Field Work Friday – A Veterinary House Call

This week we had the opportunity to watch a veterinary house call.  My in-laws are stabling a horse for their grandchildren, and since this arrangement began only recently, they wanted to be sure that Belle is in good health.
I’m not sure that Belle appreciated their concern, however.  I think she was trying to hide.
First, the vet and her assistant established a medical record for Belle and took some information to establish a baseline.  This included taking her picture from several different angles and checking her heart rate.

Next, they checked her feet.  Belle has serious issues with having her back legs touched, so this wasn’t easy. The vet did manage to check one foot …

before Belle kicked and had to be moved against the fence to complete this portion of the check-up.
The peanut gallery was in awe of this entire procedure.  We must’ve looked like such bumpkins, parked in our lawn chairs, watching the vet do her thing.   (Good thing I didn’t make popcorn.)
She is beautiful, isn’t she?  
They slipped her a sedative so that they could begin the dental portion of the visit.  
Next they rinsed her mouth with an iodine solution.  This was to remove any leftover grass in her teeth and clean the area well before working with her teeth.
Check out that headgear!  They stabilized Belle’s head …
and then they inspected her teeth visually.  (I think the boys wanted one of those fancy lights.)
The vet was so nice to stop and explain everything to us periodically.
Belle’s teeth are wearing unevenly as most horses’ teeth do.  Because the upper and lower jaws are not the same width (and because horses’ teeth never stop growing), the edges get sharp and then the horse can’t chew food properly.  Because this was happening, Belle’s teeth needed to be filed.
I’ve never had a cavity.  After watching this massive tool at work, I’m pretty sure I don’t want one.  Floss, please!
Woozy and a bit bow-legged, Belle walked docilely back to the pasture.  Done for now – with a clean bill of health.
I’m glad that Belle doesn’t have to do that every day, but I’m very happy that she’s healthy.  
If you’ve never watched a vet do a check-up on a large animal, it’s very interesting.  Call up a vet and check it out!
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