Equis ISSN 2398-2977

Mouth: trauma

Contributor(s): Debbie Archer, Bud G E Fackelman

Introduction

  • Trauma to the mouth is a frequent occurrence in horses.
  • This may occur during kicks, falls or collisions.
  • Avulsion injuries may occur if sudden jerking of the head occurs while chewing stationary objects.
  • It is essential to identify the origin of the problem and ensure correct treatment of the injury is undertaken.

Uses

  • Examination of cases where direct trauma has been observed.
  • Trauma to the mouth may be suspected if there are clinical signs of inappetance, quidding of food, slow eating, halitosis, salivation, oral hemorrhage or mandibular swelling and pain.

Advantages

  • Examination of the mouth can be performed relatively easily in a well restrained patient.
  • The soft tissues of the head have a generous vascular supply assisting healing.
  • The bones of the head are not subjected to the same forces as those of the limbs, so requirements for fixation are less stringent.

Disadvantages

  • Injury to the examiner during examination of the mouth if the patient is inadequately restrained or if the mouth gag becomes dislodged.
  • Injury to the temporomandibular joint can be more difficult to diagnose than other injuries to the mouth.
  • It can be difficult to adequately examine the caudal part of the mouth by direct visualization alone.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Aftercare

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Outcomes

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Prognosis

  • Most injuries to the mouth are generally associated with a good prognosis.
  • A much more guarded prognosis should be made if there is trauma to the temporomandibular joint.

Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Hague B A & Honnas C M (1998) Traumatic dental disease and soft tissue injuries of the oral cavity. Vet Clin North Am Equine Pract 14 (2), 333-347 PubMed.
  • Tremaine W H (1998) Management of equine mandibular injuries. Equine Vet Educ 10 (3), 146-154 VetMedResource.


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