Sedating older equines


This is why so many people resort to giving sedation to horses to work with them, or choose to use power tools to make their job quicker and easier (which in the majority of cases require the horse to be sedated because of the noise and vibration generated by these tools) But are these practices really necessary or beneficial to the horse? These drugs and practices are being applied to horses to make people's lives easier, but not necessarily the horses, adding costs to the owner and risks to the animal.Of course, sedation has its place in equine dental treatment, such as when performing major extractions of teeth, or for the very small number of animals who are so fractious, that applying treatment without sedation is dangerous all round, but these cases are very much in the minority.Again, there is temptation for people to make their own lives easier by using power tools to reduce teeth quicker, but these tools can all too easily remove too much material in seconds, essentially destroying the horse's ability to chew effectively in those areas.

The sheer size of the heads of these tools makes them clumsy to handle, increasing the risk of removing too much material, or removing material from adjacent teeth.In the vast majority of cases, all corrective work is done manually with extremely high quality, custom designed instrumentation made of medical grade stainless steel.Not only does this ensure cleanliness, it also means only the correct amount of material is removed from your horse's teeth.There is no such research available for horses, but as the basic components are the same (enamel, dentine, pulp), it seems reasonable to conclude a similar issue could be happening in horses, which is particularly a concern for the treatment of young horses, where the pulp is closer to the chewing surface than in older horses.

There is also an increased risk of slipping and causing damage to the soft tissues of the tongue, gums or soft palate.These tools also generate a lot of heat as they work, yet very few such tools use water cooling - in humans, dental research shows that if a tooth is heated to just 16.5 degrees C above ambient temperature, the pulp inside the tooth starts dying, which means the tooth dies.


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