Routine dental care is an essential part of all horses' well being.
We are increasingly undertaking advanced dental works at the hospital, including:
· Routine dental rasping
· Tooth extractions
· Dental fillings
· Diastemata treatment
· Removal of supernumerary teeth
· Incisor teeth issues
Regular assessment and care for your horse’s teeth is an essential part of care for your horse and is primarily about preventative treatment, although in some cases more specific treatments may be required.
Horse’s teeth are different from those of a person in a number of important ways, most notably the fact that they are constantly erupting, at a rate of 2-3mm per year. This eruption is, in the wild horse, countered by constant wear at the same rate. In domesticated horses, the diets which they are fed and the age to which they live mean that wear is not always this predictable.
Sharp edges along the sides of the teeth as well as focal overgrowths at certain areas can cause discomfort to the horse, resulting in them dropping food, head shaking or behaving unpredictably when ridden. This can also result in abnormal or inadequate chewing and breakdown of roughage within the mouth before it is swallowed, potentially leading to choke, colic or weight loss.
We recommend that your horse’s teeth are fully assessed at least once a year. This assessment involves examination of the oral cavity using a mouth gag, head torch and mirror.
In many cases horses will allow this quite happily. Some horses will need to be sedated to allow this examination. Following the examination, the vet can remedy sharp edges and overgrowths by reducing them with a motorised or hand rasp and can also carry out any remedial treatment, for example flushing or widening space, or removing wolf teeth.
In recent years, great advances have been made in equine dentistry, including identifying and treating teeth that require fillings, detailed DR radiography to image the skull and minimally invasive techniques for extraction of damaged or diseased teeth.
These procedures are usually undertaken at our hospital in Lanark.
If you have any questions regarding your horse’s dental health, please call us on 01555 660000 to speak to one of our vets.