Just as your horse's hooves require trimming every few months, their teeth require filing, usually once a year. From Harness to Pony club, miniature to performance, all horses require regular dental treatment.
DENTAL TREATMENT IN EQUINES IS PART OF BASIC HORSECARE. This includes horses and donkeys of all ages and sizes. Waiting years until problems develop is not the best outcome for your equine
Your horse's teeth are an important first step in its digestive mechanism. Once your horse picks up its feed with its lips and front teeth (incisors) healthy functioning molars are then required to grind your horse's feed into a pulp (bolus) suitable for swallowing.
Horses teeth emerge about 3-4mm every year to make up for the abrasive wear of eating grass. If their teeth do not wear adequetely due to the type of feed we provide and the way that each individual horse uses its jaw, sharp edges or uneven tooth levels soon develop.
Equine dentists file the outside edges of the top molars and the inside edges of the lower molars so that :
HOWEVER THE GOLDEN RULE:
Filing must consider the horses ability to grind its feed. Filing should never leave the teeth smooth so as to damage the rough occlusal surfaces required for proper grinding of feed
The 3 1/2 year old mouth showing central upper incisors in wear, the adjacent permanent molars erupted and the corner incisors still deciduous
DENTAL CHECKUPS EVERY 3-6 MONTHS UP UNTIL THE AGE OF 5 MAY BE NECESSARY TO ENSURE ERUPTION IS REGULAR AND CAPS (REMAINDERS OF BABY TEETH) ARE EXTRACTED
AN OUNCE OF PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN A POUND OF CURE!
* For horses at pasture, treatment every 12-18 monthS is recommended
* Horses consuming regular hard feed may require 6-9 month appointments
YOUR HORSE IS NOW RACING, BEING SHOWN, COMPETING, BEING RIDDEN FOR PLEASURE OR PONYCLUB, OR PERHAPS BREEDING
In these years sharp edges will continue to develop and any irregularities in your horse's bite will effect its teeth.Your horse's teeth will continue to emerge, and will change with age and wear.
Regular treatment will help keep your horse in good condition by making the most of the feed you provide. Proper filing will ensure feed is not packed in the mouth for long periods of time causing long term gum disease.
Dental treatment will also insure problems in the mouth are adressed and do not create issues when your horse is worked.
Most dental problems are able to be managed with proper regular treatment and having your horse treated during middle age will ensure a healthy mouth as your horse ages.
HAVING YOUR OLDER HORSE'S TEETH CHECKED WILL HELP YOU KNOW WHAT FEED YOUR HORSE CAN MANAGE AND IN TURN WHAT FEED WILL MOST BENEFIT YOUR HORSE
Your horses teeth will be beginning to wear with age. Many horses with healthy teeth will still be able to manage their feed well, however your older horse may have increased nutritional requirements.
Horses with dental conditions may require extensive treatment to make them comfortable and free of pain and infection. They may require only soft feed as a combination of reduced grinding surfaces and declining tooth numbers may make grinding hay and dry grass impossible.