- We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide.
You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.
We have been hearing about more and more folks calling themselves equine dentists or gnathologists or odontologist etc as well as other ‘practitioners’ of various forms of veterinary medicine who are not actually trained in any form of veterinary medicine that are asking you to trust them to perform procedures on your horses. They will charge you the same or slightly less than it would cost to take your horse to a veterinarian and there are claims like “vets aren’t trained’, ‘vets don’t know how to do teeth’, vets don’t take enough tooth off’ etc.
Our job is to provide our clients and their horses with the best quality of safe and effective care – whether that is a complex surgery, vaccination, orthopedic lameness exam or floating their teeth. As a horse owner, you don’t want to put your horse in harms way and wouldn’t intentionally do so, but the claims and guarantees of a job done better than the vet and cheaper can be persuasive.
For our part, we are trained to perform sedation (with knowledge of contraindications, antidotes and dealing with complications), we are trained as equine veterinarians with additional years of experience beyond our core veterinary school training, to perform dental floating/equilibration, wolf tooth removal, molar removal, complete a dental and cranial exam, dealing with diastema’s, wave mouth, overbites/underbites, hooks and ramps and more complicated dental diseases such as tumors, sinusitis, fistulas etc. We are trained to do these things and we are also trained to recognize our limits and refer you and your horse to those that have even more training such as specialists (actual specialists) in equine dentistry and surgery.
A cautionary tale lay in these xrays below. This is a horse that was visited by an ‘equine dentist’ who ‘does a better job and takes off more than the vets will’. Unfortunately, more isn’t always better. The xrays show this horse’s teeth were mechanically ground down to the point that the molars did not meet properly, the canines were filed flat to the gum line exposing the root to rampant infection of her jaw, a molar has been pull from the upper jaw without proper technique exposing the sinuses to infection and feed material being packing into the skull cavity, the incisors had been filed aggressively and could no long meet properly for her to grasp feed. The horse had a heart murmur (which the ‘equine dentist’ did not detect or know how to detect) yet the horse was sedated with a medication that should not be in the hands of anyone but a veterinarian for this reason.
The horse died despite efforts to try and correct the problems. The horse wasted away in such a short period of time due to the procedures endured at the hands of someone who proclaimed to know what they were doing and that they can be trusted with your horses.
Surely there are some folks out there that have managed to achieve some training in equine dentistry, but I cannot figure out which ones are which, can you? A human dentist goes to school for at least 6 years (not weeks or days) at a university level setting and must attain high grades and competencies just as veterinarians do to be properly trained to safely perform medical procedures on our patients. No one is perfect, but we need to at least be competent. Filing a horse’s teeth doesn’t look like it would be a difficult thing to do, until it is and there are serious consequences.
Dr. Bell is now a member of the International Society of Equine Locomotion Pathology (ISELP). This is a advanced training group in the area of lameness and imaging - specifically ultrasound. Dr. Bell will be participate in courses which will further improve the level of expertise provides to diagnose your horse and their lameness, bone, muscle and joint issues.
Have you wondered about whether your horse has gastric ulcers or maybe you are treating your horse with Gastrogard, Ulcergard, Omeprazole, Neighlox, diatemaceus earth, licorice root or some other supplement and don't know if you are getting anywhere with the treatment? We offer equine gastroscopy (endoscopic examination of the stomach, esophagus and first portion of the small intestine) to look for erosions or ulcers of the lining of these structures in your horse. If you are interested in finding out more, visit our Facebook page or in our internal medicine section on this website for more information about the next available clinic day.
Equine Kinesiology Tape Therapy
You've seen it on the Olympics and now we can offer it to our horse athletes as well. Elders Equine is now providing equine sports taping as part of our sports medicine preventative and rehabilitation therapies. The theory behind sports tape is that the application of the tape over various muscle groups, ligaments and tendons can help prevent over extension, improve mobility, decrease inflammation and improve circulation. These tapes are applied before an event to help minimize the stress over a tendon, ligament or muscle area and to improve post-exercise recovery. We will be using them for rehabilitation programs as well. Although, this type of therapy will not outright prevent exaggerated overextension or hyper-flexion injuries altogether, it does improve the protection of the affected area and minimizes injuries from mild to moderate exertional stretching/strains.
Some of the specific areas of use for sports tape would be:
Gluteal muscle groups
Lumbar and back muscle groups
Neck muscle groups
Fetlock and carpal over-extension prevention/augmentation
Improved lymphatic drainage - lymphangitis
If you are interested in discussing the potential for use of equine sports taping in your horse prior to their next event or to help with a healing injury, give us a call and we would be happy to discuss it with you.
Standing Surgery Options
With the advancement of surgical techniques and anesthesia options, there are now several new surgical techniques that can be performed with the horse in a standing and sedated position as oppose to traditional general anesthesia. Two exciting examples of this are the procedure to relieve chronic back pain from kissing spine syndrome and the procedure to open the airway through tying back the lazy side of the larynx that occurs in some racehorses and draft horses. With the development of these techniques, Dr. Bell is now able to offer both procedures via the standing option. If you are interested in learning more about these procedure, please contact us for further details and to book a consultative appointment
Extracorporeal Shockwave Therapy
Elders Equine is happy to announce the addition of a Versatron Shockwave Therapy device to the tools available to treat horses with soft tissue injuries (tendons and ligaments) during the rehabilitation phase of recovery. Shockwave therapy has been used successfully to improve healing time and tissue quality for a number of soft tissue conditions. Dr. Bell has several years experience using shockwave therapy and invites those not familiar with the device to give us a call or email if interested in learning more about the therapy.
Transfer of Records
If you require records transferred from one veterinarian to another, you can now use the following form to conveniently request the files. The form is provided by the MVMA and is the official form for transfer of documents between veterinarians. In most cases, the files should be transfered within 3-5 days. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or the MVMA.
|Monday||8 - 12||1 - 5|
|Tuesday||8 - 12||1 - 5|
|Wednesday||8 - 12||1 - 5|
|Thursday||8 - 12||1 - 5|
|Friday||8 - 12||1 - 5|
|8 - 12||8 - 12||8 - 12||8 - 12||8 - 12||By Appt.||Closed|
|1 - 5||1 - 5||1 - 5||1 - 5||1 - 5||Closed||Closed|