… and just like that I stuffed my hand in a horse’s mouth.

The title pretty much sums up yesterday.

Marika from Hirnuva Hammas came to lecture at our university yesterday (school on Saturdays, welcome to vet school 😉 ). She’s the first trained equine dental technician in Finland, and her presentation was filled with personal experiences and the notion “So many people get things wrong”.

Enamel points, hooks, ramps, wolf teeth (both erupted and non-erupted), ETR (Excessive Transverse Ridges/Ridging), wave mouth, shear mouth, diastemas, curvatures in the incisors, as well as over- and underbites are now a part of my horse-knowledge. You can read more about these here (there are also illustrations and photos showing what these look like in real life).

We also made a new friend – the triadan system, which is used to number the teeth. Previously the “letter-abbreviation-system” was used (I=incisor, PM=premolar, M=molar and so on).

triadan_horse

The triadan system in a nice drawing; this is how the teeth are numbered. Lovely, isn’t it 😉 Image source

After the nearly three-hour long lecture it was time for some hands on action – quite literally! We drove out to a stable in the evening to get a feel at a horses mouth (find the wolf teeth and any abnormalities) and some of the equipment used for treating the problems mentioned earlier.

We each got to feel around the mouth without a gag (canines, incisors and wolf teeth as well as evaluating the palatine arch) and with the gag in place (premolars, molars, enamel points etc.)
We each got to put the gag on. I was so nervous because practically everyone else in my group had loads of experience with horses compared to little me… but I did great!! So proud of myself 🙂
And just like that I stuffed my hand inside a horses mouth! Me! The girl who doesn’t even know how to ride a horse! Stuffing her hand in this giant creature’s mouth!
Yesterday was another day of “firsts” for me!

Marika also told us what she usually does during a routine check-up, how often she lets the horse rest, with or without sedation etc.

Of course anatomy and its friends are running along. Right now we’re working on the digestive system in anatomy; dog, cat, rabbit, goat, horse, cow, everybody. Med students, please stop whining about how you have to learn so much!

So much information, so little time!! Welcome to vet school everybody 😉

Tomorrow (Monday) my large animal care “course” will start. Basically, each of us has to complete a 7-day and 3-day session of working at the clinic’s stables. We have to clean and feed the animals, take the horses outside, clean the cow again (I hear she’s a poop machine) in the morning. In the afternoon we clean some more, take the horses back inside, and feed them again (I think). I’ll write a post dedicated entirely to my week when it’s over 🙂

Now I’ll get back to my microbiology homework and genetics studies (test on Tuesday). Isn’t it great having so much to do and so little time to do it?

//jz