Why should you look after your horse's teeth?
Your horse's teeth matter, as dental disease can have a significant impact on his health and well-being and can also reduce his performance. For example, if there is pain on the left side of the mouth the horse will tend to compensate by chewing food on the right side thus leading to abnormal wear of the dental tables. This in turn leads to secondary issues. Horses have long crowned short-rooted teeth (hypsodont) and therefore much of the crown lies below gum level so it is important that we look after them.
What to look out for?
Early intervention is vital. Your horse may become headshy or resent the bit in the mouth when being ridden. The mucosa of the tongue and cheek can become painful and ulcerated by sharp, uneven teeth, and the horse may start quidding (dropping food instead of swallowing it), or swallowing food without chewing it properly, resulting in choke. Food not chewed properly is effectively wasted, and the horse's nutritional requirements are not met.
Your horse may develop swelling around the affected jaw, have smelly breath and may even develop a nasal discharge.
What can we do?
We offer routine dental health examinations, dental x-rays can be performed if necessary. A treatment plan can then be discussed to suit your horse's needs, such as wolf teeth removal, rasping with or without extractions.
The assessment of dental health is also incorporated into pre-purchase examinations as this governs the long-term longevity of your horse.
For further information on the care of your horse's teeth or to book an appointment for a full dental check then please telephone 01291 672637.