Oral surgery post-op care? - The Horse Forum
  • 1 Post By egrogan
  • 1 Post By Feathers7
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-17-2019, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: CenTex
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Oral surgery post-op care?

Of course I will be getting instructions from my vet, but Iím hoping to get some idea now of what sort of post-op care Teddy might require after his oral surgery (tooth fillings). I know he will need daily pain medication, at least for a few days. Should I expect to have to keep him in a stall? And should I expect any feed restrictions? Any other words of wisdom? None of my horses have had surgery before, at least not since I've had them.

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post #2 of 5 Old 10-17-2019, 07:43 PM
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My oldest mare had two molars extracted last year. I recognize that's a different kind of procedure than you're doing, but I would guess there are some similarities. She did get a little bit of bute for a couple of days, but really didn't show much evidence of pain (and she's not a particularly stoic horse). There were some oral antibiotics given for awhile, I can't remember exactly how long. I can't imagine any reason to keep them stalled aside from waking up from sedation (we were at a vet clinic for surgery so that was prior to coming home). I expected her to have restrictions on what she could eat, but she really didn't. I was told to offer her hay or grass if she wanted it, and supplement liberally with soaked cubes if she preferred that, and soak her ration balancer really well (which I always do anyway as she's had a history of choke in the past). Because of the extraction, I had a couple of days where I was supposed to flush her mouth with plain water using a large syringe to keep stuff from packing in the sockets- but the teeth had been cracked and infected for so long, the sockets were actually able to stay much cleaner with those damaged teeth gone than they had been before. I was supposed to watch for excessive blood dripping (never saw any) and smell her mouth regularly to identify "off" odors developing (didn't have any). She chewed a little funny for a couple of days, and every now and then I can tell she gets a wad of something caught in there and actively rinses out her mouth, but that was pretty much it for her experience. It was surprisingly easy to recover from, and I had been really worried it would be a huge deal.

Hope all goes easily for you!
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-17-2019, 10:06 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you that's very helpful!
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-17-2019, 10:53 PM
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For pain management, ask the vet about banamine. The vet can administer an injection whenever it is safe to do so, and then give you pills for post-op recovery.

If you are trailering somewhere for the surgery, bring some of Teddy's hay/forage with you and a bucket to soak it in. Also bring his blanket - he'll need to keep warm, and the vets might request it once he wakes up.

Dental surgery not only presents stress and a (hopefully very short) drop in feed, but possibly a challenge in proper chewing afterward. Horses have to chew their food properly and not doing so can cause colic. So without changing what he already eats, you might wish to add some warm water to it and let it soak in. You can chop up his hay and add warm water to make it easier to chew. This will also help prevent forage from harming or invading the surgical site. You might wish to feed this in small portions, 4x daily, so that it's always fresh. If that's not doable, try morning and evening - just give him plenty to munch on when he feels good. The forage should help meter his stomach acid, but ask the vet about surgery stress and whether you should be concerned about ulcers.

Get well soon, Teddy!
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No diet, no hoof. No hoof, no horse. No horse is not an option!
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-18-2019, 07:50 AM Thread Starter
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@Feathers7 thanks! I will definitely bring his hay, blanket, and a bucket. Can't hurt to be prepared!
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