Caring for Your Horse’s Teeth

Caring for your horse’s teeth is important to his or her overall health. It’s especially important because, unlike humans or other animals, a horse’s teeth never stop growing. Irregular wear and other tooth problems can cause everything from pain to colic to behavioral problems and weight loss. Below, are some tips on equine dental care to help you keep your horse’s mouth healthy and happy.

Choose a Qualified Equine Dentist - Professional equine dental care is essential in helping your horse maintain good oral health, so make sure you secure a good dentist that is experienced in equine dental care.

Have Wolf Teeth Removed Early – If your horse is young (under 2 years of age), it’s a good idea to have your dentist remove his or her wolf teeth. Similar to wisdom teeth in humans, wolf teeth serve no purpose and can cause serious issues when trying to bit train your horse.

Have Teeth Floated Regularly – Because a horse’s teeth never stop growing, they can end up becoming overgrown and develop sharp edges that can cause pain and result in difficulty chewing and eating. Your dentist should be regularly filing these sharp points down, a process known as “floating”, to ensure tooth symmetry.

Routine, Preventative Care – Horses aged 5 and older should receive routine dental care every six months to a year. During this time, your dentist will examine your horse’s teeth and gums, clean them and assess any issues that may need to be addressed.

Signs of Dental Problems

Tooth problems may crop up in between vet visits, so you should always be cognizant of your horse’s behavior so that you can quickly recognize signs that there may be a problem. These signs may include:

  • Head tossing
  • Pushing of the bit
  • Excessive salivation
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Dropping feed
  • Changes in behavior
  • Inability or refusal to eat
  • Eating less than normal
  • Riding with head held up
  • Bucking
  • Rearing

If you notice your horse exhibiting any of these things, contact your dentist right away to schedule a dental exam.

Equine dental care is an essential part of keeping your horse happy and healthy. By following these tips and working closely with your trusted Equine dentist, your horse will be able to enjoy a healthy mouth for life.

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