The dentist

A good horse owner will check their horse's teeth once a year or more. It's especially important to examine the teeth when the horse keeps turning his head, slobbing, or tugging at the bit, indications of teeth problems. It is advisable to remove the wolfteeth, which are small teeth that are found on the upper jaw infront of the premolars.

Since my DOR is a good horse owner, she is scheduling a visit from the equine dentist. The DOR says I am the only horse she has that has not see the dentist yet this year. I am not sure how I feel about that, but since I am working on teaching her to be a good owner I will grin and be a good boy. I will be even better looking with a flashy set of teeth.

So here is a bit of information about dental care for horses that you can share with your DOR:

The mouth is a performance horse's "steering wheel". A horse with a balanced mouth, free of dental irritation and disease, has "power steering"! Proper dental care is essential to maintaining a healthy horse, and regular dental checkups should be included in every horse’s heath care program. Horses with healthy teeth will be more comfortable, utilize feed more efficiently, may perform better, and will likely keep their teeth longer. Common dental problems in horses include: sharp enamel points which cause lacerations of the cheeks and tongue, retained deciduous teeth (baby teeth, “caps”), malocclusions (the upper and lower teeth are improperly aligned) which lead to uneven wear and overgrowth of teeth, fractured teeth, loose or missing teeth, and infected teeth and/or gums. Regrettably, many horses do not show signs of dental problems until it is too late to correct them. Regular dental care can prevent many problems from occurring and allows correction of minor problems before they become severe. Dental care should begin with foals. Foals should be examined shortly after birth and again around weaning for congenital (birth) defects. If congenital defects are recognized early, surgical or orthodontic correction may be possible. Dental exams should then be performed once or twice a year depending on the age and use of the horse. Younger horses, performance horses, and geriatric horses will likely benefit from more frequent exams. Your veterinarian will help you set up an appropriate dental care plan.

Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR



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