Aug 14, 2015

Posted by in Blog, Pets & Animals | Comments Off on 4 Signs Your Horse Needs To See A Dentist

4 Signs Your Horse Needs To See A Dentist

Some horse people say that without the hoof, there is no horse. It can also be said that without good teeth, there is no horse. Your equine relies on good teeth to properly process their feed and hay and won’t be happy under the saddle if their mouth is in pain.

Here are 4 signs your horse needs a dental examination.

1. The horse begins losing weight.

Weight loss in equines my be due to worms, poor feed, and physical disease. If your horse has been on a regular worming schedule, the feed hasn’t changed and they are otherwise in good condition, they may simply need their teeth floated.

Although this issue is more common in older horses, equines of all ages get spurs, nubs, and uneven wear on the surfaces of the teeth. Acorns or other large seeds can lodge in teeth and create infection. There are any number of tooth-related issues that cause enough pain to make your horse stop eating.

2. They make hay wads.

If you start noticing little egg-sized packets of wet, half-eaten hay around the water trough and hay pile, your horse may not have enough good tooth surface to properly chew and swallow their forage. This can occur with fresh grasses as well.

It’s normal for some horses to dunk their hay in their water, which is fine. But suspect bad teeth when the small hay wads appear. They will be of similar size and shape since your horse is creating them while trying to eat and they take on the shape of the individual horse’s mouth.

3. Your horse cannot get comfortable with a bit.

You may try a snaffle, a hackamore, and a humane curb bit to help your horse find one they like, but your horse hates them all. The ears go back when you try to place the bit in the mouth. The horse jerks its head up with the slightest pressure of the bit, or even rears up when the reins are pulled.

Wolf teeth are often the cause of bit pain. These are tiny vestigial teeth that appear on the gums and normally don’t develop into anything larger than a corn kernel. But they cause horses a great deal of pain when they’re pressed on by fingers or bit. Other dental issues will also cause problems with the horse accepting and working with a bit, so have this sign checked out right away.

4. You notice a bad smell coming from the horse’s mouth.

Just as in humans, horses can get abscesses and nasty infections of the teeth and gums. If you notice a foul odor from your horse’s mouth, make sure to have an equine dentist take a look to check for any dental issues that may be the cause. Some odors may be due to a piece of food rotting or even a gastric issue, but your vet or equine dentistry professional will be able to sort it out and get your horse’s breath smelling sweet again.

If you notice any of these things with your horse, visit an equine dentistry, such as Horizon Equine Veterinary Services, today. 

Comments are closed.