HAS YOUR HORSE SEEN THE DENTIST LATELY???
Dr. Jenny Lindquist, DVM
As spring approaches, many horse owners consider it time for vaccination and preparing for early shows. Horse owners also need to be thinking about their equine’s MOUTH.
□ Are your horses a little underweight even after appropriate supplementation?
□ Is your horse dropping feed or turning their head to the side when eating?
□ Are they a little cranky in the bridle?
□ Do they leave balled up hay in the manger?
□ Have they suffered from ‘choke’ this winter?
□ Have foul breath, nasal discharge
This may be from problems with their teeth! Getting routine dental exams is important for yearly horse health maintenance--- just as important as de-worming, performing their Coggins test, or getting vaccinations!
Yearlings should be checked for normal teeth growth and for abnormalities such as parrot-mouth, and have their ‘wolf teeth’ extracted. Adult horses should have routine checks and floats every 6 months, if a horse has significant dental issues. Some horses may easily be able to go a full year with out dental work- ask your veterinarian for advice on frequency of dental exams and oral health maintenance.
Regular dental maintenance can help maintain your horse’s health for a LIFETIME. A veterinarian with a head lamp and speculum can identify problems such as oral ulcers, hooks, and points.
So, this spring, when you and your horse visit (or are visited by) the veterinarian, have your horse’s teeth looked at… even if they are not showing signs of problems. Starting horses at a young age with routine dental checks will help maintain their health for the rest of their life.