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  Mon Apr 23

Article: Equine Dentistry * An Article By Tom Judd, D.V.M.

Each year I make every effort to attend the International Association of Equine Dentistry (IAED) conference somewhere in the United States. If I cannot attend this conference, then I will do my best to participate in an affiliated dental group's continuing education opportunities. Many regard the IAED as the premier organization representing equine dental technicians and veterinarians in equine dentistry. One of IAED's most exciting features is their certification program. Currently two levels of certification are offered, basic and advanced. The standard of dental care of basic certification is head and shoulders above the level of dentistry being offered by most equine practitioners and lay dentists. One of my primary interests is equine dentistry, and for many years I have been striving to increase the quality of the equine dentistry I practice. Joining IAED and working up through the certification levels is another stepping stone in my ongoing attempt to offer the best dentistry possible in the area.

Let's start by delineating some of the differences between “routine floating” and progressive equine veterinary dentistry. As many of you know “points” are one of the first things that many owners notice when a horse's mouth starts to become out of balance.

Points are sharp edges of enamel that start to protrude on the buccal (cheek side) of the upper premolars and molars and on the lingual (tongue side) of the lower cheek teeth. The premolars and molars are the large grinding teeth that are situated behind the area taken up by the bit and extend backwards approximately 8”. Floating teeth has basically meant the removal of these points. Progressive dentistry addresses not only the removal of these points, but also takes into account many other factors of equine dentition, for example, removing hooks, ramps and rims which are some of the abnormalities of molars that are often left poorly addressed in a routine float. Other aspects of progressive dentistry include reducing waves, overgrown molars (high molars or steps), re-establishing molar table angles, creating uniform bit seats, incisor maintenance, conservatively reducing canines (not to be confused with wolf teeth) and removing wolf teeth and deciduous teeth (caps). We will go into each of these subjects in more detail next.

Hooks are defined as being an overgrowth of tooth that is taller than deep. After point formation, hooks are probably the most commonly discovered abnormality. They usually form as sharp, fanglike projections on the upper first cheek teeth and the lower last cheek teeth.

Ramps are defined as an overgrowth of tooth longer in depth than in height. Ramps are the next most commonly seen anomaly second to hooks. They involve more tooth body; therefore, are more difficult to remove.

Rims are formed on an individual tooth when the center of the occlusal (grinding) surface becomes worn down compared to the outer edge of the tooth.

Wave formation involves an overgrowth of tooth in more than one consecutive tooth. Since waves involve more than one tooth, they may require a rather large amount of tooth reduction and can be quite involved. Viewed from the side a wave looks just like its namesake. An elevation in the molar surface corresponds with an indentation in the molar surface opposite it.

Overgrown molars can be caused from the lack of an opposing tooth or because of the super-eruption of the offending tooth which causes excessive wear on the opposing molar. These teeth can be handled either by carefully grinding or cutting them back to normal height.

Bit seat creation involves placing shallow angles into the very front edge of the upper and lower first cheek teeth. Creating a bit seat in the leading edge of the first cheek teeth gives the soft tissues of the mouth (tongue, inside edge of the corners of the lips and cheeks) a comfortable place to rest while a bit is in use.

Incisor maintenance refers to making sure the length of the incisors (front, grass shearing teeth) is in correct proportion to the length of the molars. If the incisors are too long it keeps the molars out of contact with each other during a chewing cycle. If the molars are too long in relation to the incisors this won't allow the incisors to come together completely. We can judge molar and incisor proportion by observing the effect of lateral movement of the jaw. Keeping the incisor length proportionate to the molar length and adjusting the molar table angle to 10 to 15 degrees allows the horse to achieve maximum efficiency of feed breakup and therefore utilization. We look for a stem length of no longer than 3/8” in the manure to assess grinding efficency.

Canine reduction involves the conservative shortening and blunting of the canine teeth when they are present. Many authorities in equine dentistry now recommend this procedure since it serves a number of purposes. Canine reduction contributes to making things more comfortable when bitting the horse, they are less likely to abrade the horse's tongue and cause less injury to the hands of anyone examining or working in the horse's mouth and can prevent or slow tartar formation at this common area for tartar buildup.

Wolf teeth are small permanent teeth that erupt usually within the first year or two of the horse's life. The crown (the part of the tooth visible above the gum) usually averages about the size of a pencil eraser. When present, this tooth sits just in front of the first upper cheek teeth and has the high probability of causing potential bitting problems. With proper levels of sedation and analgesia (pain relief) they are usually removed quite easily.

Deciduous teeth are baby teeth that erupt and exist in the young horse's mouth from birth through 4.5 years old. They exist for the incisors and first three upper and lower cheek teeth (pre-molars). Deciduous teeth are often called “caps” and like a loosening baby tooth in humans can be quite uncomfortable for several weeks prior to their natural falling out. When loosening caps are discovered during a dental exam they should be removed at that time.

The above information demonstrates the complexity of equine dentistry when it is approached with the goal of balancing the equine mouth. Please see the photographs of actual cases, diagrams and articles linked to our dental page to learn more and better understand what's going on inside your horse's mouth. The above information demonstrates the complexity of equine dentistry when it is approached with the goal of balancing the equine mouth. 

  Mon Mar 05

Can You Teach a Dumb Dog New Tricks?

If your canine seems clueless, it may be that it has been bred to be more independent, or not so eager to please its owner, Yin says.

Training will require more patience and the right kind of motivation, whether it's praise, petting, or treats.

"For breeds, instincts make a difference, but for the basics - 'sit,' 'come,' 'down' - they'll all learn at the same rate. With good technique, the difference might be a month," she says.

Her Australian cattle dog, for example, stays at her side when they're out and loves a pat on the head. Her Jack Russell terrier, a high-energy breed that didn't make the smart list, has to be rewarded lickety-split with a treat or he'll lose interest in learning. A pat on the head just won't do it.

The beagle, a breed trained to work independently, probably needs more training time, Yin says. And the bulldog, which scored well below average on obedience tests, can learn quickly - as long as he doesn't feel pushed around or punished

The beagle and bulldog are among the dog breeds on the bottom of Coren's list. These dogs had to hear commands 80 to 100 times or more before they obeyed them 25% or less of the time. They include:

1. Shih Tzu 2. Bassett hound 3. Mastiff/Beagle (tied) 4. Pekingnese 5. Bloodhound 6. Borzoi 7. Chow Chow 8. Bulldog 9. Basenji 10. Afghan hound (least obedient)
Redenbach doesn't like categorizing dogs as smart or dumb; she says that's too simplistic. Like Yin, she says positive and consistent training will make a good dog.

"The number of intelligent dogs I have met has been on the increase over the years, because the better trainer I become, the smarter I see they are," Redenbach says.

  Wed Feb 07

Dogs Can Detect if someone has Cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer

Dogs can detect if someone has cancer just by sniffing the person's breath, a new study shows.

Dogs can identify chemical traces in the range of parts per trillion. Previous studies have confirmed the ability of trained dogs to detect skin-cancer melanomas by sniffing skin lesions.

Also, some researchers hope to prove dogs can detect prostate cancer by smelling patients' urine.

Lung- and breast-cancer patients are known to exhale patterns of biochemical markers in their breath.

"Cancer cells emit different metabolic waste products than normal cells," Broffman said. "The differences between these metabolic products are so great that they can be detected by a dog's keen sense of smell, even in the early stages of disease."

  Mon Jan 07

St. Bernard

While I was Researching The St. Bernard. I found this:

Barry der Menschenretter (1800–1814), also known as Barry, was a dog of a breed which was later called the St. Bernard that worked as a mountain rescue dog in Switzerland for the Great St Bernard Hospice. He predates the modern St. Bernard, and was lighter built than the modern breed. He has been described as the most famous St. Bernard, as he was credited with saving more than 40 lives during his lifetime.

The legend surrounding him was that he was killed while attempting a rescue; however, this is untrue. Barry retired to Bern, Switzerland and after his death his body was passed into the care of the Natural History Museum of Bern. His skin has been preserved through taxidermy although his skull was modified in 1923 to match the Saint Bernard of that time period. His story and name have been used in literary works, and a monument to him stands in the Cimetière des Chiens near Paris. At the hospice one dog has always been named Barry in his honor and since 2004 the Foundation Barry du Grand Saint Bernard has been set up to take over the responsibility for breeding dogs from the hospice.
St. Bernard dogs are no longer used for Alpine rescues, the last recorded instance of which was in 1955. As late as 2004, the Great St Bernard Hospice still maintained 18 of the dogs for reasons of tradition and sentiment. In that year the Barry Foundation created breeding kennels for the breed at the town of Martigny down the Pass, and purchased the remaining dogs from the Hospice.

The animals bred by the Foundation are trained to participate in a variety of dog sports including carting and weight pulling. The dogs at the Barry Foundation are reportedly smaller than the average St Bernard.

Known as a classic example of a Gentle Giant, the Saint Bernard is calm, patient and sweet with adults, and especially children. However St. Bernards, like all very large dogs, must be well socialized with people and other dogs in order to prevent fearfulness and any possible aggression or territoriality. The biggest threat to small children is being knocked over by this breed's larger size. Overall they are a sweet, gentle, calm, loyal and affectionate breed, and if socialized are very friendly. Because of its large adult size, it is essential that proper training and socialization begin while the St. Bernard is still a puppy, so as to avoid the difficulties that normally accompany training large dogs. An unruly St. Bernard may present problems for even a strong adult, so control needs to be asserted from the beginning of the dog's training. While generally not instinctively protective, a St. Bernard may bark at strangers, and their size makes them good deterrents against possible intruders

  Mon Jan 14

Blanket Chart

Horse blanket2: Here's how to choose the best blanket for your horse.


Horse blanket2: Choosing A Blanket for Your Horse

Here are 5 factors you must consider when choosing and using a blanket for your horse.

1. Fabric: Nylon is very strong and resilient and it doesn't hold stains, but it's very expensive. Polyester is lightweight, more affordable, and but it’s not as strong as nylon. A blend often gives you the best of both worlds.  The strength (and thus durability) of a blanket's outer layer is expressed in denier units  The higher the denier number, the stronger the material. It takes a 1,200-denier polyester to match the strength of only 840-denier nylon.

2. Linings: Polycotton, nylon, and fleece-like wicking material are the most common. Many people prefer a wicking liner because it's more breathable than the others, and breathable blankets are usually healthier and warmer for your horse.

3. Fit: Measure from the center of the chest at the point of the shoulder, around the shoulder, along the barrel following closely to the skin, continuing around the hip to the center of the tail.  The size of the blanket corresponds to the inches you just measured. For example, if your measurement comes out to 78 inches, then your horse wears a size 78.  A blanket measured this way allows four fingers at the chest and a few inches below the top of the tail.

4. Placement: Don’t make the legs straps too tight or else your horse’s hind legs will pull the blanket backwards and rub the chest. If they’re too loose, your horse can get its hind legs caught in them. It is safer criss-cross the straps for most horses.

5. Blanketing Your Horse: If your horse freaks when you try to pull the blanket over his head, you have two choices. The first is to unhook it entirely and place it gently over his back so he doesn’t freak out. Better: Work with a trainer to desensitize your horse to movements like this. It will make your horse braver, encourage him to trust your leadership, and make it immeasurably easier for the staff at your barn (or your friends) to blanket your horse for you.

  Tue Dec 25

Calories Burned in Horse Activities

Whoever thinks horse riding and care isn't excercise never owned a horse! Between the shoveling and the grooming and the training, you're burning up a lot of calories-- for example, riding at a trot burns more calories than a brisk walk!

Horse Activities - Calories burned per hour:

ACTIVITY: For 130 lb person: For 155 lb person: For 190 lb person:
Shoveling 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
General Horse Riding: 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr

Riding horse at the walk:
148 cal/hr 176 cal/hr 216 cal/hr
Riding horse at the trot: 384 cal/hr 457 cal/hr 561 cal/hr
Riding horse at a gallop: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Horse Grooming 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Baling hay/cleaning barn: 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Shoveling Grain 325 cal/hr 387 cal/hr 474 cal/hr
Fencing 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Polo 472 cal/hr 563 cal/hr 690 cal/hr
Hiking, cross country (if your horse is hard to catch...) 354 cal/hr 422 cal/hr 518 cal/hr
Brisk walking 4 MPH 236 cal/hr 281 cal/hr 345 cal/hr
Walking, carrying 15 lb load: 207 cal/hr 246 cal/hr 302 cal/hr
  Sun Feb 04

This photo maybe disturbing but read this story. He was Amazing!!

This is a photo of Man o’ War in his coffin. At the time, he was the most famous Thoroughbred in history.  He died on November 1, 1947 at the age of 30 of an apparen...t heart attack. He was the first horse to be embalmed, and his casket was lined in his riding colors. Man o’ War’s funeral was broadcast internationally over the radio and over 2,000 people came to pay their final respects. Photo and information at: The Kentucky Horse Park in Lexington, Kentucky is a twelve hundred acre working horse farm, with a world-class equestrian competition facility where over 15-thousand horses take part in various competitions each year.  This is also the resting place of the most famous Thoroughbred of the Twentieth Century - Man o’ War. He was born March 29, 1917 at the Kentucky Nursery Stud farm, owned by August Belmont, Jr.  One of almost 17-hundred Thoroughbreds foaled that year, he was named “My Man o’ War” by Mrs. Belmont in honor of her husband who would be going off to fight in France during World War One.  One year later, the high tempered yearling was sold at the Saratoga Sales in New York. Purchased by Pennsylvania horseman, Samuel Riddle for $5,000, trainers hoped that ‘Big Red” as he was called off the track, could be trained as a racehorse.  His instincts and intelligence made him a fast learner.  On June 6, 1919, Man o’ War won his first race, with Johnny Loftus as the jockey.  According to legend, at the completion of that first race a spectator asked a groom who Man o’ War was sired by.  The groom replied, “He’s by hisself and there ain’t nobody gonna’ get near him.” The groom’s words were prophetic.  Except for Man o’ War’s sixth race, which he lost to a horse named Upset, he won them all and went on to be named Horse of the Year for 1919 and 1920.  As a three-year-old, he was ridden by jockey Clarence Kummer.  He stood 16.2 hands high and had a stride of 28 feet! All told, Man o’ War won 20 out of 21 races in his career and nearly 250-thousand dollars in purses – the leading money winner of his time.  Kummer was the top money-winning jockey in the U.S. for 1920. Although he was extremely favored as a possible winner, Man o’ War was not entered in the Kentucky Derby because Sam Riddle didn’t like racing in Kentucky and believed it was too early in the year for the horse to run a mile and a quarter. Man o’ War did win the Preakness Stakes in Maryland, breaking a track record.  He also won the Belmont Stakes in New York, setting another record time.  All told, he broke 5 American racing records that year.  At the end of the racing season in 1920, Man o’ War was retired from racing. “Big Red” was taken to Faraway Farm near Lexington to become a stud horse. Groom/Trainer  Will Harbut was put in charge of him and a life-long friendship began between man and horse.  “Big Red” became one of the top-breeding stallions in the nation, siring over 60 champions, including Horses of the Year - Crusader and War Admiral. War Admiral won the Triple Crown in 1937.  Man o’ War was also the grandfather of American horse legend, Seabiscuit.  Harbut and “Big Red” became inseparable friends.  They led tours and entertained over one million visitors to Faraway Farm.  Harbut told engaging stories about Man o’ War and his life, on and off the track.  “Big Red” and Harbut graced the covers of several magazines during the 30’s and early 40’s.  Both enjoyed performing before the crowds, each seeming to instinctively understand what the other needed or wanted. Then on October 4, 1947, Will Harbut died of a heart attack.  In Harbut’s obituary he was listed as being survived by “his wife, six sons, three daughters and Man o’ War. It was rumored that Man o’ War grieved himself to death.  After Harbut’s death, the spark went out of the horse.  He died just 4 weeks later on November 1, 1947 at the age of 30 of an apparent heart attack.  He was the first horse to be embalmed, and his casket was lined in his riding colors.  Man o’ War’s funeral was broadcast internationally over the radio and over 2,000 people came to pay their final respects.  Thousands more sent their condolences.  The most famous Thoroughbred in the world had touched people deeply.   Owner Sam Riddle had commissioned artist Herbert Haseltine to sculpt a life-size bronze statue of Man o’ War in 1934. It was now placed on the horse’s grave at Faraway Farm. In 1977, Man o’ War, along with several of his offspring, were moved to the newly established Kentucky Horse Park and reburied at the Man o’ War Memorial.

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