Your Horse (UK) - - Contents - GEMMA LILLY an equine den­tal tech­ni­cian

Main­tain­ing your horse’s teeth Wolf teeth l


What can I do to help main­tain the con­di­tion of my horse’s teeth be­tween his den­tal ap­point­ments? Kieran Cliff, Manch­ester


My best ad­vice to you would be to en­gage the ser­vices of a qual­i­fied pro­fes­sional who will visit your horse a cou­ple of times a year from ap­prox­i­mately 12 months of age. Note, though, that a pre­lim­i­nary oral ex­am­i­na­tion should take place in foals to rule out con­for­ma­tional dif­fi­cul­ties. From about the age of two to two-and-a-half years, the de­cid­u­ous teeth start to shed and are re­placed by per­ma­nent den­ti­tion. It’s dif­fi­cult for own­ers with­out a full mouth specu­lum to as­sess the cheek teeth, but ef­forts should be made to keep an eye on the in­cisor teeth while get­ting your horse used to hav­ing his mouth han­dled. Own­ers are of­ten alarmed when the in­cisors start to shed; fre­quently the teeth be­come dis­coloured at the root, ap­pear­ing as though frac­tured, and the gin­gi­vae starts to bleed. It’s all part of the teething process, but a call to your qual­i­fied equine den­tal tech­ni­cian or equine vet will al­lay doubt.

Signs of den­tal dis­ease

Changes in eat­ing or feed­ing habit, in­clud­ing in­ap­pe­tence (a vet­eri­nary emer­gency in ponies, minia­ture horses and don­keys) Quid­ding (drop­ping feed while chew­ing) Dunk­ing/drop­ping feed/for­age into wa­ter Drool­ing Weight loss/poor body con­di­tion Changes in bit­ted be­hav­iour in­clud­ing when be­ing bri­dled and rid­den Hal­i­to­sis (bad breath) Nasal dis­charge (es­pe­cially, but not lim­ited to, one-sided, thick, yel­low/green snot with/with­out of­fen­sive smell) Masses/swellings around the head Fae­cal fi­bre length: this is a good in­di­ca­tor of den­tal ef­fi­ciency. Long fi­bres in drop­pings can in­di­cate mas­ti­ca­tion (chew­ing) prob­lems.

Don’t rely on den­tal signs to in­di­cate a need for you to call in pro­fes­sional ser­vices. Many horses will not show signs un­til den­tal dis­ease is ad­vanced and treat­ment is un­likely to be cur­able. Source qual­i­fied equine den­tal tech­ni­cians and vets by con­tact­ing the Bri­tish As­so­ci­a­tion of Equine Den­tal Tech­ni­cians at

Get your horse checked by a den­tal tech­ni­cian at least a cou­ple times a year to help keep his teeth and mouth in good con­di­tion

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.