Equine Dentistry For Your Horse’s Health
- April 8, 2017
- Jessie Salter
A horse’s teeth need consistent care. Equine Dentistry can be performed by a professional equine dentist or your veterinarian. In a previous post I talked about a parrot mouthed horse and the different perceptions and concerns pertaining to his dentistry needs. The equine mouth is very complicated, and therefore needs attention.
How do you know your horse needs dental work?
1. Weight loss and/or poor coat quality.
2. Loss of food when chewing or chewing strangely.
3. Training trouble.
a) Head tossing
b) Pushing or rooting
4. Bridling issues
5. Foul breath
6. Head Tilting
How often does a horse need dental work?
1. It depends on your equine’s condition. After your initial dentistry check, you usually need to follow up every 1-2 years. Unless there is a major problem, then you may need to return every 6 months.
2. It’s always wise to look towards dentistry if you see any changes in eating and weight gain or a sudden on set of training problems related to the head and mouth area, even if your horse’s teeth were recently done.
What does a vet or equine dentist do when they float a horse’s teeth?
An exam will usually begin with sedation and the use of a full mouth speculum which keeps the horse’s mouth open. When examining the horse your veterinarian or equine dentist will likely be looking for irregularity in the horse’s bite, as well as any sharp points causing sores and calluses in your horse’s mouth. Once this professional diagnoses the problem, they will file the teeth as needed. A usual float may consist of leveling the bite for chewing as well as taking off any sharp edges. Most professionals also create a bit seat, which is slight rounding on the edge of the top and bottom of the first cheek teeth.
Little known facts about your horse’s mouth:
1. Horses may still be losing their baby teeth up until 5 years of age.
2. Not all horses have wolf teeth (not to be confused with the larger canine teeth). Both male and female horses can get them, and they can be on the top as well as the bottom. These teeth are most often removed.
About Jessie Salter
Horses have been a part of my life since I can remember. Riding with my Dad as a youngster was what I lived for. There was nothing better than working cows, or racing my dad across an alfalfa field. It seems I never grew out...