horse, including their mouth. When a horse is floated it should be with the assistance of sedation to make your horse more comfortable and less stressed. This will allow us to fully visualize, examine, and treat the whole mouth.  Horses should be floated and checked for wolf teeth or caps, before going to the trainer or heading back to work to ensure your horse has a comfortable mouth, and can focus on its job at hand. Horses of ANY size (mini to drafts) should be evaluated and floated if a veterinarian deems it needed.

If you have any concerns, questions, or would like to have your horse(s) evaluated please contact the clinic.

Posted by Dr. K Shacker

Press Release: ICEVO

ICEVO Thumbnail
March, 2013
Calgary, AB. Canada

Equine Dentristry

Dr. Darlene Donszelmann of Chinook County Veterinary Clinic from Olds, Alberta recently returned from an intensive 4 day continuing education workshop on advanced equine dentistry. The seminar workshop was conducted by Diplomates of ICEVO: International College of Equine Veterinary Odontologists.

Dr. Donszelmann and 20 other veterinarians from Canada, U.S and Europe spent 4 days studying advances in equine dental anatomy, diseases of the head and oral cavity, new treatments for periodontal disease, new surgical techniques for sinus infection and extraction techniques.

One day was devoted to practicing new approaches for radiographing the structures of the teeth and sinuses including discussions of the changes seen on x-rays of diseased teeth and sinuses.  Lectures also concentrated on advances in sedation dentistry, intraoral extraction of teeth, and new approaches for anesthesia of cranial nerves for painless and stress free equine dental procedures.

ICEVO is an international association of equine veterinarians chartered in Alberta Canada, devoted to advancing education in equine dentistry for the betterment of our horse patients.