Dressy has been showing signs of problems with her teeth over the last few days. Crossing her jaws, wadding hay, and most alarming of all, her face swelled up quite badly. So when Kathy, our dentist/vet came today, I was expecting her to find work to be done in Dressy’s mouth.
Once she got in there though, there wasn’t anything serious. Just some sharp edges and evidence that Dressy had bitten her cheek on one side. She’s a very thin-skinned and sensitive mare, despite being tall, dark, and imposing. So I guess that’s what the swelling was about… biting her own cheek.
After Dressy, we brought out McCool. I figured we’d find some work to do in his mouth too, although he hasn’t really shown any overt signs of discomfort. But in fact, he had a lot more nasty stuff going on than Dressy had. Most of his teeth were razor sharp, and he has scarring and divots all the way up the inside of both cheeks, and was only able to grind in one direction. He must have been quite uncomfortable. He’s probably never had his teeth done in his life.
Although I’m not exactly happy that McCool had so many problems in his mouth, it’s nice to be able to identify things that can be fixed. It pays to go through a checklist of all the various possible pain issues a horse can have before you blame bad behaviour on a bad temperament.
McCool was quite cooperative about the whole process. He’s a sweetheart to handle.