Horses should have their teeth examined once a year. If there are major abnormalities such as displaced, fractured or absent teeth, horses will require more frequent dental attention. Similarly, if your horse exhibits any of the following signs, it is time for a dental examination now!

  • Reluctance to graze
  • Increased saliva production
  • Quidding - dropping half chewed food. Often found on the floor outside the stable door!
  • Bad breath
  • Facial swelling or pain
  • Nasal discharge
  • Weight loss
  • Rearing
  • Headshaking

The dental examination involves the use of a full mouth speculum (gag), a dental mirror and a range of rasps. Some common conditions that we see routinely include: sharp enamel overgrowths, diastema (gaps between teeth), tooth fractures and tooth root abscesses.

Wolf teeth occur in a third of horses and erupt just in front of the cheek teeth between 1 and 8 years of age. They are a remnant of the first pre-molar tooth that is no longer required. About 50% of horses need to have it removed as it interferes with the bit. This is easily done under light sedation.

One of the reasons why it may be advantageous to have a vet examine your horse’s teeth is that some horses may need sedating to place a gag, particularly for the first time! Only vets are legally allowed to administer sedation. At Clevedale we aim to be competitive on price, and a dental examination, even with sedation, can be comparable in price to that of a visit from an equine dentist.

Dental examination using a dental mirror

Dental examination using a dental mirror

Upleatham Surgery
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