Take Care of Your Horse’s Teeth

As grazing animals, horses have some unique needs when it comes to their teeth.? Meant for grinding down tough plant fibers, and other abrasive materials, a horse?s teeth are constantly growing. ?Additionally, their upper molars are spaced wider apart than their lower molars.? In the wild, this is beneficial because horses graze on grass all day long, which wears down and polishes their teeth quite effectively.? It also requires a lot of side to side grinding, which is where the spacing difference is an evolutionary advantage.? Domestic horses are not usually solely kept on grass, and instead are fed much less abrasive forage that requires less grinding.? This causes the teeth to wear unevenly resulting in sharp points and hooks on the molars.? These points will cause harm to your horse by cutting the inside of his mouth, preventing him from eating properly, and making the bit uncomfortable to wear.

Have your horse?s teeth checked yearly to prevent problems from getting out of control.? A good time is during your yearly vaccinations.? If the teeth aren?t too bad, your veterinarian may use a simple rasp to file down the points.? However, some veterinarians prefer to sedate the horse and use an electric power grinder to wear down the points quickly.? There is still debate on whether this is a good method of dental care ? some feel that it is too easy to wear down the teeth too much, too quickly.?

If your horse is dropping his food, salivating excessively, fussing with the bit, or is touchy about having his face and muzzle handled, you will want to be sure to have his teeth checked.? If done regularly, having your horse?s teeth floated will be a minor occurrence, and he will live pain free.

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