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Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption and Hypercementosis (EOTRH)

Mine is re-absorbtion also my gelding is 26 and needs all his front teeth removed. I’m sick over doing this even though I know it may keep him happy in the long run. He’s not showing any signs, except for being Grumpy ( doesn’t want to be ridden even in a bitless ) can’t break a carrot at all and his gums and teeth look horrible. So I assume it must be painful. Here are some photos of my boys teeth: http://www.debrabenantiphotography.com/EOTRH/ I have surgery scheduled on the 27th, but my gut is wrenching.

To update: Stoney had 4 teeth pulled today. 2 molars unrelated to EOTRH and 2 incisors due to the EOTRH. The incisors were a MESS and needed to come out. Luckily on film his remaining incisors seem okay. Given his age, he’s keeping them for now (his teeth may outlive him :(). The molar removal was no biggie. The incisor removal is a good thing to watch if you think Hostel wasn’t gory enough :wink: but it needed to be done and it’s done.

My wonderful vet/dentist did the removal at my barn with sedation. It was not overly expensive. She also does removals at New Bolton with the horse laid out, but we felt this would be the easier/less traumatic option and I am glad I did it.

Once he came out of the sedation, he wanted food. I’m not kidding. And he ate regular feed tonight for dinner. He does have some stitches in and is on bute and SMZ, but it’s pretty amazing how differently horses react to mouth pain. I had my wisdom teeth out, and I have a very high pain tolerance, but I wasn’t ready to eat potato chips a few hours later.

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For the first 2 days post-removal I could tell Stoney had some pain/discomfort. For the next 2 days he seemed like he was pre-extraction. After that… it’s like he’s lost 10 years. He’s happier, more bright eyed, and cleans up every SCRAP of his grain. And he’s trying harder to eat hay, and maybe even succeeding! I am so glad I did the extractions. My only regret is not noticing sooner that he was having dental issues!!!


Sounds like a good update for Stoney! My OTTB has 3 upper incisors left and 4 lower from EOTRH. I’m lucky to have a dentist/vet combo that are willing to sedate and pull in the field. I could never afford having surgery done for this at a major hospital!

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It’s been ages but there aren’t that many threads on EOTRH so I figured I would come back and update.

Stoney had two bouts of removing the worst of his incisors. He recovered pretty well from each extraction. He ultimately passed at the age of 32 for reasons unrelated to his teeth.

I thought that was the end of my experience with EOTRH. Nope.

I have a now-24-year-old thoroughbred who I have had since he was 3. He came off the track with a bad stifle, never really got past it, caught West Nile despite being vaccinated, almost died, and then was always a little neurological. So I retired him at age 7-8ish and have been taking care of him since.

Never noticed anything unusual about his teeth/gums (with Stoney I found some broken teeth and smelled a rotted smell which was the tipoff that something was wrong). The vet/dentist came out to do his teeth this spring and the x-rays showed plainly that he has EOTRH too. Unlike Stoney’s version which seemed to be more about the teeth breaking, Shane’s has been more about the gums receding and pockets forming, which is why I haven’t noticed visual signs of broken teeth and the smell of infection.

So… Shane went to have all his incisors removed at once in the clinic. Although the removal in 2 spells in the field was appropriate for Stoney, I am glad I elected to get it all done at once for Shane. I am omitting from this post the CHAOS and DRAMA associated with getting him to the clinic (he did not make it on the scheduled day and neither arrived nor returned in once piece. He also nearly killed a vet tech) but that has to do with him not the EOTRH. He’s almost a week out of the extractions and seems good as new other than the fact that his tongue sticks out of his mouth a little when he’s relaxed.

All in all, I am glad I did the extractions. It was about $3000 for the diagnosis, extractions, and meds, if anyone is pricing this. I’m in the mid Atlantic area. He seemed to be in some pain for a day or two and then after that was basically normal. I fed him softened food for those few days and he ate it. After that he seemed happy to eat regular food.

So now I’ve gone through this twice and my advice for everyone else is…

  1. Use a vet/dentist if you can. Even a really skilled not vet dentist is unlikely to catch EOTRH early because without sedation and a speculum you really don’t get the same ability to visually inspect the mouth. And you need x-rays to confirm the disease. If you can’t use a vet/dentist at least ask your vet to check the teeth as best as possible during fall/spring shots. The earlier you jump on dealing with EOTRH the easier it is.

  2. Just go ahead and pull all the affected teeth all at once. Especially if your horse is young and otherwise healthy. They do fine without the teeth and then sooner you get them all out the sooner it’s behind you and the horse.

I don’t know what the opposite of the lottery is, but I guess I should play it having to deal with this twice now!


Thanks for update. My horse, 21 year old thoroughbred, is going to vet dental clinic tomorrow to remove offending incisors. Plan from May x-rays is two on upper left, but they will examine him fully in case that changes. He did not show many signs of trouble until the last two weeks when he became increasing touchy about rein contact and got stiffer in his body. I had already been careful with treats and food but he’s definitely avoiding using his left side to grab stuff in comparison. I’m sure he will handle this better than me!

Thanks for the update, especially the pricing.

My 19 year old was diagnosed with EORTH over the winter. It’s hard to say how much it is bothering her at this point; we haven’t done radiographs yet. This girl has been really good at spending my money in the short time she’s been here so I haven’t exactly been moving fast with this.

Plus, it just makes me really sad and nervous for the future to have to pull her teeth so young. It helps repeatedly hearing everyone’s horses are fine eating. This horse isn’t the easiest keeper.

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@vxf111 I had a horse with severe EORTH …got the surgery done by Dr Dave Early -the dental surgeon up at Cornell …he removed most of Buddy’s teeth -he was 28yrs old at the time …he recovered easily and lived 7 much more comfortable years …only regret was not doing the surgery sooner.

This time around I knew the drill. The moment the vet/dentist said “he’s got EORTH” I said “ok, let’s pull all the teeth.”

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My pricing may have been slightly on the higher side because of the various things Shane did to be a royal pain in the ass as a patient, which added some to the bill. If you horse is capable of existing in time and space like a horse I bet your bill will be a bit less. I included in the ~$3000 the initial visit and x-rays to diagnose the problem and the actual extraction and meds. The vet/dentist is coming back today for a re-check. I did not include that in the cost. I did not include the $500 extra in sedation/morphine for for the initial attempt at doing the procedure which had to be aborted due to Shane’s conduct. I did not include the cost of paying a horse guru whisperer shipper guy to SHOVE Shane on a trailer to get him to the clinic and back. That $3000 estimate is diagnosis and extraction only.

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Thank you for updating, I am sorry you are dealing with this a second time around in a different horse. Your prices don’t sound too wild to me – I was quoted about $2000 seven years ago for a horse of mine. Factor in post-COVID inflation and I think it’d be about ballpark what you paid.

I’m glad Shane is doing well post-extraction. They seem to bounce back in condition once their pain is eliminated; I hope you continue to see good improvement.

I don’t see EOTRH that often. While I wouldn’t say Thoroughbreds are genetically prone to XYZ disease, in my small sample size I’ve only personally dealt with it in TBs. But that could be just my circle and how popular TBs are here more than an indictment on the breed; after all, Texarkana’s girl isn’t a TB.

Stoney was an APHA with entirely old QH blood, no TB blood. Shane is an OTTB. So that’s my sample of n=2 :wink:

My girl is standardbred. I suspect a TB I had years ago had EORTH, but it was pretty new in the literature back then. My vet didn’t even know what I was talking about when I brought it up at the time. What a difference a decade makes.

I hope that knowledge about it continues to spread - it still seems to be a somewhat obscure disease here. My gelding was diagnosed with EOTRH by a new-to-us dentist; it wasn’t until our old dentist moved from the area and we found a new one that he was diagnosed. By the new dentist’s estimation, he’d probably had it for a few years. He was seen regularly by the former dentist, and also seen every year for an annual exam by our vet. I had always asked the former dentist about his idiosyncratic eating; he wouldn’t quid hay, but he would spit out tougher grains like alfalfa pellets - we soaked his food for years because of that behavior and I’ve always wondered if it was the earliest symptom of the disease.

Bringing this topic back up because my early 20’s Fjord was just diagnosed with this yesterday but her vet/dentist. Vet said it’s very beginning stages and to just keep a good eye on it for now

I just dealt with this for the second time. In the first pony we played “wait and see” and pulled teeth individually as they had problems.

This time around I sent the horse to the clinic and just pulled all the front teeth in one fell swoop. IMHO that’s the way to go. No more guesswork, no more suffering, it’s just DONE and the horse is on with his life. He is completely good as new now (or as good as he ever was).

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Second this 100%. It was done and never caused him another problem for the 6 additional years he lived.

Grateful for threads like this - my 25 year old is suspected EOTRH per the vet (he’s got the little spots on his gums and also has PPID). So far he isn’t painful, but when we did fall dental you could hear one of his incisors is ‘hollow’ and has a different sound when tapped on. We’ll do x-rays in the spring (or sooner if he starts showing signs of pain).

Glad to read others experiences!

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I just went through this as well with my aged TB. He was diagnosed a couple years ago, but no apparent pain until recently. Took the x-rays and ended up sending him to the clinic where they removed all of his incisors. It was so, so worth it - I wish I’d done the surgery sooner. He is so much happier! If you’re on the fence, go for the surgery. It’s incredible how quickly they recover and how much better their quality of life is afterwards.

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Random question- how do you say it?
Like do you say the letters E.O.T.R.H
or do you make it into a word like a wonky pronunciation of earth?