The bad news was that the im­ages con­firmed what we sus­pected: The dis­ease had spread through all of his front teeth, and they would need to be re­moved.

EQUUS - - Casereport -

swelling and re­ces­sion in the gums around the af­fected teeth. At first, the horse may not be both­ered, and as long as he re­mains com­fort­able, a ve­teri­nar­ian may rec­om­mend sim­ply mon­i­tor­ing the case. But as the dis­ease pro­gresses, the horse will de­velop more se­ri­ous com­pli­ca­tions, such as ul­cers in the gums and fis­tu­lae (drain­ing tracts) with pu­ru­lent dis­charge. An­tibi­otics and anti-in­flam­ma­tory drugs may pro­vide some re­lief, and early on, a ve­teri­nar­ian may opt to re­move only one or two more se­verely af­fected teeth, but over time, all are likely to need to be taken out. Re­mov­ing all of the in­cisors at once is more ex­treme, but in ad­vanced cases, it is the best way to re­lieve the pain. One of the more up­set­ting things I learned was that the con­di­tion can be­come very painful as it ad­vances. Horses with EOTRH may be re­luc­tant to ac­cept car­rots or ap­ples, and they of­ten be­come head shy or start re­fus­ing the bit. They may be­gin head­shak­ing, and if they have dif­fi­culty crop­ping grass or pick­ing up hay or feed, they lose weight.

Loopy hadn’t shown any signs of dis­com­fort---but he can be very stoic, and it both­ered me to think he’d just been sol­dier­ing on when I could have helped him. I did make some man­age­ment changes that I hoped would make him more com­fort­able while we waited to go to Cor­nell. I se­cured enough soft, se­cond-cut­ting hay to feed him that ex­clu­sively, and he was on grass dur­ing his turnouts, so he was able to eat softer for­age all day.

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