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Lobby to stop Coal Seam Gas mining in Queensland, NSW and other states.
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Lock the Gate Alliance ABC's Four Corners
by Peter Borgdorff - Equine Dentist
The first course of 2018 commences with distance education on 5 March
2018 followed by practical training commencing 6 August 2018. Training
Equine Dental Training Brochure 2018a
The second course of 2018 commences with distance education on 1 October
2018 followed by practical training commencing 11 February 2019.
Training brochure download:
Equine Dental Training Brochure 2018b
When you have read the training brochure and you are interested in
applying, please contact Peter Borgdorff by E-mail
peter(at)equinedentalpractice.com or call +61(0)414 566 789 before the
Dentistry in Australia
2006 I have assisted Agrifoods as a member of National Reference Group
on behalf of the National
Equine Dental Practitioners Inc (a registered association of equine dentists whose members include veterinarians) with
the preparation of a new, nationally accredited Diploma of Equine
Dentistry. If you are a horse owner or veterinarian here are
facts about the proposed Diploma of Equine
Dentistry. Many properly informed veterinarians strongly
support the work of our members, work with us regularly and do not
engage in anti-competitive behaviour. However, the
actions of a few members within the AVA may seriously impact the horse
the horse-owning community. Read more here: Anti-competitive
effect on equine dentists and cost impact on consumers
Clarification of Equine Dentistry
In view of items
in the news,
specifically the Weekly Times,
we would like to clarify our activities of equine dentists.
With overwhelming public support, non veterinary equine
in Australia have in the past 100 years or more been conducting lawful horse
dentistry procedures such as these:
and preventative maintenance
equine dentition by
- Identifying and preventing
(structures that support the teeth)
- Removing small teeth and wolf
- Removing deciduous incisors
and molars (caps)
- Dealing with dental fracture
- Removing diseased teeth
- Effecting major bite
adjustments of the
incisors and molars in stages
- Removing feed from pockets
- Treating lacerations of lips
- Treating diastemata and making
- Providing riders and drivers
with bit and tack
- Advising client on feeding
- Providing reports and
- Assisting veterinarians at
their request with
situations where a horse requires sedation
or related care to enable more significant procedures to
professionally and safely conducted by an equine dental practitioner
we engage veterinarians on behalf of horse owners. All cases
which require sedation for larger procedures are done with the patient
receiving supplementary veterinary care where necessary.
Horse welfare is safeguarded in a number of ways:
our practice only
1 in 25 horses requires sedation for
We contact veterinarians on behalf of our clients to provide such
sedation. Some equine dental practitioners (EDP's) use
which may require sedation more frequently. A veterinarian is
allowed to refuse to
facilitate sedation as horse owners and equine dentists are by law only
able to engage veterinarians for such tasks. Equine
practitioners are not seeking to practice veterinary medicine. Their
expertise is confined to oral procedures. Better animal welfare
outcomes will be achieved by the veterinary profession working together
with EDPs to achieve this outcome.
Right to Practice
activity of equine dentistry has been in the domain of
non-veterinary EDP's for a long time, meaning we
have the right to practice in that capacity.
Precedents in law in the USA have also shown that Veterinary Boards and
their regulations cannot remove this right. That situation is
similar under Australian Law.
past educational organisations and veterinary associations have failed
to properly address the needs of the horse. This
is confirmed by this frank comment made to
veterinarians by a
respected veterinary educator:
dentistry is a very
important but until recently rather neglected area of equine practice,
with many horses suffering from undiagnosed, painful dental disorders.
(Source: Prof Paddy M. Dixon MVB, Easter Bush, Scotland, 2004)
contrast, equine dentists have for many years now assumed the
responsibility for dental and
dental-related welfare of the horse.
Competence in Equine Dentistry
Australia adopted a nationally accredited
IV in Equine Dentistry. This constitutes basic equine
dentistry competencies and does
not cover most of the procedures above.
This means that the
skills being practiced by most equine dentists around the world are
still not able to be achieved with nationally
Australia. The educational competencies for a Diploma in
Dentistry were drafted by AgriFoodSkills in close consultation with the
National Reference Group which includes equine dentists from four
groups (NEDP, AAED, EDAA, WWED) and Australian
(AVA) representatives. Yet those same AVA
the Diploma they have helped draft.
Diploma competencies are also opposed by
unaware of the scope of care already provided by equine dentists in
Australia. The reason for this appears to be a campaign of
misinformation by the AVA and active lobbying by a small number of
equine dental veterinarians who have developed themselves as
peer-proclaimed experts and who gain significant revenue from their
New graduate veterinarians are being pushed by their new employers into
performing procedures for which we argue they are not adequately
trained. A number of past cases display overconfidence in
skills or evidence of being out of their depth. Similar
incidents are being reported with more senior veterinarians who
proclaim themselves to be masters of the art and science of equine
The Frawley report said this:
years, veterinarians have acknowledged they are not trained or
insufficiently trained in equine dentistry at university, and do not
have the practical skills or have a lack of interest or time.
Indeed many vets refer major dental corrections and
(non-surgical) permanent tooth extractions to equine dental
(EDP's). In turn, the EDP's engage these veterinarians for
attendance to related systemic issues, sedation, analgesics and
antibiotic and other therapies. We consider this ensures the
best outcome for the animals.
There is a large and growing number of personnel with
qualifications, training and/or experience in animal health related
fields. As a general rule, rural veterinarians regard such
personnel as competitors when this need not be the case.
(Source: Peter T. Frawley, Review of Rural Veterinary Services 2003.)
dentists do not, nor do
they seek, the ability to conduct any procedures other than those listed at the top of this page
and a limited number of other procedures including pulp capping.
The Centre for Veterinary Education (CVE) on their web site,
Liyou in E-mails have tried to gather support for opposition to the
Diploma by saying equine dentists were seeking to do sinus surgery and
have the use of anti-inflammatories, antibiotics and sedatives.
Nothing like that is contained in the Diploma competencies
and only sedatives for routine work was
ever discussed to be included!
This is an excerpt of North American university responses to an equine
dentistry survey. Comments from the author and advice from
us confirm a similar situation in Australia
of veterinary colleges dedicated less than 3
hours during the entire veterinary course on equine dentistry
of veterinary colleges dedicated less than 1
hour on equine dentistry; 55% dedicated less than 3 lab hours;
Continuing Education for the Practicing Veterinarian, Michale Q.
Lowder, University of Athens Georgia USA May 1997)
that information and the quoted comment by
veterinarian Paddy M. Dixon, the current AVA
President Barry Smyth
serious doubt on the Australian Veterinary Association's credibility by
Equine dentistry has always been
an integral part of veterinary medicine and surgery. It requires
specialised knowledge to diagnose and treat dental problems.
recognition of the acknowledged inadequacies of
there are now some private workshops in equine dentistry.
Sadly, these AVA supported courses attempt to cover a vast number of
subjects at 'workshops' in as little as 39 hours. Some quotes
from course proponents:
is absolutely dedicated to ensure
vet who attends our five day workshop returns to their practice
confident and competent to go out and perform quality routine dentistry
and: (Source: EVDS Website, Dr Oliver Liyou, Introduction to Equine
Dentistry brochure, 8-12 March 2011, 4 1/2 day course.)
has used equine dentistry to grow
solo equine practice in January 2009 to a three-vet equine practice in
September 2009! (Source: EVDS Website, Dr Oliver Liyou,
Introduction to Equine Dentistry brochure, 8-12 March 2011, 4 1/2 day
intensive five day workshop includes
mixture of lectures and practical sessions covering all aspects of
modern equine dentistry including: Economics of equine dentistry in
practice, evolution, development and ageing, geriatric dentistry
& periodontal disease, oral tumours, nomenclature and dental
charts, dental equipment - hand and power tools, corrective dentistry,
extractions, pulp capping, radiology and much,much more ....... (Source:
Brochure of an EVA WA 5 Day Dentistry and Orofacial Surgery
Workshop; Monday 7 - Friday
11 February 2011 Murdoch University; a 39 hour course)
contend that horse owners should reject this level
patently inadequate. University education is founded on
theory-based science subjects and to learn the
practical techniques and processes that are required for even a basic
level requires a very substantial amount of time and
effort. Certificate and proposed Diploma training
are estimated to require around 905-995 and 694
hours respectively. (Source: AgriFoodSkills 14 July 2011 Indicative
Hours - Curriculum Mapping Equine Dentistry National Training Standards)
Furthermore, the Furthermore, the over-reliance on sedation instead of
the over-reliance on invasive procedures instead of applying staged
dental correction processes should be regarded as undesirable from an
courses to Diploma level have been provided over quite a few
years by the Australian Equine Dental Practice with the purpose of
enabling successful trainees to practice as certified equine dental
practitioners in the field of equine dentistry. These courses
are typically 23 weeks in duration for non veterinarians.
Particular focus is on the provision of skills that take over where
veterinary dental education is inadequate, yet work in collaboration
with veterinarians in complex cases to provide the best possible
holistic care for our patients. This means that AEDP Certified Equine
Dentists who carry out the procedures at the top of this page, broadly
carry out what is in the Diploma competencies proposed by stakeholders
This Diploma qualification provides for a comprehensive
equine dentistry related theory subject base in conjunction with
extensive practical competencies.
2008, the AVA Board issued the following policy
procedures on horses and related species should be performed only by
conduct by the Australian Veterinary
to incitement to anti-competitive conduct. Although we may
understanding for an association of veterinarians (the AVA is a 'trade
all) trying to encourage its members to compete in the marketplace, we
such information grossly misleading and possibly unlawful.
owners in Australia should have the right to choose.
AVA President also expressed an anti-competitive stance to the Weekly Times recently.
said horse dentists should be restricted to manually filing horses'
teeth for the sake of animal welfare. Anything more complicated than
that should be left to the veterinarian..... "
Some of the work conducted by veterinarians apparently as a consequence
veterinary short courses is questioned by us. We
cannot ask State animal welfare legislation to be used to investigate
incidents because veterinarians are dealt with by their own
state Veterinary Boards. In Vet Board hearings
the outcome hinges on expert colleagues who either
testify for or against the accused. Rather than appeal which
result in even higher penalties being applied as well as the huge legal
costs by both sides, veterinarians often elect to settle for a minor
sanctions. We consider this a very
unsatisfactory system as a recent case in NSW has shown.
veterinarian who was one of the vets involved in the treatment of a
horse which subsequently died,
testified against a colleague who had facilitated sedation for a
procedure on that same horse months earlier, causing the original
sedating vet and
not the testifying vet to be found guilty on -what we consider- a
completely misinterpreted meaning of the NSW
In spite of that, I, together with other members of the National Equine
Practitioners Inc (NEDP), are very grateful for the support of dozens
veterinarians. These vets are focussed on collaborating with
achieve positive outcomes for every horse. Every horse should
entitled to such high level of care.
Out About Your Right to Choose for Your Horses and Their Welfare.
association (NEDP) is committed to national accreditation of the
Equine Dentistry in Australia>
NEDP is The NEDP is committed to
maintaining and enhancing treatment protocols for all equine
NEDP is the only
organisation which has mandated the continuous watercooling of all
motorised instruments that may inflict any
heat on the horse's teeth.
NEDP is the only
organisation that has banned radical cutting of teeth with
forceps which risk fracturing tooth structures below the gum line.
We predict that the costs of caring for your horses will increase
and the level of care will go down in most cases, if training at
Diploma level is not formalised by 2012, and even more anti-competive
veterinary regulations are pushed through.
Most members of the professional associations NEDP, EDAA, AAED and
will be prevented from comprehensively practicing equine dentistry.
Look at the effect we think anti-competitive practices will
have after 2012: Anti-competitive
effect on equine dentists and cost impact on consumers - PDF 235kB
to make yourself heard? Write to your
state primary industries minister and local members.
To give you some
inspiration, we have an a letter which a horse owner in WA
sent to her
state minister as well as to the federal minister and others. You may
copy that letter. Find
your local member here.
E-mail addresses of state and federal ministers are:
Into Position of Pulp Chamber (no.6) in the Second Premolars.
Rachel McGarian (BSc Hons Equine Dental Science) of the United
Kingdom completed a dissertation in 2010 named: "Investigation
Into the Different
Characteristics of the Number 6 Pulp Chamber of Equine Mandibular
Second Premolar Teeth, in Relation to Age, Breed and Gender."
This study investigated four measurements; the width of the number 6
pulp chamber, the distance from the rostral aspect of the tooth to the
number 6 pulp chamber, the distance from the occlusal surface of the
tooth to the number 6 pulp chamber and the distance from the rostral
corner of the tooth to the number 6 pulp chamber in mandibular second
premolar teeth, in relation to age, breed and gender. The evidence from
this study provides the equine dental industry with vital information
which could act as a guideline when bit comfort areas (termed by some
as bit seats) are being installed, as to how much tooth can be removed
before exposing vital pulp in equines of different age, breeds and
The study found significant differences in the relationship between age
and the distance from the rostral aspect of the tooth to the number 6
pulp chamber in the 306 and 406 teeth, and between age and the distance
from the occlusal surface of the tooth to the number 6 pulp chamber in
the 406 teeth. (P<0.001). The results found that breed and
gender did not present any significant values for any of the four
measurements. The study concluded that the second mandibular premolars
can be reduced by an average of 6.1mm when installing bit seats, before
exposing vital pulp. This result contradicts the original guideline of
10mm (Becker, 1962).
The results from this study provide equine dental practitioners with
new scientific evidence that they can apply in practice and in turn
improve the welfare of many equines.
Footnote: Rachel McGarian was visiting Australia for the purpose of
conducting further research and other activities. The Australian Equine
Dental Practice was sponsoring her research.
Download a PDF of Rachel McGarian's dissertation here (2.9MB)
filing of molar teeth needs to be rendered with care in order to
preserve the horse's ability to chew. These grinding surfaces, also
known as tables, are shown here and you can enlarge them by clicking
The upper and lower molar tables meet together and are naturally rough
to enable the horse to grind the feed into small particles.
They consist of materials of different hardness which cause higher and
lower areas. The objective of correcting molar bite
abnormalities is to keep these grinding surfaces as intact as
possible. A horse without molar table roughness cannot grind
its feed. The Australian Equine Dental Practice promotes
'staged treatment'; this means bite abnormalities are corrected over a
longer period of time. This may be the case when a horse is
treated for wave mouth or shear bite.
the policy of affiliates of the Australian Equine Dental Practice not
to break the law by supplying or administering 'supply restricted'
drugs to your horse. Rarely does a horse need to be sedated
to experienced handling and limited treatment duration.
However, if this is necessary an equine veterinary surgeon can be
arranged on your behalf. If you want to report unlawful veterinary
drug supply or use in Australia click here:
reduction of tooth length with cutting forceps may cause deep tooth
or bone fractures. We do not use these forceps, nor do we use
dremel type grinders to grind down the first molar teeth. In
order to provide bit comfort, the first molars are corrected by
filing manually, thus preventing the need for tranquillisers except
on infrequent occasions. More information on the Methods page.
Equine Dental Practitioners Board to be
The Association of Equine
Dental Practitioners (Aust) Inc. has put a structure in place to
regulate those who operate as equine dentists. The Equine Dental
Practitioners Board is currently being established to issue annual
licences and to strictly regulate equine dentists who have to meet
educational and practical experience criteria. The Code of Practice
clearly defines many standards of horse care and practice management.
The administration of sedatives is, and always has been, illegal; the
association does not want this legislation to be changed. The use of
non-watercooled power tools is prohibited as are excessive molar filing
and routine incisor cutting. The EDP Board will also inform the public
about its role, in order to direct the public towards licensed equine
A regulation under the
Veterinary Practice Act 2003 was recently introduced. A last minute
public and industry response caused this regulation to be modified.
However, it falls short of protecting horses from damage by devices
such as industrial grinders which are not continuously water-cooled.
There is evidence that as little as 2 minutes grinding may cause
irrepairable harm to the tooth by destroying tissue in the pulp cavity.
As well as that, the present devices lack tactile feedback and often
cause excessive removal of material from the occlusal surfaces.
Dentistry as a Career -
Postgraduate and Diploma Level Training with the AEDP.
is now available on this site about training to become an Equine
Dentist. Whether you are a Veterinary Surgeon and would like
to do a Postgraduate course or whether you are experienced with horses
and want to train for a Certificate you will find more information by
clicking the Career Choice on the navigation bar on the left. Apply
early so you don't miss out on a place.
Training with the
Australian Equine Dental
Practice has been a stepping stone to a career as an Equine Dentist by
a number of people. Where consideration of the horse takes
priority and the manner of treatment is widely respected, there are
valid grounds to consider this training. We endeavour to
teach genuine candidates a caring approach that uses effective methods
which respect the natural structure of equine dentition with the aim of
correcting abnormal dental conformation. No other persons are
accredited by Peter to teach these methods. The word 'academy' or
'school' is not used, because there is no government accreditation for
this training. The next training intake is closing soon. Check Career Choice
equine dentist, I am concerned about a number of
issues relating to the drought that I have encountered. These
issues can affect the condition and behaviour of your horse(s). These
relatively common issues are:
more rapidly occurring dental sharpness and associated disorders. This
is a result of the increased intake of short-fibred feed. Having less
long fibre in their grazing diet as well as the feeding of chaff and
pellets increases irregular wear and causes extremely sharp points
which in turn affects behaviour due to pain from aggrevation of soft
tissue which also reduces masticatory efficiency.
inability of horses with worn or abnormal
dentition to adequately masticate hay that is provided. Horses,
especially older ones, often suffer impaction colic due to ingesting
large wads of unmasticated feed. (see picture) This inadequate
mastication can also occur in horses that have had their teeth
is not appropriate for horses, such as that containing barley grass and
of broad leaf and other weeds when grazing.
parasite burdens due to short length
grazing pasture and ineffective worming programs. This is especially a
concern on agistment properties and those that have no strip-grazing or
Incidence of Colic Among Horses.
Journal of the Veterinary Medical
Association reported about a study by Drs Traub-Dargatz, Kopral et al.
about the US national incidence of and operation risk factors for colic
among horses from 1998-1999. It says:"The annual national
incidence of colic in the US horse population was estimated to be 4.2
colic events/100 horses per year. Case fatality rate was 11% and 1.4%
of colic events resulted in surgery." That colic is suffered
by so many horses is a cause for deep concern when one considers the
pain and trauma to both horses and owners. The report further
states that it is costing the US an amount of AU$205.000.000 per year.
Especially in older horses correct dental maintenance and
dietary planning can vastly reduce the incidence of colic.
number of calls to this practice are
made by people who suspect that their horse's inability to masticate
feed properly may have been the cause of a past occurrrence of colic.
It is especially important to be aware that a horse with dental
problems is unable to grind grass or hay into short fibres and will
often swallow long fibred tight packets of feed which may cause bowel
obstruction. There is also some concern that horses with
decomposing feed lodged in abnormal cravasses between teeth may ingest
large bacterial loads which may affect proper digestion and increase
the likelihood of colic.
find out more
about Thoroughbred Breeders Australia, click here:
Horse Information the Easy Way.
For those of
who scratch their head trying to find good horse information on the
Internet, here are some hints. As voluntary editor for the Open
Directory Project, the world's largest human edited directory, I
recommend it to view information by category. You can also
search at the top of each page. Here are some interesting
categories from DMOZ
A great Australian
site is the Horse
sensible categories with most Australian information you may be
searching for. If you were looking some of my equine
information on the Centre for Veterinary Education (Sydney) , it has
all been removed as the site has been sanitised to only include items
by veterinarians. When
will educators take off their blinkers?
Australia is a very useful site for Australian horse info. You can
select your state and choose from many categories. Click the logo:
Dr Geoff Tucker
has specialized in equine dentistry
for a few years now and, like many of us, he has developed his own
techniques. He has said to me many times that he is not in favour of
aggressive treatment methods and that we need to respect natural
(dental) structures. I quote this from his web site
better than drugs and force.
judicious use of pain medication is
indicated in about 1 of every 5 horses, not in every horse.
The use of hand
tools and the hand as a mouth
speculum is effective in addressing every edge of every tooth.
Every edge of every
tooth must be made smooth to
achieve comfort for the horse
Floating should be
done every 6 months in horses
between 5 and 25 years of age to be preventive in bit issues. On
occasion some horses need it more often. Some, due to limited use or if
they are over 25 years old only need an annual float.
Horses between 2 ½
and 5 years of age should be
floated every 3 to 6 months depending on their training schedules. The
teeth are softer and become sharp more quickly plus 24 baby "caps" are
shed during this time and are replaced by sharp permanent teeth.
has been practiced for generations. While some changes are good, not
all changes in technique or technology benefit the horse. The
philosophy here is simple. If the change helps the horse, it is made.
If it only helps the floater, the change is not made.
Tucker's site click on the image:
there are more than 1.2 million
horses used for racing, equestrian sports, and recreation and there is
a large breeding industry. The horse industry is worth more than $15
billion a year.
The Rural Industries Research and
Development Corporation (RIRDC) offers support for equine research and
development projects across Australia, with many projects being
undertaken into subjects such as infectious diseases, reproduction,
nutrition, injuries, drug development and lameness.
To find research
reports and more, click here and follow the link 'horses':
"You and Your New Horse"
which provided comprehensive
information on health, nutrition and essential horse care have now been discontinued.
We regret this but if you are planning purchasing a first horse or have
purchased a horse, we will try to direct any enquiries to other
organisations who are able to provide you with information. If you
support the reintroduction of these seminars, please E-mail the
Director of Education of RSPCA Victoria firstname.lastname@example.org
If you cannot
see navigation buttons on the left,
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