Rural Missouri - September 2011 - (Page 16)

he sound of a dentist’s drill can be heard outside the clinic as the next patient stands nervously swaying side to side outside Dr. Roger Cole’s door. “This is his first time here,” says SeMa-No Electric Cooperative member Robert Allman, as he tries to coax the patient inside. Clip, clop go the patient’s four feet against the cement floor as he cautiously enters the doctor’s workstation. The stall door closes behind him. “All right, let’s see what’s bothering this guy today,” says Roger adjusting his headlamp to peer into the mouth of the 6-year-old quarter horse. Roger, a Webster Electric Cooperative member, has been a veterinarian for more than 35 years. However, in the past 14 years — with the rise of new tools and sedatives — he mainly has been practicing equine dentistry. “I was raised on a farm and had horses and worked for a veterinarian when I was in high school,” he says. “So I was always kind of guided in the direction of equine care.” Equine dentist Roger Cole of Marshfield sands down the incisors on 6-year-old quarter horse Bucky’s first visit to the dentist. An adult male horse can have up to 44 permanent teeth. A mare can have anywhere between 36 to 40. Similar to humans, horses grow two sets of teeth in their lifetime and will have lost their deciduous teeth, or “baby teeth,” by age 5. Roger recommends seeing an equine dentist when a horse is around 1 to 2 years old in order to remove the wolf teeth, small peg-shaped teeth, to put a bit seat in their mouth. Pulling back on the reins can cause a small portion of the horse’s cheek to get trapped Dental care is important because it’s extending mouth open for the exam. “The speculum is imporbetween the bit and the first back tooth causing the the horse’s life, he says. Roger encourages people to tant,” he says, “because it’s a long way to the back of horse pain. An equine dentist will eliminate the develop an understanding of equine dental care and the mouth.” sharp edges that can cause this pain by rounding to find a professional that does it properly. After positioning the mouth speculum, Roger down the first upper and lower back tooth closest “There is a right and wrong way to do dentistry,” uses a headlamp to peer inside. “I tell my FFA and to the bit, creating a bit seat. A bit he says. “That’s one of the reasons I ended up doing 4-H kids that you have to have three things in seat will decrease the pressure felt it full time, because I felt that there was a need to do order to do a good examine: sedation, a mouth by the bit in the horse’s mouth it correctly. speculum and a light source.” offering immediate relief. “If you own a horse, you own a dental problem,” Equine dentistry can be traced as far back “I recommend that if there are he says. “It can really change a horse’s personality as 600 B.C. in China, where a horse’s age and problems, or if a horse is older, to if they have dental problems, but I like the fact that value were determined but its teeth. Marshfield come back and see me at least every six most of these can be fixed with just a visit to the The first veterinary dental school was • months,” says Roger. “Otherwise, I usudentist. You can see a result pretty fast.” founded in 1762 in France. Medical and ally see them for a yearly check-up for technological advances in the past 20 preventive care.” For more information on equine dentistry, contact years have led to a rise in interest and Equine dentists offer a host of services, Dr. Roger Cole at 417-859-3983. You can also visit the information on the profession. such as checking the balance of the mouth, removal American Veterinary Medical Association’s website at Similar to humans, a horse’s incisors, or front of deciduous or infected teeth or reduction of sharp www.avma.org. teeth, help shear off food. The wide, grooved surpoints that can cause ulcers. They should also be faces of the molars and premolars, able to offer advice on nutrition and proper bits. also known as cheek teeth, grind Costs vary depending on the service. According to feed to mash. Roger, the important thing is to learn what your “A horse actually chews in a fighorse’s teeth need. ure 8,” Roger explains. “They chew He explains that when most people think of sideways but also front to back. If “floating” a horse’s teeth, they picture the dentist you get a horse having problems just knocking off some of those sharp points within with a lot of extra points, teeth a horse’s mouth. Now, with modern dentistry, the interlocking or not being balanced, focus is not just getting those points off but also balthe animal may only be able to ancing the mouth with level teeth that wear evenly. chew one way or the other creat“It’s just like airing up a tire,” Roger says. “If you ing even more problems within the put air in the tire but don’t check its balance and mouth.” make sure it’s all lined up, it’ll tend to wear out A horse may show outward signs more quickly.” of discomfort when it comes to Robert brought Bucky for his first check-up with dental care, such as difficulty chewa dentist not because of problems. “We’re hoping to ing, loss of body condition, bucking start training him for barrel racing, but we wanted or failing to stop or turn, but that is Dr. Cole to check out his mouth first to make sure not always the case. everything was OK,” he explains. According to Roger, “On young In order to keep the horses comfortable during horses, if you have problems in the their dental exams, Roger uses a sedative with a mouth causing discomfort because painkiller before putting in the mouth speculum, of sharp teeth, you’ll create a lot of a metal device similar to a jack to keep the horse’s bad riding habits.” Dr. Cole inspects Bucky’s canine teeth at Cole Equine in Marshfield. T by Caitlyn Emmett cemmett@ruralmissouri.coop Open up and say ‘Neigh!’ Equine dentist Roger Cole gets to the root of problems in horses’ mouths 16 WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP http://www.avma.org http://WWW.RURALMISSOURI.COOP

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rural Missouri - September 2011

Rural Missouri - September 2011
Table of Contents
Comments
Columns
The story behind the stories
Hemp bales and history
Bear necessities
Outdoors
Out of the Way Eats
Open up and say ‘neigh!’
Back to the one-room school
Hearth and Home
News Briefs
The Missouri artist
Marketplace
Around Missouri
Neighbors
Just4Kids

Rural Missouri - September 2011

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