Sunday, February 28, 2010

New Arrival today - Jasmine the TWH

This is our new arrival that we have named Jasmine (her former name Juliet), because she is very sweet. Approximately nine years old and a purebred Tennessee Walking Horse without papers.

Jasmine has been having trouble under bit and her owners suspected it was because of her teeth. She was also starting to stick her tongue out the left side of her mouth in a nervous type action. The last time she was ridden she reared and that was when the owners decided they needed to have her teeth addressed because she was otherwise a very calm horse.

They were referred to me by a friend and neighbor because I do equine dentistry and I answered questions and referred them to my web-site and the vet I work with locally to get more detailed information about horse dentistry.

After a few days I got a call back from Pam who asked me if I would take this horse. Once again the Lord works in mysterious ways because Pam had no idea that aside from what I do for a living, we are a not-for-profit private rescue and I love connecting people with the perfect horse for them to adopt. In fact we had just started looking for a horse for my mom and that I wanted her to have a gaited horse. Could this be a blessing all the way around?

Knowing where Jasmine has come from and that she is up to date on all her vaccines, we decided to put her in a stall next to Jet, also a TWH, and Prince Wm while she settles into her new home. She has settled right in. We will give her a few days to get used to being here and then we will do her dentistry. I will keep you all in the loop and take pictures before and after.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Budweiser Clydesdale's have nothing on my guys!

It's a brisk but sunny morning around 8am. I just grabbed a cup of coffee and was ready to settle in the recliner all cozy in my robe and slippers. Savoring the smell of the coffee as I walked into the living room, I peered out the window only to see a flash of black and white dart across the pasture out front.

Curiosity changes my direction and I head to the window instead. There they are doing it again. Goshed darned, I wasn't going to miss it this time. I set my coffee down and hurried to find my camera. On went the closest pair of shoes and out the door I went. Forget the coffee - this was just too good to not record for everyone to see.

I see pictures posted on Facebook and various web-sites of horses, usually wild stallions raised high on their hind legs, manes and tails thrashing in movement, nostrils flaring and teeth barred, viciously fighting for superiority - or are they???? After watching my guys I wonder, maybe, just maybe, they just being guys....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

No More Pain for Dr. Bill, No more for Prince William

Yesterday Jason Meduna was sentenced to at least a 20 month jail term for the neglect of 70+ horses that died in his care and around 200 that suffered from mal-nutrition because of his egotistical stupidity.

I went to bed last night with a knot in my neck and a very bad headache. The sigh of relief that Jason was proven guilty and then charged to immediate confinement in jail was tempered by my feelings over the loss of Dr. Bill who struggled for months after returning from 3 Strikes until he passed away on September 13th, 2009.

The judge said that Jason showed no remorse. I can believe that because Jason showed no concern for the mal-nutrition and illness that Dr. Bill received under his care. Not once did he or his wife pick up the phone, send an email, even send word through a friend of a friend to say they were sorry. Remorse - that's a good one. Maybe he needs to look the word up in the prison library.

But enough said about that looser. My blog today is one of happiness and how God works in mysterious ways. We were so devastated when Dr. Bill died but at the same time knew his body was just giving out on him and he was home where he was deeply loved and cared for and no he was with God where he would feel no pain nor have another sick day again. A true blessing for him.

We have lots of fond, funny and heartwarming memories of him and the life he shared with us. How blessed we were to have him as long as we did. He taught me a lot about medical care of horses, various tests - how to do them, what they show, how to read the results, what they mean, blood draws, IV fluids, daily medical notes and so much more that help me in my work. For all of that I am thankful is so many ways.

God certainly knew we did all we could to help Dr. Bill and with the help and donations of many we were able to get the care he needed, when he needed. He was a horse that touched a lot of peoples hearts. God does things in his time - for people that's hard to understand much of the time.

Here is a picture of Dr. Bill at peace and not in pain the afternoon before he passed.
Born 4-22-08 went to heaven 9-13-09.

At the bottom is a picture of Prince William. Found sick, emaciated, with parasites, an upper respiratory infection and barely able to stand. That was on Dec. 3, 2009. Now he is recovering very well, his is starting to grow, his hair has grown back, the URI is gone and his lungs are good, parasites are gone and he fits in with our horses like he was born here.

In many ways he seems more mature that his age as a weanling would show. He follows me anywhere I take him without fear, he stands to have his feet worked with, stands for a bath, we did his teeth last week and he was remarkable. He has friends in the herd and is such an easy keeper.

Everyday I see him laying in the sun in a pile of Bermuda grass. A soft bed to lay his head and enough hay that he knows he won't starve again. He chooses to lay in the hay, he'll lift his head, say "hi", and then lay back down and soak in some more sun rays. He is content, maybe even happy.

Unlike other weanlings he has been on his own since he was a month old. He had to grow up fast he had no choice. How he worked his way from Missouri to cross our path in Oakdale, CA is a miracle - a miracle for us. Lary and I fell in love with him at first sight and decided to bring him home immediately so he could start 2010 at his new home.

Based on the eruption of his teeth, he is almost 6 months old. That would mean he was born in September of 2009. Perhaps September 13, 2009, the day of Dr. Bill's passing, at least that is what I will choose to believe. Just as I believe that God takes aways and God gives and both can be blessings.

Prince William Sept. 13, 2009 to ???? hopefully a long life!

Our blessed baby that seems so grown up!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

What Good is an Old Horse????

A brother and sister made their usual hurried, obligatory Christmas visit to the little farm where their elder parents lived with their small herd of horses. The farm was where they had grown up and was called "Lone Pine" because of the huge pine which topped the hill behind the farm.

Through the years the tree had become a talisman to the old man and his wife and a landmark in the countryside. The young siblings had fond memories of their childhood here, but the hustle and bustle of the city added more excitement to their lives and called them away to a much different life.

The old folks no longer showed their horses because the years had taken their toll and getting out to the barn on those frosty mornings was getting harder and harder, but it gave them a reason to get up each day. A reason to live. They sold a few foals each year and the horses were their reason for both joy in the morning and contentment at the day's end.

Angry as they prepared to leave the young siblings confronted the folks, "why do you not at least dispose of the "old one"? She is no longer of use to you, it has been years since you had a foal from her, you should cut your corners and save so you can have more for yourselves. How can this old worn out horse be anything but a burden causing expense and work? Why do you keep her anyway?

The old man looked down at his worn boots, holes in the toes, scuffed at the barn floor and replied, "Yes, I could use a pair of new boots". His arm slid defensively around the Old One's neck as he drew her near with gentle caressing he rubbed her softly behind her ears. He replied softly, "We keep her because of love, nothing else, just love."

Baffled and irritated the kids wished the old man and his wife a Merry Christmas and headed back toward the city as darkness fell throughout the valley. The old couple shook their heads in sorrow that it had not been a very happy visit. A tear fell upon their cheeks. How is it that these young folks do not understand the peace and love that filled their hearts?

So it was, because of the unhappy departure that no one noticed the insulation smoldering on the frayed wires in the old barn. No one saw the first spark fall. No one but the Old One.

In a matter of minutes, the whole barn was ablaze and the hungry flames were licking at the loft full of hay. With a cry of horror and despair, the old man shouted to his wife to call for help as he raced to the barn to save their beloved horses.

But the flames were roaring now and the blazing heat drove him back. He sank sobbing to the ground, helpless before the fire's fury. His wife back from calling for help cradled him in her arms. Clinging to each other they wept at their loss.

By the time the fire department arrived only smoking, glowing ruins were left and the old man and his wife, exhausted from their grief, huddled together outside the barn. They were speechless as they rose from the cold snow covered ground. They nodded thanks to the firemen as there was nothing anyone could do now.

The old man turned to his wife, resting her grey head upon his shoulder as his shaking old hands clumsily dried her tears with a frayed red bandanna. Brokenly he whispered, "We have lost so much but God has spared our home on this eve of Christmas, let's gather our strength and climb the hill to the old pine where we have sought comfort in times of despair. We will look down upon our home and give thanks to God that it has been spared and pray for our beloved and most precious gifts that have been taken from us."

So he took her by the hand and slowly helped her up the snowy hill as he brushed aside his own tears with the back of his old and withered hand. The journey up the hill was hard for their old bodies in the deep snow and they took their time as they climbed. As they stepped over the little knoll at the crest of hill they paused to rest. Looking up to the top of the hill the old couple gasped and fell to their knees in amazement at the incredible beauty before them.

Seemingly, every glorious, brilliant star in the heavens was caught in the glittering, snow-frosted branches of their lone pine tree as though it was aglow with heavenly candles. Poised on the top of the tree was a crescent moon that glistened like spun glass. Never had a mere mortal created a Christmas tree such as this. They were breathless as the old man held his wife tighter in his arms.

Suddenly the old man gave a cry of wonder and incredible joy. Amazed and mystified, he took his wife by the hand and pulled her forward. There, beneath the tree, in resplendent glory, a mist hovering over and glowing in the darkness was their Christmas gift. Shadows glistening in the night light.

Bedded down about the Old One, close to the trunk of the tree, was the entire herd - safe.

At the first hint of smoke the Old One had pushed the door ajar with her grey muzzle and led the horses through it. Slowly with great dignity, never looking back, she had led them up the hill, stepping cautiously through the snow. The foals were frightened and dashed about. The skittish yearlings looked back at the crackling, hungry flames and tucked their tails under themselves as they licked their lips and hopped like rabbits. The mares that were in foal with a new years crop of babies, pressed uneasily against the Old One as she moved calmly up the hill and to the safety beneath the lone pine.

Now, she lay among them and gazed at the faces of the old man and his wife. Those she loved she had not disappointed. Her body was brittle with years and she was tired from the climb, but her golden eyes were filled with devotion as she offered her gift.

Because of Love. Only Because of Love.

Tears flowed as the old couple shouted their praise and joy...And again the peace of love filled their hearts.

This is said to be a true story from Willy Eagle. An inspirational message that I hope will make your day just a little bit better!

The day after dentistry for Prince William

It's raining outside today, a little windy and in the 50's. For those of you up to your eyeballs in snow you could probably care less, but either way it's good day to be inside. We put the horses out in the grassy pastures for a couple hours to get some fresh grass and different digs to move around in for exercise.

I took the time to watch Prince William and am so glad to see that he is chewing with his mouth closed and no food is falling out. That little bit of change with his dentistry yesterday was enough that his chewing is now normal. I know that will relieve pressure on his TMJ too.

One more step to getting him back in good health.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Prince Wm visits the Dentist!

Today I am once again amazed at Prince William's calm and willing nature. As we go through this keep in mind that he is not yet six months old.

For those who are reading about Prince Wm for the first time, he was pulled from his mom at one month old and had to fend for himself. At two months old he was shipped from Missouri to central California in a trailer load of horse and the recipients had no idea he was coming. They put him out in the pasture to once again fend for himself.

When John from Zen Equine Rescue of Central CA saw him, he was emaciated and barely able to stand. John contacted animal control who immediately went out to check on this little colt. The owner (fearing criminal charges) turned the colt over to John who immediately took him to Pioneer Vet Clinic.

He was emaciated, anemic, had hair loss patches all over his body, parasites and an upper respiratory infection. That was on Dec. 4, 2009. He was quarantined, given antibiotics, wormer and started on a high fat diet to get his health back. On 12-30-09 we saw this little guy and heard his story and decided to bring him to our facility to continue his rehabilitation. We brought him home with us on New Years Eve day. He started 2010 with a family that fell in love with him.

One of the first things I noticed was his difficulty eating. He had huge ulcers on his lips that would bleed when he ate and he had to open his mouth wider than normal to chew his food. The ulcers were gone in a week (Llysine was a big help) and after a chiropractic treatment by Dr. Dawn Fletcher he was chewing a little better, but I still thought he was opening his mouth too much to chew his food and a lot was falling out.

Today was his day for dentistry. This is the youngest patient we have had in the mobile dentistry clinic. Even though he had never walked up a trailer ramp he followed me up the ramp and inside the dental stock with no problem what so ever.

A little sedation to make him comfortable for the exam and dental work and we were ready for his exam. Right away we can see the scars of the ulcerations he had along his lips and gums. The scars don't seem to be causing him any irritation.

At his age he has his baby teeth and until he is about two years old with have 3 teeth on each side up and down. His teeth have erupted normally, but we do see that he already has sharp edges and there are causing light abrasions on his tongue. We also see he has a scar right in the center of his tongue (the little black spot) hard to say how he got that.

The angle of his teeth is a little steep and that can be a reason a horse would open his mouth wider than normal to chew. Mis-alignment or pain are other reasons too. We determine at his age all he needs is a float to reduce the sharp enamel points fixing the angle of the chewing surface and giving his tongue a break from the sharp edges.

Here is a before and after so you can see the difference.

Now that the sharp edges are gone we check to be sure his teeth move laterally across each other without any problems and and all is well. Next we need to look at his incisors.

Right now he only has eight of the twelve he will have. The four outside incisors usually come through the gums at age six months - that is what is helping us determine how old he is. We can just see the upper incisors just under the gumline so they should be erupting through in the next few weeks. He will probably start teething as the teeth care erupting through the gums. Yep, just like babies...

Prince William has what is called an over jet which is quite common. Not a parrot mouth were the incisors don't touch each other - the over jet means that the upper incisors sit a little further out than the lowers. With an over jet we need to be sure the upper teeth don't grow too long and over the lower teeth making it difficult for them to chew food to get it in their mouths.

We were done in about 15 minutes and Prince William did so awesome. He ended up needed minor changes, but now we have a baseline to start his dentistry history from, we know he has an overjet that will need regular maintenence and he should have no trouble chewing his food because of the angle of his teeth or any other irregularities.

Some of the issues that happen to babies include twisted mandible or maxilla (lower and upper jaws), parrot mouth, and monkey mouth (a complete under-jet) or teeth not erupting as they should. Foals should always be checked between six weeks and six months to be sure there are no major mal-occulsions. Typically this can be done while the foal is out with his mom so it doesn't get too worried nor does she. You do want to be sure before you wean them that they will be able to properly chew their food.

After we were done Prince Wm backed out of the trailer stall with no problems. Out to the pasture so he could get his morning snack of grass... Yummy!

Dentistry services provided by myself and

Dr. Lisa Grim of 2-19-2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Update on Bella the Carter Reservior Mustang

We recently did Bella's teeth for the first time. It is amazing that at age 10, her teeth were nearly perfect, but that is not unusual for a mustang that spent time in the wild from my experience.

Her teeth looked like a domestic horses that has had dentistry for many years. There were very few corrections needed on her molars.

What was no doubt causing her pain and affecting her stance and receptiveness to her head being handled was a diagonal on her incisors caused by a chipped tooth on the lower arcade.

As you can see from the photo, the tooth directly to the right of the chipped tooth had started to grow over the chipped area and had erupted taller than the other lower teeth causing the upper teeth to cross at a diagonal instead of laterally when she chewed.

This type of diagonal causes extra pressure on the TMJ causing pain that can radiate through the pole and down the spine. Dee, her trainer, noted a change in her stance the very next day. She was relaxing more and her feet were more squarely underneath her. She also had better range of flexing in her neck.

It will take a short time for the adjustment to the TMJ now that the incisors are working accurately. Then she will be ready to continue her training. We may also call in our chiropractor - Dawn Fletcher of Medicine Hat Animal Chiropractic, to give her any adjustments she may need to help get her skeletal system back in line.

All in all, Bella is doing better and we are glad.