Podcast #092 – EOTRH, Donkey Dentistry, and Cheek Tooth Extractions

The Equine Practice Inc, The Horse's Advocate

This podcast covers three topics within the interest of dentistry in horses. EOTRH (Equine Odontoplastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis), dentistry in donkeys at The Donkey Sanctuary in the UK, and the problems that can occur with cheek tooth extractions in horses.

Dentistry in horses is what I have done since 1983 and exclusively since 1998. I have drawn my own conclusions by studying the correlations of diet, age, surgery, and other factors on the teeth of horses. But in an era where we want evidence-based studies to prove causation, no randomized, controlled, double-blinded studies have come about in the field of oral health for horses. The section on EOTRH comes from finding an osteopath on Facebook who questioned the validity of removing all incisors affected by this disease. The other two sections are good-looking papers discussing the titled subjects but raise more questions while avoiding other reasonable points.

As usual, I discuss the ideas and observations honed from experience and question some of the authors’ and FB posters’ conclusions. This rebuttal is needed because well-done articles published in prestigious journals by sincere and experienced authors may erroneously persuade readers to accept the findings without question. Facebook posts often receive unwarranted validation just based on their online existence. Worse, this information may cause acts on horses (extraction of incisors, extraction of cheek teeth, not feeding enough protein) based on this information without a rebuttal argument to the conclusions stated, which is not in the horse’s best interest.

More data is needed, which will never happen because of the cost of studying these problems with no return on the investment. All we have is experience and observations. We need an open conversation without fear of challenging rebuttal to find what is valid.

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