Benjamin Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This adage certainly rings true for equine dentistry. At Mid-Rivers Equine Centre, we believe your horse’s dental care should begin during a neonatal exam and continue into adulthood.
It is estimated that about 90 percent of domesticated horses suffer from some form of dental disease. With early and routine dental care, complications due to equine dental problems may be reduced or averted. These problem-causing conditions can range from teeth that are too long to challenges arising from genetic malformations.
Though chewing should naturally wear down a horse’s teeth, malformations such as Parrot mouth (overbite) and Monkey mouth (under bite) can inhibit them from grinding together properly and result in teeth that are too long or develop sharp points. Our veterinarians will look for such malformations of the mouth in young horses.
Unlike humans, horses are born with two sets of fully formed teeth. Foals will begin erupting the first set (baby teeth) just a few days after birth. As the second set begin to erupt, sometimes it is necessary to pull the baby teeth to prevent impaction. This is often referred to as having the “caps” pulled. Baby teeth may also become too long and need to be filed down or ‘floated,’ and many colts will need to have their wolf teeth removed prior to training.
Any young horse that is preparing to train should have an equine dental exam. Teeth problems can cause quite a bit of discomfort and lead to a whole list of behavioral issues, which can make training difficult. A negative first training experience may have a lasting effect on a young horse and create unnecessary hurdles for you and your horse to overcome in the future.
An ounce of prevention is getting in the good habit of including equine dental exams as part of your horse’s routine preventative care. Consider having a dental exam along with your horse’s routine vaccinations or coggins testing appointment. Consolidating procedures saves time and money.
Mid-Rivers Equine Centre is fully equipped to handle all your horse’s dental needs. Contact us today to schedule an equine dentistry appointment.