Top Tips for Keeping Your Horse’s Teeth in Tip Top Condition
We’ve all been there, nervously pacing around the dentist waiting room – biting our nails at the thought of having a ghastly filling, or thinking about bolting out of the front door because we don’t want that drill anywhere near our mouths. So to avoid any unnecessary trips to the dentist, we make sure to look after our teeth – and just like us, horses need to maintain a healthy set of gnashers too.
Keeping things afloat
Try and have your horse’s teeth floated at least once a year; it will keep your horse comfortable, and will aid their eating habits and stop them from doing any lasting damage to their mouths. Floating is the process of filing any hooks or sharp edges away from a horse’s tooth, and will stop their teeth catching on the inside of their mouths. If you have an older horse who is experiencing problems with his or her teeth, then a change to the diet might be in order – hay cube mash and beet pulp is a soft alternative that can give the horse’s mouth a break from chomping through harsh grain.
Spotting a problem before it escalates
Just like humans, younger horses will lose their milk teeth before a stronger set grows in. Sometimes these teeth don’t come through exactly as they should, and this can lead to a painful mouth for your horse. It’s easy to check if your horse is experiencing pain during the development of their teeth – if they are frothing at the mouth, have bad breath, they are spilling grain while eating, or they carry their head to one side, this is usually a sign they’re having problems with their teeth (this relates to horses both young and old). If you do spot any of these issues, give a veterinarian a call, and they will have the baby tooth removed safely, if you have horse insurance then the strain of the bill becomes less of a worry.
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