Is he losing weight?
All of the above are signs that your horse's teeth need some attention! How often does your horse see an equine dentist? At the very least, it should be every year - and if your horse is younger and in work, he'd benefit from seeing an equine dentist, or to use the proper title, equine dental technician, every six months.
Horses' teeth are constantly erupting throughout the animal's life and are gradually worn away through eating. If no or infrequent dental care is given, the horse can have sharp points on his teeth which can easily cause soft tissue damage and ulceration - all leading to very painful experiences for your horse. Imagine having a bit in your mouth if you had huge ulcers and damaged tissues! It's not surprising that some horses are difficult to ride owing to their dental issues.
Here are some of the signs that your horse needs a dental examination:
- If your horse starts to shake or flick his head
- If he tries to evade or resist the action of the bit
- He may be difficult to bridle or be head shy
- There are facial swellings
- His breath is smelly
- He has discharge coming from one nostril
- There are long fibres in his droppings
- He quids or drops food
- He dunks his hay
- He has lost weight
- The way in which he chews his food is abnormal
- It is over a year since he last had a dental check up.
If you buy a new horse and you are unsure when he last saw an equine dental technician, it's sensible to get him booked in sooner rather than later. The last thing you want with a new animal is to start off on the wrong foot, so to speak. Pain in the mouth can result in so many issues for your horse - and although horses have been domesticated for centuries their teeth are basically designed to chew tough, stalky grasses yet we provide them with soft grasses and feed.
As a result their teeth do not wear as they would in the wild. It is therefore essential that we provide them with the necessary care from a dental technician.
For more equine dental advice and tips read more