Equine Dental Procedures

Image by The Royal Veterinary College

Dental procedures (non-surgical and surgical) in horses will, often times, require the use of sedation to guarantee safety for both the patient and the veterinary care team.

Veterinarians often choose a preferred combination of sedation when performing dental procedures. Two important goals during equine dental procedures are to provide the patient with a calm and positive experience, and to maintain safety and efficiency to the veterinary care team. The use of sedation during dental procedures allows veterinarians the opportunity to achieve these goals. A combination of drugs is typically used in order to maximize the effects of sedation, all while maintaining an appropriate level of sedation given to the patient. As multiple systems of the horse are affected differently by classes of sedation, combining multiple types of drugs can often help to lower the side effects to the patient, if any are to be observed.

The pre-emptive and combined use of drugs will create a potentially safer & time-efficient dental procedure.

As with any surgery or procedure, a thorough patient risk assessment before the procedure should be performed to avoid any possible complications that may arise from the procedure or drug usage.

THE MONITORING OF THE RESPIRATORY AND CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM(S) ARE MANDATORY BOTH IN THE EVALUATION OF THE ANIMAL AND DURING THE PROCEDURE.

The majority of equine dental procedures are typically performed as a “standing procedure,” and veterinarians might provide the patient with some local anesthesia for comfort and pain management. Local anesthesia has the potential to offer a lower risk, as compared to general anesthesia.

Equine dental surgical procedures can often pose a higher risk for post-operative complications because, despite the fact that the respiratory tract, or gastrointestinal or urinary tract are incised, there is often some inflammation and trauma resulting from the procedure. It is considered to be, at some level, unavoidable to have these types of post-surgical complications from dental surgical procedures.

Complications that arise from this kind of procedure can be divided into intra-operative and post-operative divisions. Typically, these complications can be divided into short-term complications (before the patient is discharged) or long-term complications (after the patient is discharged).

SOME EXAMPLES OF THE INTRA-OPERATIVE COMPLICATIONS OBSERVED ARE:

→ Iatrogenic trauma 
→ Artery laceration 
→ Hemorrhage 
→ Fractures 
→ Nerve damage

SOME EXAMPLES OF THE POST-OPERATIVE COMPLICATIONS OBSERVED ARE:

→ Swelling 
→ Suture-line dehiscence 
→ Formation of scars 
→ Odontogenic 
→ Carcinoma

The treatment for these complications often involves the usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics and lavage of the local area impacted by surgery.

MONITORING DURING SURGERY: 

Equine veterinarians often find themselves, or their technicians, manually monitoring the vitals and patient stats during most standing equine surgical procedures. Most often, monitoring equipment is not used during this type of standing procedure or dental surgery. It can pose a bit challenging to monitor anesthesia, monitor vitals and perform the surgical procedure all at the same time. The use of a portable oximeter will be compromised because of the movement of the patient’s head, proving to not be an ideal option. Nonetheless, there is clinical relevance in monitoring the respiratory rate, pulse strength, heart rate and mucous membrane pigmentation. 

During surgery, a veterinary assistant is extremely valuable in providing an extra set of hands during the surgical procedure and helping to prevent damage to areas or teeth that were not involved in the procedure. The veterinary technician is also fantastic to offer guidance in stabilizing and support the surgical site for the procedure.

PIAVITA AS A SOLUTION FOR DENTAL PROCEDURES

Piavita is very proud to offer a fantastic solution for monitoring patients during dental floats or surgical procedures. Don’t risk the well-being and safety of your patient and veterinary care team!

Measure 7 vital signs with Piavet System

The Piavet System allows for continuous monitoring of the cardiovascular and respiratory alterations, all without having to deviate any attention from the patient. This reliable monitoring system allows the veterinary care team to better focus on the surgical procedure and the patient’s comfort. The Piavet System offers reliable analysis of electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration rate & patterns, heart rate, respiratory rate, body core temperature & activity monitoring. The Piavet System allows the veterinary care team to respond more rapidly and efficiently to patients under anesthesia by being provided information on a live, wireless feed. Improve your standard of care. Anytime. Anywhere.



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