Horses perform better and may live longer when their mouths and teeth function properly. New window.
Routine dental care is essential to your horse's health. Periodic examinations and regular maintenance such as floating, are especially necessary for three important reasons:
- The horse's diet and eating patterns have been greatly modified through domestication and confinement.
- More is demanded from horses beginning at a younger age especially those that are involved in performance and competitive showings.
- Breeding animals are often selected without regard to dental considerations.
As many horse owners recognize, proper dental care has its rewards. Horses are more comfortable and will utilize feed more efficiently when routine dental checkups and treatments are a priority. In addition, horses may perform better and may live longer when their mouths and teeth function properly.
It stands to reason that equine dentists are an important addition to a horse’s health. In fact, at the racetrack, these equine dentists are called “tooth fairies.” With this in mind, Foothills Riding Club is sponsoring an Equine Dental Care seminar at Foothills Equestrian Nature Center on March 21, 2018.
Dr. Jamie Ashbrook will give a presentation about equine dentistry, why there is a need for proper dental care in horses and how it can ultimately lead to preventative care.
Because horses’ teeth continue to grow their entire lives, they can develop sharp edges, which can cause pain when chewing or from the bit.
Symptoms of dental problems can include dropping lots of grain when eating, loss of weight and poor health quality, difficulty chewing, resistance to the bit, and tossing of the head when being ridden. A horse in great pain may even rear when the reins are used.
Most veterinarians and equine dentists recommend a horse’s teeth be checked at least once a year. The dentist uses a file to smooth out sharp edges, called “floating.” He or she will also remove loose or infected caps in young horses and check for wolf teeth that can interfere with the bit.
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