Thursday, February 11, 2010

Horse Dentist

The horses had a visit from the horse dentist today.
Horses' teeth grow continuously until some time between the ages of 25 and 30. Horses in heavy work or horses that are stabled and fed concentrates will need more regular examination as this can cause them to chew differently affecting the way the teeth wear. Raised edges may appear along the edges of the molars; typically along the outside of the upper set and the inside of the lower set. When these "unground surfaces" get large the horse cannot rock his lower jaw laterally as he chews due to his teeth being locked between the opposing ridges. Thus the problem self propagates, the ridges slowly appear larger as they are no longer being worn down, and as the horse rubs these ridges when chewing, he's actually wearing down the sides of these ridges into sharp points. The frequency of floating a horse is variable and is related to the individual horse. I get mine done about twice a year.

Horses generally shed caps 2 1/2 to 5 1/2 years of age. Caps are baby teeth. Some shed them on their own, some need to be removed to allow the permanent teeth to come in easier. Between Horses erupt 44 permanent teeth and shed 24 baby teeth or "caps." You can greatly increase your horse's comfort and promote future good dental health by having the equine dentist pull adhering "caps" at the right time because sometimes the cap loosens and does not come off OR a cap breaks off leaving a hard piece located between the permanent tooth and the gum. Mazzy had to have two of her caps removed:

Kylie's teeth weren't in too bad of shape since they were just floated about 5 months ago. The dentist removed sharp edges and small hooks and ramps from the cheek teeth.


Springfield Stables said...

Looks like the girls were well behaved. Nice topic!

Desert Rose said...

Yes...Jesse gets his sheeth cleaned at the same time as the dentist does his work...! LOL

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