EQUINE DENTISTRY

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.   1 Cor. 10:31

Equine Dentistry is the care of healthy teeth as well as the treatment of unhealthy teeth. The evolution of power equipment offers many advantages - less trauma to soft tissues, more precise dental work and less time for the procedure. A complete oral exam is necessary every six to twelve months. Below are some of the abnormalities found on 'routine' exams. Check out the Facebook page for more photos and interesting cases.

When should a horse be checked?

Foals and yearlings should be evaluated for incisor abnormalities, but most dental work can wait until they are older. Horses should be checked by the time they are two, or at least 30 days prior to training. Wolf teeth should be removed prior to the use of a bit. Caps (baby teeth) may also need to be removed if they are retained. Dental problems affect the way the horse takes a bit and may create bad habits that are often difficult to correct later. Early correction of many dental problems can save the horse years of pain, and greatly extend the life of the teeth, not to mention a much more productive (and less expensive) training experience. Adult horses should have their teeth checked every 6 to 12 months, depending on their age, occupation and dental health. Geriatric horses may not need dental work each year, but should be examined regularly for fractured and loose teeth.

EOTRH

EOTRH stands for Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorbtion and Hypercementosis. This is a syndrome that can occur in any horse, but is most common in geriatric warmblood geldings. It is usually gradual in onset, but may not be identified until it is in the advanced stages. It causes a resorbtion of the incisor roots. This condition has existed for many years, but only recently has been properly identified and named. To date, there is no known cause or cure. In the early stages, there is an herbal product that can help stop the progression. In the advanced case, staged extraction of the incisors is necessary. Clinical examination and radiographs aid in the diagnosis and treatment plan. These pictures show how EOTRH looks in the horse and on X-rays.