Archive for December, 2011

Gratuitous Dakota Photo


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Several weeks ago, my father-in-law brought his (relatively) new girlfriend to the barn to see my horse.


So I go to get her, and from 10 feet away, the smell nearly knocked me over.  She had this revolting, greenish stank snot that smelled like absolute death.  Needless to say, I warned them off and they looked from a distance.  Had them pet a couple of the others I knew they could pet, and dealt with Ms. Snotty.

Oh, was it gross.

Called the vet, who came out and said that she had a split tooth in her upper jaw, which had abscessed into her sinus.  Solution?  Take X-rays to be sure, but –

  • Best case, remove the tooth at the barn, for several hundred dollars.
  • Worst case, remove the tooth at the clinic for a couple of thousand – they’d have to make an incision, drill into her sinus, and tap it out from above.

Now, I’m not the type to begrudge my horse health care, but I’m not the type to allow having her face drilled through, either, without a second opinion.  I told the vet I wanted her looked at by a horse dentist.

Enter my hero.

Equine Dentist Ron Ross takes care of several horses at the barn, and I lucked out when I called him.  He said he was in CT the next day, and could rearrange his schedule to adjust to my work schedule and come and see her.  Amazing.  Ron’s worked with the Budweiser Clydesdales.  He works across the country, and is a really busy guy, very much in demand.  I was thrilled that he’d move his schedule around to see her.

After a little while, he said that in his (non-medical) opinion, it wasn’t split – the lower tooth had a ridge, and the upper one had simply grown around it – so it appeared to have split!  The pressure from the lower tooth had pushed the upper against the upper jaw, irritating and causing the abscess.  Cause?  Poor floating (prior to my owning her).

He worked on her teeth for a while – just floated them with some extra attention to the problem area.  I was fascinated watching him work.  He has a wonderful way with horses; Dakota was as relaxed as I’ve ever seen her.  No sedation, no power tools, and she just let him do whatever he wanted.  Good horse, and a great dentist.

And best of all, no further problems.  And the final bill?  $140.

Most impressive, he called to follow up and see how she was.

Can’t recommend him highly enough.

UPDATE: Ron came out for Dakota’s 6-month follow-up. The tooth still has a pocket, but is not split. He floated her teeth, and she’ll be staying on a 6-month schedule until we’re sure the tooth isn’t at risk of splitting (which can happen if that pocket gets too big). Kota was, as usual, well-behaved, although a little more feisty than at the last visit. Just a touch of Spring Fever.

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