As horses have evolved, they have become accustomed to hiding any signs of illness because in the wild, if a horse becomes sick, they are rejected from the herd. This is why it is important for owners to be aware and actively vigilant of the subtle warning signs that indicate poor dental health in horses.
Some common signs of poor dental health in horses include:
As they say, prevention is always better than treatment! Horses need to have regular dental check and it is recommended that owners book a minimum of one dentist appointment for their horse every 12 months with an Equine Dental Vet. They are regulated by a governing body and are bound by legislation to ensure animal welfare and ethical practices.
Sharp teeth can lead to painful injuries and ulcers. A dental vet will file down the teeth (this is called floating)
So what’s involved when you get your horse’s teeth checked? Joe from Old Mill Vet Equine Service explains what occurs in a standard dental procedure for horses:
Joe treating an RSPCA Inspectorate horse
A horse’s diet is a large contributing factor that influences their dental health. It is recommended that owners ensure their horses have easy access to good pasture throughout the day, as horses normally graze for up to eighteen hours per day. Some horses do need additional fibre from foods such as hay and chaff in their diet if they are not receiving enough from pasture alone. Older horses or horses impacted by dental pathology, often require a consultation with an Equine Dental Vet in order to be given the appropriate recommendation for their diet. Often Equine Dental Vets will recommend adding chaff and a senior pellet feed as a high component of these types of horse’s diet in order for them to meet their daily caloric intake.
Equine Dental Vets recommend that in order to maintain a horse’s oral hygiene to prevent disease and pain, owners should hose their horse's mouth with water to flush out accumulated feed from between teeth. This process would help to prevent and/or treat periodontal disease. Dental vets may also advise using an oral rinse such as hexarinse, as an alternative to water, for the treatment of periodontal disease and gingivitis.
Horses can live for many decades, so make sure to ask your local Equine Dental Vet to visit your horse to ensure they stay in tip-top shape for the long-run!
Looking for dog dental health tips? Or perhaps your cat has smelly breath and you think their teeth may be in need of a vet check? Read our blog here to learn how you can keep your furry companion’s teeth in check too.
As a Guest, there may be many contributors from all different types of backgrounds from industry professionals through to volunteers or someone who is simply just shy