On Site Horse Dentistry


When a veterinary surgeon performs an equine dental examination the teeth and skull are examined for any over growth and abnormalities. The overall aim is to provide a grinding surface that the horse can effectively use to perform the first stage of the digestion process. Effective chewing or ‘mastication’ is very important as the high fibre and cellulose feeds horses eat require considerable breakdown and mixing with saliva before it enters the stomach. If the horse is unable to do this effectively then it will not be able to utilise the nutrients and calories of the feed. In extreme cases the mouth may be so distorted that the horse will not be able to chew at all, this often is noticed when the horse begins to loose weight and drop feed (quidding).

Dental Problems

Sharp edges and hooks are the most common problems seen in the equine mouth. These are identified by placing a haussmann’s gag onto the horse to hold the mouth open to enable examination. They can be easily felt and seen and will require removing. Depending on the size and location either hand rasps or highly developed electrical dental equipment will be used to reduce the size of the abnormalities. These problems can frequently lead to ulcers developing in the horses mouth which can be painful, reduce performance, stop the horse eating and make the horse head shy. More complex problems such as a wave mouth, steps and shear mouth may require frequent treatments and if left untreated may lead to serious discomfort. Horses normally cope surprisingly well with dental treatments and it is normally a stress free routine procedure. If you would like to discuss the specific dental needs of your horse please do not hesitate to get in contact with one of our vets.

Meet ourTEAM

Marieke Schildkamp

Marieke graduated from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Whilst studying she competed internationally at Student Riding Nations Cups, representing The Netherlands at two World University Equestrian Championships in Sang-Ju (South Korea) and Aachen (Germany). After graduating she went on to complete an equine internship at one of New Zealand’s most prestigious equine hospitals. Her main duties included imaging, anaesthesia and daily care of the inpatients. During the internship Marieke developed a strong interest in orthopaedics and diagnostic imaging. She also spend a breeding season in Scone, the horse capital of Australia, gaining experience in all aspects of stud medicine. In 2015 Marieke made the move to the U.K. starting a job in Bristol, where she saw a high case load of racing thoroughbred work, in particular horses suffering with upper airway disease. From there she moved to Lambourn, again focusing on the racing industry before joining Shotter and Byers.

Marieke is a qualified FEI Permitted Treating Veterinarian.

During her free time Marieke enjoys fencing and acrobatics as well as going to the races, horse trials and polo tournaments.

Equine HealthRelated


We’d be happy to talk to you if you need advice regarding any horse, related problem or requirement you have, or if you would like more information about any of our services.


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