Roper, an elderly cob, was very intolerant of dental care having avoided it for most of his life and subsequently suffered from poor dental health in his later years.
Despite dental treatments and some tooth extractions over the previous 18 months, he developed an infection in an upper molar which failed to respond to antibiotics. The infection tracked through his mandible into the tissues overlying and formed a large, painful abscess.
After careful examination under deep sedation, the offending tooth was located and extracted. However, to control the infection, the damaged tissues and skin had to be cut away by Rhiannah and Kate until only fresh, living tissue remained. Unfortunately, this resulted in a large skin and tissue deficit (hole) in the side of Roper’s nose and we were all concerned about whether a horse of Roper’s advanced years would be capable of healing such a large defect. It was decided to give him a few days and see if he would cope with eating and whether the infection recurred.
Roper bounced back, returning to his normal demeanour and appetite the next day. He would not let anyone touch his wound without sedation, so the wound was initially packed and covered with a fly mask, then regularly trimmed and cleaned until healthy, healing tissue remained.
Roper’s healing progressed rapidly, despite our concerns and over the following weeks filled with healthy granulation tissue and steadily contracted leaving only a small scar. He continues to receive regular dental examinations and care (which he objects to but tolerates with sedation) and continues to do very well.