AAEP 2002 Geriatric Dentistry Table Topic

“Dental Care and Management of the Geriatric Patient” was the focus of one lunchtime Table Topic on Dec. 5, with topics ranging from diet selection to systemic illness to sedation. With veterinarians filling all seats and standing against

Share
Favorite
Close

No account yet? Register

ADVERTISEMENT

“Dental Care and Management of the Geriatric Patient” was the focus of one lunchtime Table Topic on Dec. 5, with topics ranging from diet selection to systemic illness to sedation. With veterinarians filling all seats and standing against the walls, discussion was lively at times, with practitioners asking questions and discussing their relevant experiences.


“Don’t be too quick to assume that if an old horse is in bad shape, it’s because of his teeth,” said one attendee, noting that several systemic conditions can cause weight loss in the older horse. Another reported success with systemic antibiotics in a thin older horse with mouth sores; the horse had low-grade septicemia (bacterial infection in the blood).


Diet ingredients were discussed with the obvious emphasis on feeds that are easy for a horse with poor teeth. “All old horses have bad teeth,” commented one attendee. All pellets aren’t created equal, said another; some are rock-hard and require hard chewing (many old horses cannot effectively chew these hard pellets), while others break down very quickly in saliva. A third recommended using a complete feed for older horses with trouble keeping on weight. Moderator David Foster, VMD, of New Jersey, recommended that a veterinarian be called to examine any old horse which suddenly begins to lose weight. “Otherwise, a serious medical condition might be missed,” he warned. Another suggested that when evaluating older horses, veterinarians should ask to see a sample of the horse’s feed so they can recommend changes, if necessary.


Another pellet problem discussed was that not all pellets are made to be a complete feed–many have significant levels of readily fermentable carbohydrates. If you feed a horse one of these types of pellets as his sole diet, you run the risk of foundering him, said one veterinarian. Fat added to the diet was mentioned as a good alternative for the horse which needs to gain weight

Create a free account with TheHorse.com to view this content.

TheHorse.com is home to thousands of free articles about horse health care. In order to access some of our exclusive free content, you must be signed into TheHorse.com.

Start your free account today!

Already have an account?
and continue reading.

Share

Written by:

Christy West has a BS in Equine Science from the University of Kentucky, and an MS in Agricultural Journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Related Articles

Stay on top of the most recent Horse Health news with

FREE weekly newsletters from TheHorse.com

Sponsored Content

Weekly Poll

sponsored by:

Which skin issue do you battle most frequently with your horse?
260 votes · 260 answers

Readers’ Most Popular

Sign In

Don’t have an account? Register for a FREE account here.

Need to update your account?

You need to be logged in to fill out this form

Create a free account with TheHorse.com!