If a horse is insured and an equine dentist sedates the horse while performing a treatment, the insurance company will decline coverage in the event of an accident to the horse or to those handling it.
Veterinary dentistry, just like human dentistry, has become an area of medicine requiring specialised education, equipment and abilities and the bar is continually being raised.
Just keep in mind that when a shoot opens, a bucking horse usually comes out in full force. Doing so could mean a loose horse and an afternoon spent chasing him.
Sedation also requires the veterinarians to make initial contact with the animal.
That contact usually includes a needle, which only reinforces the horse’s perception that humans aren’t so great, Tarr said.
“Don’t pet or pat these horses (to calm them),” Tarr said.
“In my experience, they aren’t used to it and don’t like it.
“The presence of a gentle, well-broke horse has a calming influence and helps keep the other horse quiet,” he explained.
Tarr will introduce the patient to the gentle horse, often his retired pickup gelding Goose, who is well-schooled in unhandled horse antics from years of helping catch and bronc horses at rodeos.
Movable, solid walls that reach the ground protect handlers from kicks and prevent potential injury to the young horse.
Ropes: A Last Resort Sometimes an untouchable horse requires roping to catch and restrain it.
are still not legally allowed to administer anaesthetics or sedatives (see our section on Legislation).
Even though these drugs are much safer these days, they are not without potential adverse reactions. An untrained individual administering sedation has no recourse or resource to fall back on in the event of a drug reaction.
Whilst the procedures are usually not painful, they can cause many horses to become apprehensive.