The importance of equine dentistry
If your horse begins to behave abnormally you should consider dental problems as a potential cause. Although not always indicative of dental disease, you may notice one or more of the following when your horse needs dental attention:
- Dropping food, difficulty chewing or excessive salivation
- Weight/condition loss
- Undigested grain in the manure
- Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing or resistance
- Poor performance including refusing to take a lead, reduced
- “steering” or “brakes”, running backwards, rearing or bucking
- Foul odour from the mouth or nostrils
- Mouth bleeding
- Facial swelling or nasal discharge
Signs and symptoms of dental problems
Some horses with dental problems will show signs of pain or irritation; however, many horses show no symptoms at all. Since not all dental problems are obvious it is important to have your veterinarian perform regular, comprehensive dental exams.
“He is only young; I will start his dentistry when he is older.”
As in human dental health, prevention is the key to good equine dental health, and this means dental care should begin from a young age. All of your horses permanent teeth are in position and use by the age of 6 years. Each horse is an individual with unique needs, so the interval between dental checks varies. However, in general your horse should receive comprehensive dental maintenance every 6-12 months. A veterinarian well-trained in equine dentistry can work with you to develop a schedule most appropriate for your horse.
“Why do I need the vet when the man up the road can float the teeth?”
Equine dentistry is not just about floating the teeth. A thorough physical exam of the entire horse, sedation, and use of specialized instruments are required in order to provide the best care for your horse. A veterinarian is the only person who can legally administer sedation to your horse and formulate an accurate diagnosis. Sedation is important even in the quietest horses as it provides a “happy” and safe experience for your horse, yourself and the veterinarian.
Incorporate oral health care into your horse’s annual health routine and you will have a healthier, more comfortable horse with teeth that may see him/her well into old age.
Give us a call on 03 54614466 to make an appointment or to find out more about this service offered here at Maryborough Veterinary Practice.
1st horse $150, additional horses $130 each (Includes sedation, extractions extra)
Get your friends together: no travel charges for groups of 5 or more horses.
Complimentary worm egg count plus a sheath clean on all male horses.