Your horse’s good health depends on good teeth. Teeth are an important part of the digestive tract and can be the cause of many severe disorders such as emaciation, colic and choke. Furthermore, teeth problems can lead to bad performance and resisting the bit. It is important not just to check the teeth for sharp edges but to have a proper examination of the whole oral cavity.
Older horses frequently develop so called wave shaped teeth, with long and sharp edges at the lower jaw's last and upper jaw’s first teeth. This has a negative impact on both the chewing mechanism and the jaw joint and can even lead to such severe disturbances as the head shaking syndrome.
To examine the oral cavity properly it is necessary to give the horse a mild sedation. When sedated, the horse can be put in our portable crush, providing adequate restraint and safety for the horse and owner. This then allows the horse’s head to be placed on a head rest allowing the vet to properly examine teeth, gingiva and tongue and to reach the back of the mouth where they otherwise may resist treatment.
By using a Powerfloat, a veterinary only 18V battery operated dental tool, vets are able to correct irregularities of the front and back teeth.
It is recommended that horses under the age of 6 years should have a veterinary dental check every 6 months. Older horses should have their teeth checked by a vet annually, or sooner if they are dropping food, arguing with the bit, losing weight or experiencing a general loss of performance.
When more dental issues arise, horses can be stabled at Illawarra Equine Centre clinic to undergo surgical dental procedures such as complex extractions.