Straight from the horse’s mouth

Preventative dental care is important for all of us to live a happy, healthy, pain free life. It is even more important for our equine friends.

View inside of a horse’s mouth during a molar tooth extraction

View inside of a horse’s mouth during a molar tooth extraction.

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.

Cross sectional diagram of a horse’s mouth showing the sharp enamel points

Cross sectional diagram of a horse’s mouth showing the sharp enamel points, that develop on the buccal aspect of the upper, and lingual aspect of the lower cheek teeth respectively in almost all horses during normal wear. Image source www.thehorse.com

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 lose
  • 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.
Dr Ed Annand, assisted by 5th Year University of Sydney Veterinary Student Michael Robertson, performing a dental examination on Brymar Domino, a 12 year old mini leopard appaloosa stallion

Dr Ed Annand, assisted by 5th Year University of Sydney Veterinary Student Michael Robertson, performing a dental examination on Brymar Domino, a 12 year old mini leopard appaloosa stallion. The ambulatory service is equipped with a special smaller dental gage from miniature horses

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 highly qualified senior ambulatory vet Dr Ed Annand has undergone advanced dental training. He and the other members of 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 Camden Equine Centre specialist hospital at Brownlow Hill (Camden) 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.

 

Camden Equine Centre's ambulatory service is fully equipped with portable radiography equipment

Camden Equine Centre’s ambulatory service is fully equipped with portable radiography equipment. Ed performed these X-rays in the field allowing curettage of a mandibular tooth root abscess.

20 per cent off equine oral examinations

Until the end of September, Camden Equine Centre is offering 20 per cent off equine oral examinations.

This means you pay $120 for a single horse (normal price $150) or $100 per horse for multiple horses (normal price $125).

Our prices include any required sedation (we recommend all horses are sedated to allow for a most thorough and complete checkup).

The offer is for a routine dental examination and care and excludes travel costs, and advanced procedures such as Xrays, tooth extractions etc. Prices exclude GST. Examinations must be booked and take place on or before 30 September 2017. Offer is limited to the first 50 bookings per month.

To book call our friendly Reception team on 02 4655 0777.