Owner’s son to the rescue after plastic syringe causes nasty mouth injury

  • Riders have been warned to take care when using plastic oral syringes after an event horse suffered a nasty wound under his tongue – and the owner’s vet son came to the rescue.

    Rebecca Tooley noticed that her Irish gelding Mr Blue Sky Too was drooling and appeared to be in discomfort, after he had been given Domosedan gel for the farrier, so called Seadown Equine, and it was her son Alex Tooley who arrived.

    “That was the first time he’s been to me to do something that wasn’t routine,” Rebecca told H&H. “Sadly there are no mates’ rates! But I’m very proud.”

    Rebecca said seven-year-old Blue can be sharp, and often needs the Domosedan for the farrier. The gel has to be administered under the tongue and on this occasion, Blue was being “uncooperative”, so Rebecca asked a friend for help.

    “He half-reared and jumped forward as we were doing it,” she said. “He managed to cause a wound under his tongue, although I didn’t know it at the time. It was only after the farrier had left that I noticed that Blue was drooling a bit and looked in discomfort. Initially, I thought he may be having a reaction to the sedation which, though very uncommon, was a possibility.”

    Warning, graphic image

    Alex sedated Blue, opened his mouth with a speculum and found the wound. He injected anti-inflammatories, then cleaned and stitched the wound, which healed fully within a fortnight.

    He said drooling can be caused by a range of issues, and that owners should call the vet if they notice it, adding that care must be taken when using plastic oral syringes.

    “Though the tip of the oral syringe appears blunt, the mucosal tissues of the mouth are soft and very sensitive, so great care must be taken not to cause trauma,” he said.

    Rebecca added that she feels lucky there was no more serious harm done.

    “Aside from the pleasure I get from my own veterinary son coming out to examine Blue, I was surprised that the accident happened so easily,” she said. “I feel it’s a warning and lesson for all horse owners to take extra care when using these oral syringes.”

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