Teeth Floating Process - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Teeth Floating Process

I wasn't sure where to post this, but I figured this would be the best place.

I have not had my horse's teeth floated before, and I am wondering what the general process is, as I am having it done soon.

I say "general process" because I'm sure that every vet does it slightly differently.

Any information would be great, thank you (:
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post #2 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 03:34 PM
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Either horse will be put in stocks, or have seen horse placed in doorway of stalls as apparatus is hung there, (after sedation) and then worked on.

Teeth will be examined, points felt for, and then will be worked on, depending on what they find.

Anything out of ordinary will be noted, and assessed then too.

No big deal for the most part.

Years ago, I floated teeth myself, with no sedation, but horses were used to being handled and having that done too. And didn't use electric tools, or all of the gizmos they have now for this. But it was pretty common for it to be done by owners or trainers.

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post #3 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 03:47 PM Thread Starter
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What happens if my horse lives outside and there really isn't anywhere to put this "apparatus" in the stall door?
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post #4 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 04:03 PM
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Bring her to the vet.
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post #5 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 04:07 PM Thread Starter
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We have no way to get him there. I was told that the vet could come out and do it non-the-less...
They don't have a place at their facilities to actually do anything like teeth floating. :p
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post #6 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 04:16 PM
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When the vet did Lacey, the vet basically hung the halter she uses when floating teeth, from the rafters of Lacey's run in shed. That halter held Lacey's head up while she was sedated and there wasn't a need for any "apparatus".
Depending on your vet, they'll probably either hang a halter from a rafter beam (I've seen that before, not just with my vet), or have some other method.

When Lacey got her teeth done, the vet set up the halter, put Lacey in it, sedated her, put the mouth opener thingy in her mouth, cranked her mouth open, looked at her teeth, felt around, then started working on her teeth. The teeth took probably 45 minutes, going slowly because Lacey kept "waking up" and getting sassy, and because the vet was constantly checking her own work.
Then, after the teeth were done, I had to contain Lacey away from grass and hay for 2 hours to make sure she didn't eat anything (the sedation can hinder the swallow reflex).
After 2 hours, I let her out and made the mistake of feeding her grain, apparently the swallow reflex hadn't woken up yet because Lacey choked on her grain. Thankfully I was able to massage the blockage out without needing to call the vet back.

Anyway, that was my experience. :)
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post #7 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 04:21 PM
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On a few occasions, I've used a stall corner as support and let the dentist do her thing.
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post #8 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 04:23 PM Thread Starter
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Wallaby, thank you for your story!
I'm glad that Lacey was okay!
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post #9 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 07:45 PM
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Harmony, glad you asked this. I just bought my first horse and the vet that did the pre-purchase exam said she needed her teeth floated in the next 2-3 months at the latest. She is being boarded at a facility that has a few horses that need theirs done so we are going to have them all done a the same time but I am nervous and really don't know what to expect.
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post #10 of 11 Old 02-19-2012, 08:51 PM
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My dentist does it manually: set of "rasps" and halter with attachments. No power tools, nothing fancy. This year we decided to give it a try to one mare without sedation, and it worked just fine.

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