Abcessed tooth? - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 6 Old 05-17-2010, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Post Abcessed tooth?

What is an abcessed tooth? my yearling has a ping ping ball sized lump on the bottom of her jaw which is open and looks like it was bleeding. I called the vet and he said it might be an abcessed tooth and he prescribed penecillin and veterinry liniment. If that doesnt work, she needs to get x-rays taken and might need surgery. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me what it is and how it happens? Here's a pic(a bad one)but maybe you can see what I'm talkin bout. Thanks! =)
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post #2 of 6 Old 05-17-2010, 10:28 PM
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Hello,

Well, the short version..........Your horse is currently erupting (or trying to) a permanent tooth. The adult teeth erupt via pull of the periodontal ligament, and pressure from fluid buildup under the tooth. Your filly may have an impacted tooth which is unable to erupt normally, leading to increased fluid production and pressure. As it builds, it tries to find the path of least resistance to relieve the pressure. In this case, draining out the bottom (the mandibular bone is very thin at this age). Infection can set in as we now have an open draining tract which can allow bacteria to inhabit the area.

I would highly recommend radiographs to assess the structure of the underlying tooth. If it is a true impaction, creating a relief diastema may help the tooth to erupt.

Sometimes, I will see these types of lesions with trauma. So antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and radiographs is where I would start. Consultation with a veterinarian who specializes in equine dentistry may also be advised.
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post #3 of 6 Old 05-17-2010, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you. But let me see if I understand this...you don't think penecillin and liniment will help her? Im just kind of confused because my vet didnt see it, I just described it over the phone to him. But I'm wondering why she doesn't seem to be in any pain. She's not acting any different and it doesn't seem to hurt her when I touch it. Thanks for clearing some stuff up for me though, I'll talk to my vet again and ask him to come out and look at her.

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post #4 of 6 Old 05-17-2010, 10:44 PM
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I do think antibiotics should help. They will prevent infection if not already present, and will treat infection that may be due to trauma. Penecillin alone may not be enough coverage to get all bacteria (it will get the most common that affect the mouth). But I would advise to at least have an oral exam done and radiographs to determine if there are other things that can be done to help.

We do see these types of draingin tracts in horses from 1-3 years of age due to eruption of the teeth. But again, not examining the horse, I can not say for sure what is going on. I have some horses I see this with on antibiotics ( trimeth-sulfa or doxycycline) for 2-4 weeks sometimes, and it resolves with time. Other times, I need to create a small diastema to allow the erupting tooth to work its way up.

Last edited by cmvet; 05-17-2010 at 10:50 PM.
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post #5 of 6 Old 05-17-2010, 10:46 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks again. That really helped to un-confuse me.

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post #6 of 6 Old 05-18-2010, 11:21 AM
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Cochise got a abcessed tooth while staying at the trainers, it blew a small hole out his lower jaw and gunk was coming out of it...at first we thought he had cut himself but after the vet looked at it he said it was a abcess. He was put on antibiotics for a time..and was advised by the vet if that worked and no further issues other than keeping an eye on it I should be fine. Knock on wood...its been a year since it healed, had his teeth floated last month..and all is good so far. The vet said nothing further needed unless it came back. And it looked to be simular to your picture..the vet explained the infection had to go somewhere and it was a probably a good thing it forced itself to drain otherwise I probably wouldnt have realized so soon what it was.
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