Self-inflicted lingual trauma secondary to inferior alveolar nerve block in 3 horses

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Exodontia is the typical treatment recommended in severe cases of dental disease where alternative treatment techniques fail to salvage the affected tooth. Exodontias are frequently performed in the standing horse with the benefit of sedation and regional anaesthesia in order to avoid the risks and expense of general anaesthesia. The inferior alveolar nerve block is commonly utilised when extracting diseased mandibular dentition. Because of the close anatomical relationship of the lingual and inferior alveolar nerves both may be desensitised following anaesthesia of the inferior alveolar nerve. Desensitisation of the tongue may result in horses traumatising it during mastication before sensation returns. This report describes 3 horses that sustained self-inflicted lingual trauma following inferior alveolar nerve blocks performed for standing oral surgical procedures.

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