Sam – a horse's hoof and canine tooth!
Sam’s story starts four years ago when he had a unfortunate encounter with a horses hoof. He was kicked in the face by the unhappy pony, leaving him missing a canine tooth and one other broken tooth. Sam had his broken tooth removed and the canine tooth was presumed to have fallen out with the impact as the tooth socket was empty.
For the next three and half years Sam carried on merrily, seeming very happy and with no problems, until one day he developed a discharge from his left nostril. He was given treatment for his snotty nose but he didn’t show any sign of improvement, so Sam was admitted to our hospital to have some investigations. What we found surprised us all….
An xray of Sam’s nose showed that he had an entire canine tooth embedded in his nasal cavity. The tooth which had thought to have been kicked out by the horse four years ago had infact been forced through the bone up into the nose!
Sam underwent surgery, performed by our own equine vet Sam Hole, who has advanced qualifications in dentistry. To remove the tooth the gum tissue has to be carefully pulled back and part of the maxilla bone was removed to access the tooth from the nasal cavity. The canine tooth is the largest tooth in a dog’s mouth and it took 2 hours of careful drilling and elevating to finally loosen the tooth and pull it out. The next problem was that Sam was left with a hole between his mouth and nose, if left this would cause food and water to come out the nostril whenever Sam would eat or drink. The gum tissue was very carefully sutured to cover the hole and create a seal. We then just had to hope that the gum would heal.
Sam recovered brilliantly from his operation and has healed perfectly. The discharge from his nose stopped within a few days and he is now happier than ever. It is amazing that Sam showed no symptoms or signs of irritation from having a tooth up his nose, for nearly four years! We hope he has now learnt to steer clear of horses.