Just like their owners, horses will require periodic dental care. While things like cavities are less of an issue in a horse (unless you have fed your horse a diet with a lot of refined sugars), horses will need to have their teeth looked at. A horse’s teeth grow continuously throughout most of the horse’s life and fed a horse’s natural diet of foraged grass and other plants, these teeth will wear themselves down at about the rate that the teeth grow in.
Unfortunately, one of the shortfalls of modern horse care is that horses have been removed from their natural conditions and are often fed types of feed that will not wear down the teeth as efficiently as the teeth were developed to.
Are there any dangers for a horse’s teeth to wear out unevenly? Most of the time, these mis-worn teeth will develop into razor sharp hooks and cause plenty of discomfort to the horse. Often with the help of the halter, the cheek will be pressed against the tooth where it will be sliced into repeatedly. This can be very painful for the horse and an infection might develop over time.
The uneven wear will cause the horse to chew in an uncomfortable and unnatural manner if left untreated. This could result in a loose tooth and eventually fall out. A horse with missing teeth will aggravate the problem and lead to more serious teeth uneven wearing problems.
It is not possible to let your modern horse out to pasture for long period of time a day. So what is the solution for this? This is where we need the services of equine dentists. Using a rasp, either manually or by means of a power tool, an equine dentist will “float” your horse’s teeth. The idea is that the sharp ridges and hooks that may have been created will be filed down, allowing the horse eventually to move its jaw in the correct manner and without pain.
The equine dentist will not file the horse’s teeth to the point where they are smooth however. The horse needs some contours to its teeth for proper chewing. The teeth will be filed to roughly the same length, and if a horse’s canine tooth has grown too long, it may be filed as well. Sometimes, a tooth might grow too long to be filed. When this happens, the dentist will use a specialized tool to cut the unwanted portion. This task especially is best left to a professional to ensure that your horse’s tooth will not shatter.
It is not difficult to spot a horse dental problem, you just have to observe how she chews and eats her food. It is time to consult a equine dentist when you find your horse salivating more often, eating slower, dropping food from their mouths or feces with large pieces of food visible. If you are not sure where to locate a equine dentist in your city, you can ask your veterinarian or other horse owners for recommendation. In actual fact, many equine veterinarians are also trained in equine dentistry.
There are about 75 million horses in the world today with more than 350 different breeds of ponies and horses. To learn more about the modern horse health and horse care, follow the links to vist us at PetCustomer.com.