Developing Greater Awareness

Please see below a point format list of facts related to dental care awareness that may help answer some questions you may have.

  • If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems should be considered as a potential cause.
  • Teeth should be floated and maintained as indicated by an annual examination performed by an equine practitioner. Only registered veterinarians are allowed to practice dentistry in the province of British Columbia.
  • Wolf teeth are routinely extracted from performance horses to prevent interference with the bit and its associated pain.
  • Sedatives, local anesthetics, and analgesics can relax the horse and keep it more comfortable during floating and other dental procedures. Such drugs should be administered only by a veterinarian.
  • Loose teeth are generally unhealthy teeth. If your equine practitioner finds a loose tooth, he or she will likely extract it. This reduces the chance of infection or other problems.
  • Canine teeth, generally present in mature geldings and stallions and sometimes mares, are usually clipped and filed smooth to prevent interference with the bit. This also reduces the possibility of injury to both horse and human.
  • Depending on the condition of your horse’s teeth, more than one visit from your equine practitioner may be required to get the mouth in prime working order.

It is important to identify dental problems early. Waiting too long may increase the difficulty of remedying certain conditions or may even make remedy impossible.