The Horse

OCT 2017

The Horse:Your Guide To Equine Health Care provides monthly equine health care information to horse owners, breeders, veterinarians, barn/farm managers, trainer/riding instructors, and others involved in the hands-on care of the horse.

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Page 11 of 51 THE HORSE October 2017 12 THE HAZARDS OF SMOKE Thanks for putting up the article "Wildfire Smoke and Horses' Respiratory Health" ( I'm captain of my county's Technical Large Animal Rescue Team/Large Animal Evacuation Team. We're constantly trying to educate people who are reluctant to move their animals until the flames get closer, seemingly oblivious to the harm posed by products of combustion. Even our free-roaming range horses are susceptible, and they have the ability to move to cleaner air, but pro- longed exposure or tempera- ture inversions that cause drift smoke to "hang" can take their toll. Xandria Hughes Victoria, Australia DENTAL EXAM HANDLING The photo on page 28 in the August issue needs to have a caption that says "Don't try this at home." There is nothing remotely safe about what the person holding the horse's head is doing. If you put your face right next to (a horse's head during a dental procedure), you risk getting smacked in the face. This be- comes even more likely if the horse is sedated. Furthermore, the horse is wearing a speculum. People have lost teeth, broken noses, and smashed cheek bones (due to) a horse swinging its head with a speculum on. The dentists that have worked on my horses have a healthy respect for a sedated horse wearing a speculum and would never let any handler do what the person in this photo is doing. If the horse lunges forward, both people are going to be toast, and both appear to be completely unaware of the precarious position they are in. K. Swigart Fullerton, California From Dr. Mary Delorey of Northwest Equine Dentistry, in Kettle Falls, Washington: It ap- pears to me that both persons are employed by the veterinary clinic. The one working in the mouth is the vet and the one steadying the head is a vet tech. As such, I would assume this is a preferred and perfected method of dental care delivery in this practice. Supporting/ steadying the horse's head in this manner is a very common thing, as it makes the vet's work much easier to have the patient still and not twisting his head around. She has a good grip of the speculum with her left hand and could stiffen that arm to protect herself if the horse swung his head toward her. But if that assistant were the owner, I'd have a very different opinion. It is never a good idea to use an owner as an assistant. There's too much liability. Equine veterinary care always involves some level of risk that cannot be com- pletely mitigated. These are big animals that can do unpredict- able things even under the best of circumstances. It appears to me that these professionals have the situation well in hand. If something were to go wrong, they are likely experienced at dealing with it. LETTERS E-mail us at, or write us at The Horse, 3101 Beaumont Centre Circle, Suite 100, Lexington, KY 40513. Letters may be edited for space limitations and must include the author's name and contact information. The horse that matters to you matters to us® Call 859-873-2974 or visit to order today. The feeling you get… It's why we do what we do. TH 2017-10a Satisfaction guaranteed. Providing complete support for a healthy digestive tract, which reduces the risk of colic and digestive upset. Neigh-Lox ® Advanced …when you kiss your horse.

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