An ex­treme mea­sure

EQUUS - - Casereport -

My mind spun: Can you even do that? How will Loopy eat? How will he graze? How will he de­fend him­self in a herd? I couldn’t wrap my head around a horse this young with no front teeth. But I was as­sured that horses who have un­der­gone this pro­ce­dure adapt quickly and soon learn to pick up their feed and even crop grass with their lips, tongue and gums. In the end, he’d be no worse off than horses with healthy, in­tact front teeth.

For­tu­nately, I had a lit­tle bit of time to think. This dis­ease ad­vances slowly. It was not like I had to rush Loopy off for emer­gency surgery that af­ter­noon.

Be­cause Loopy is a ner­vous horse and very at­tached to his pas­ture­mates, I ini­tially thought it would be best to have his teeth ex­tracted right on our farm. But that would re­quire a ve­teri­nar­ian with a por­ta­ble x-ray ma­chine pow­er­ful enough to get films of the head. The ve­teri­nar­ian would also need to be skilled

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