Sunday, July 3, 2011

Success At Last

Misty's dental procedure went very well and that tooth is outta there!  Finally!

They let me take a couple of pictures during the procedure, but asked that I not post them online.  I'm not sure why.  Maybe because someone might think it looks like abuse rather than a veterinary procedure.  It did look rather Frankenstein-ish, but was fascinating to watch.  I think it is safe to share one of Misty's xrays. After all, I paid for them and they are not as disturbing as seeing a metal pin sticking into her sweet face.

First the dentist inserted a needle into Misty's jaw, above her bad tooth (#207), and took an x-ray to check the alignment.  Next she inserted a Steinmann pin, following the same path as the needle.  Another x-ray was taken and the pin realigned slightly, and another x-ray to confirm the desired positioning. I don't have a copy of the final confirmation x-ray.  After this shot the dentist chose to reposition the pin forward by about 2mm.  Since the tooth was rotten, the dentist was being very careful to aim the pin at the strongest part of the root to lessen the chance of the pin passing through the diseased tooth.

Then the dentist began tapping the pin with a metal surgical mallet, while her tech kept a hand in Misty's mouth, feeling for the vibration on the bad tooth.  It looked like the pin kept sinking deeper and deeper into Misty's jaw, when the tech finally said she was feeling the tooth move slightly.  The dentist switched places and felt the tooth.  The tech continued the tap...tap...tapping...and finally the tooth, root and all, dropped right into the dentist's fingers and everyone rejoiced.  Vets and their techs get really happy when procedures like this go as planned.  My local vet and her tech were there too.  Everyone got a learning experience feeling inside Misty's mouth, including me.  I've never had my hand inside Misty's mouth before.  It was amazing to feel her big teeth and the sharp point of the Steinmann pin still inserted through Misty's jaw and protruding into the huge gap where the rotten tooth had been.

The procedure took about 3 hours.  Misty was discharged a couple of hours later and spent the night at home in her pressure bandage.  I fed her soaked Timothy grass pellets when we got home.  She was very hungry and that bandage didn't slow her down one bit.

The next morning I removed her bandage.   She'll get her little pink stitches out around July 13th.  Until then I will be giving her oral antibiotics through a syringe and flushing her mouth twice a day with diluted Nolvasan.  Surprisingly, she likes the Nolvasan flush.  I don't even have to halter her for it.  She readily opens her mouth and lets me flush it 4 or 5 times with a syringe.  When she realizes I'm done, she tries to grab my container while I'm putting the cap back on.  Silly mare.

Misty is doing well and happy to return to napping with her good buddy SaraJane.  Goodness gracious those two princesses like to nap.  Must be nice.  I think we humans should follow their lead and take more naps.

Here is the official treatment report:

Misty was sedated with Dormosedan and Torbugesic, given anit-inflammatory (Banamine), and a maxillary nerve block was performed. Oral extraction not possible with missing crown. A Steinmann pin repulsion was performed successfully with radiographic guidance. The Steinmann pin tract was flushed with saline/dilute Betadine solution. The socket was packed with Metronidazole and Technovite packing. might be curious what something like this costs.  Me too!  I haven't received the final invoice yet, but the office told me it looked like it would be about $800.00.

Click HERE to see another Steinmann pin repulsion that is documented online by
The Academy of Equine Dentistry.


  1. I'm so glad that the procedure went well and Misty is feeling so much better and able to resume her napping. What a sweet girl.

  2. So glad that went well - it must be a huge relief!

  3. So glad to here that the procedure went well. She looks content napping in the grass under the sunshine like a very large cat.
    Funny about the flushes. I wonder what the Nolvasan tastes like. Molasses?
    Yikes about the cost. In the old days it would have been free....hit the thing with a hammer or tie a string around the rotten tooth and yank really hard. Sounds excruciating, though.
    Will she have any issues with food falling into the empty space left behind by the pulled tooth?


    word verif: Shire


  4. It does sound fascinating, and I'm so glad that the ordeal is over... I bet you are, too!
    The price actually sounds reasonable for the time involved.
    Will she need more frequent floating?

  5. Oh, hooray! So glad everything went according to plan and I'm sure Misty is much happier without that nasty tooth! Glad to see the girl back home and content.

  6. Oh thank goodness! I'm glad it's all over for you and Misty. It sounds like it went perfectly, and she's a very good girl. Yay!

  7. I'm so happy it all went well and the rotten tooth is gone. She's going to feel soooo much better! Chrome is really good about oral antibiotics and having his mouth flushed out too. Thank goodness! Some horses are total pains about it. Good girl Misty! :D

  8. I found your blog from A Fearsome Beauty's, what a beautiful horse! I'm so glad that it went well. Super cute that she likes her flushes, they seem to know when something helps them. When I had to give Denali her meds for EPM she would lick the suringe clean after (THANK GOD, it was 4 weeks, twice a day)

    Heal Quick!

  9. Wow! What a procedure. I'm surprised it was only that much--seems like a pretty good deal for the amount of work involved. So glad it turned out well!! Now, I can't wait to hear how she heals up. Hope it goes fast for her and you.

  10. So glad to hear everything went well. Misty is such a good girl!! The flushing probably feels good, not sure about the taste. Silly girl :)

  11. Very happy for Misty and you that it went as planned.

    When can she start back to her normal riding routine?

  12. Thanks for the info on the bungee trailer tie. That's something to definitely think about. I'll look at the others you mentioned because I haven't heard of those before.

    I'm not sure about the halter yet either . . . I just know he can't be tied in the rope halter. It may depend completely on the tie too. If I get a tie that has a breakaway ability I won't need the breakaway halter. It's something I'll just have to research. I have some time because I'm not going to haul him in this heat again. It broke my heart to see him covered in sweat like that. Thanks for you comment. :)