Gosh it put things into persective for me. So far, Allie has had one surgery, 5 days at the vets post surgery, then 2 weeks at the vets about 2 months after surgery when the pack slipped and they had to flush her sinus. She hasn't had to have any teeth removed (yet, keep your fingers crossed) and is doing well except for this on again off again snotty nostril. Plus, she was 7 years old when first diagnosed.
So, with that in mind, here's some case studies of other horses:
- A 9 month old quarter horse colt had one in his lower jaw. During surgery, they broke his jaw removing the mass and 2 teeth. The poor thing had to be fed through a tube for 21 days. He was discharged 49 days after the surgery. 3 years after surgery, the horse had no issues with mastication.
- An 11 month old quarter horse filly had an odontoma in the same place Allie did - the upper jaw. She had a similar surgery to Allie, through the sinus. They removed the mass and one tooth. She started to bleed out during surgery (just like Allie) and so they closed her up and gave her a blood transfusion. Rads after this showed that they had left some of the mass behind, so a second surgery was scheduled 21 days after the first. They removed the rest of the mass, plus 3 additional teeth! 150 days later, she had another procedure to tidy up (abnormal tissue was removed via currettage) and a dental bridge was installed (which was later removed when the hole filled in with granulation tissue and bone). 4 years after the initial surgery, there was no return of the odontoma, the horse had no problems with mastication and maintaining body condition, but had to have her dentals done every 6 months (undertandable, with 4 teeth missing).
So, what does this tell me? Allie is extremely lucky - she hasn't has any teeth removed yet (hopefully it stays that way) but only 2 teeth looked fishy to the vet anyway. She is still recovering. Her appetite is amazing (considering how easily she used to go off her feed all the time pre-diagnosis). She is fat, happy and just waiting around for me to pop this kid.
I can't wait now to get her next check up done, get some rads, see how it is all healing. See what the next steps are.
Plus, I really should get the all clear on that let hind suspensory - we never ended up getting it checked because she still hasn't returned to full work!
This is just a major bump in the road - but we are at the top, teetering on the edge of the fun ride down the other side.