Dentistry

Dental care

Dental care is important horses to live a happy, healthy and pain free life.

Horses have very complex (hypsodontic) teeth that are continually emerging from the gums to compensate for the wearing away of their grinding surface (a process called erupting).

In wild horse populations, the constant feeding on rough low quality feed for up to 18 hours a day grinds the teeth down and in addition, over time, horses with dental abnormalities will be ‘selected against’ through natural selection.  Investigations of the dental health of wild horse populations have found comparatively far fewer problems irrespective of age.

In our companion and sport horse populations we have significantly changed the way horses feed and the shape of horse’s mouths. As a result, these horses need regular dental care including reduction of sharp enamel points and overgrowths that, if left to worsen, can cause severe abnormalities and severely compromise the horse’s health and performance. For this reason, it is even more important for our equine friends to have an oral health check at least once a year.

Sharp enamel points develop readily in domesticated horses. The sharp points of enamel on their upper and lower cheek teeth may cause cheek ulcers, cut into their tongue and/or cheeks, cause calluses, pain on chewing and/or riding and bit resentment. If left untreated, over time they may cause severe abnormalities and disease in the opposing teeth on which they grind.

In addition to an annual oral examination by your veterinarian, you should also regularly check your horse for signs of dental disease and book an appointment if they are present. These symptoms can include:

  • Facial swelling
  • Bad breath
  • Dropping feed (quidding)
  • Not eating
  • Weight loose
  • Eating with head tilted
  • Excessive salivation
  • One-sided nasal discharge
  • Resistance or discomfort associated with the bit/bridle when performing under saddle and/or at rest.

Camden Equine Centre’s ambulatory service is equipped with the latest technology to provide a full range of on-farm routine dental services for horses of all sizes, ages and breeds.

Our equine ambulatory team can come to you to deliver your equine dental needs including routine dental and oral health checks, wolf tooth extractions as well as dental and sinus radiography using our portable equipment.

For complicated procedures such as sinus disease investigation, cheek tooth extractions and oral surgery, our team use our state-of-the-art specialist hospital at Brownlow Hill which features first class operating and examination facilities, specialists diagnostic pathology, imaging and anaesthesia staff, and a wide range of stabling and accommodation.

In the event that we detect an issue during a routine dental that requires extensive further treatment, of course we will offer a no-obligation free quote before commencing any work.