Sedation - frequently asked questions

Is it general anesthesia?

There is often some confusion about the nature of the drugs used during dental examinations.  Most commonly, owners mistakingly think that their horse will be going under general anesthesia.  However, it is quite the contrary, as the drugs used are minor sedatives or tranquilizers which help the horse relax, and in some cases, provide minor pain relief.  This is not the same as undergoing “general anesthesia” and using inhaled anesthetic agents which render a patient unconscious. The horses do not lie down.  They simply relax, drop their heads and allow the procedure to be carried out. If necessary, the effects of the sedation can be “reversed” with a reversal agent.

Will my horse lay down?

No. The sedation drugs that we use will not cause your horse to lay down, even once he/she is back in the stall. 

Can my horse be ridden the same day?

Yes. We recommend that you wait a couple hours to ensure that all of the effects of the sedation have worn off. However, most horses are completely back to normal after about 30 - 45 minutes. 

Are there any side effects?

Sweating is the most common side effect. In cases where the horse get's too sleepy we can reverse the sedation. 

How long should I wait to feed after my horse has been sedated?

We generally recommend that you wait at least 30 - 45 minutes before feeding hay/grain. 

Any more questions?

Feel free to contact us! Dr. Bess is always happy to answers any questions you may have regarding dentistry or our procedures. 

Contact us!