Over the Fence: Thursday Teeth Floating for Quest and Rio

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Rio

By now you must have heard about Quest and Rio, the emaciated horses rescued with awful hoof neglect this month in Maryland by Days End Farm Horse Rescue. The horses each had more than three feet of excess hoof growth and had been locked in a stall for at least 15 years. Check out a video here. The story has made national and international news (even made Animal Planet), but here in my neck of the woods, this is a local story.

Quest

I was delighted to hear that the horses’ vet care is being handled by none other than Pete O’Halloran, DVM, the vet who cares for my own horses. Pete is the best. I blogged about him last year when Chico had his eye episode and last month he provided some expert advice about grazing muzzles.

Piper
RIP Piper. She was found with Quest and Rio but could not be saved.

I reached out to Pete about his new patients at Days End on Thursday. He was on his way over to the Woodbine, Maryland horse rescue on Thursday to give Quest and Rio their first dental exam. Quest is an 18-year old grey Arabian cross pony stallion and Rio is an 18 year old grey mini stallion. Afterwards, Pete was kind enough to tell me a little about how the appointment went.

Pete said that both horses were significantly underweight, but bright and alert. He says it’s possible they have never had dental care. If they have, it hasn’t happened for many years.

Quest
Quest’s first dental.

Pete sedated each stallion and, once he was able to get into their mouths with help from an oral speculum, he found severe dental malocclusions (misalignments) which have likely contributed to their poor body condition. But Pete went to work with his dental tools and his hand float, filing down sharp points and correcting years of uneven wear on their teeth. A big improvement, he says, though both horses will require plenty of follow up.

“I expect they should be able to chew and digest grain and forage now more efficiently and comfortably,” Pete says. He’s optimistic about their outlook. He says both are “spry and kind.” Their hooves will be permanently deformed, but their outlook is reasonably good with regular farrier care.

Quest
Last Monday (8/24) Quest gets his first radiographs with help from Dr. Pete.

Oh, and the other good news from Thursday? While Pete was filing away on those teeth, The Humane Society of Washington County Maryland filed 15 charges of animal cruelty against the people who owned the horses. But back to happy side, here’s a video of the horses’ first turn out after a farrier cut off the excess hoof all around last week and gave them sorely-needed corrective trimming.

DEFHR: Quest & Rio1st turnou after 1st trim

BREAKING NEWS UPDATE: Quest and Rio had their 1st corrective trim earlier this week here is a little peak at how their 1st turn out went as they were getting used to their new feet. #4thehorses #DEFHR #neglectedhorses #breakingnews

Posted by Days End Farm Horse Rescue on Thursday, August 27, 2015

And as you can imagine, DEFHR desperately needs funds to provide critical and rehab care. Click here to donate. Fingers crossed that these deserving horses get adopted into a wonderful home when they are ready. And three cheers for Days End Farm Horse Rescue – they have been doing amazing work for horses in need for 25 years, and of course for their trusty and kind vet, too.

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