05-17-2010, 11:28 PM
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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.