Equine Dental Care for Happy Horses
Your horse needs regular dental care just like you do and they should have a thorough exam every year. Equine dental care is important for horses during all stages of their lives. Just like humans, horses start out with baby teeth. They gradually shed these baby teeth and grow permanent ones until the age of five-years old. As your horse gets even older, their teeth shift and change making it important to look out for any dental issues that may pop up.
Regular Dental Maintenance
When your horse receives regular dental exams, our veterinarians can prevent any unnecessary pain for them. As permanent teeth erupt, your horse may be holding onto baby teeth in the same area. Removing these deciduous teeth at the right time helps their permanent teeth grow in easier. It may be a good idea to bring your horse in for dental visits twice a year between the ages of 2 to 5, because this is the time their teeth and jaws are rapidly changing. Horses’ teeth are made for chewing food efficiently, so their upper jaw is wider than their lower jaw. The difference in jaw sizes require check-ups and balancing to keep teeth from wearing unevenly. Our veterinarians look for many things during an equine dental care exam including:
- The correct eruption of permanent teeth.
- Cysts in the gum-line, which may develop from permanent teeth eruption.
- Gingivitis and periodontal disease.
- How teeth bite together.
- Sharp edges on some teeth, which can interfere with your horse’s bit.
Watching Out for Problems
Horses have special dental needs, which may creep up regardless of regular dental exams. Bringing your horse into Town & Country Equine & Pet Hospital for scheduled equine dental care is the first thing you can do as a mindful owner. Besides that, there are some things which will alert you to dental problems in your horse, such as:
- Different eating or drinking patterns.
- Rapid weight loss.
- Frequent head shaking.
- Unchewed pieces of hay in their manure.