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 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. To support this service to the patients, we have equipped the practice with new state of the art dental instruments and a new mobile equine crush.
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.