On-Site Equine Dental Services
Ensuring your horse regularly has checkups with a qualified equine veterinary dental provider is absolutely crucial, as underlying problems can occur over time which can lead to further complications, health issues and even seemingly pain-based behavioural problems. When our Veterinary Surgeons perform an equine dental examination, the teeth and skull are examined for any overgrowth and abnormalities. The overall aim is to provide a grinding surface that the horse can use effectively 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, need to be considerably broken down and mixed 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 is often noticed when the horse begins to lose weight and drop feed (quidding).
Equine Dental Problems
Sharp edges and hooks are the most common problems seen in the equine mouth. To examine your horses’ mouth, we place a Haussmann’s Gag onto your horse to hold the mouth open to perform the examination. Depending on the size and location of sharp edges or hooks, a rasp or highly developed electrical dental equipment will be used to reduce the size of any abnormalities.
If untreated, these problems can frequently lead to ulcers developing in the horses’ mouth which can be painful, they can reduce performance and your horse may stop eating or become head shy.
More complex problems such as ‘wave mouth’ or ‘shear mouth’ may require more frequent treatments. If left untreated, this may lead to serious discomfort. Much of the time, when horses are evading contact when ridden or are showing signs of ‘misbehaviour’, they are actually in pain and this frequently leads back to issues with their teeth. Having an appropriate equine dentistry plan in place is something every owner must consider.
Horses cope surprisingly well with dental treatments which are normally stress free, routine procedures.
To find out more about our equine veterinary dental services please don’t hesitate to get in touch with a member of our team today.