26/04/2010 Bristol Vet Students Give Horse Trust Residents a Dental Check-Up

The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses in Speen, Buckinghamshire, got a helping hand from a group of veterinary students last Thursday.

The six final year students from the Bristol School of Veterinary Science carried out dentistry work on eight of the sanctuary residents, including treatment of sharp overgrowths, mucosal ulcers, periodontal disease and removal of wolf teeth. Two of the horses were examined and treated in their field which necessitated a more mobile approach.

The work was carried out under the supervision of Henry Tremaine¹, a Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery at the University of Bristol, assisted by Horse Trust clinical scholars Francesca Compostella and Miriam Casey, and Paul Jepson, Chief Executive and Veterinary Director of The Horse Trust. All the horses have since made a full recovery from the dental work.

"The visit to The Horse Trust was a great opportunity for the students to apply the skills they've learnt in the course and build their confidence," said Mr Tremaine. "Dental problems are more common in geriatric horses, so visiting The Horse Trust enabled the students to get involved in diagnosing and treating a variety of dental issues."

The Horse Trust provides lifetime sanctuary to around 100 geriatric horses, ponies and donkeys from many different backgrounds, including rescue cases and retired working horses from the police and army. 

Paul Jepson, Chief Executive and Veterinary Director of The Horse Trust, said he was pleased to host the students and was impressed with their equine vet skills.

"We are delighted to have been able to offer the students this experience. It's a win-win situation for all involved - the horses get a dental check-up, the students get some valuable experience, and it helps us with our work-load," said Paul. "We were impressed with students' skills and the attention they gave each of the horses during the treatment. It was a five-star dental treatment for the horses!"

¹ Mr Henry Tremaine B Vet Med MPhil Cert ES Dip ECVS MRCVS is a Senior Lecturer in Equine Surgery and a RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery at the University of Bristol.