Equine Dental Checks

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Word of Warning getting ready for his dental check up – Image by Jo Sutherst

How often does my horse or pony need dental check ups?

Dental care should start as a yearling to remove sharp edges and identify any future problems. All the horses at Team Clare Poole have an individual dental maintenance plan. These vary according the horse’s needs and are 6 monthly, 9 monthly or 12 monthly.

All our horses’ dental care is carried out by Andrew Gardner (see the Support Team page for his contact details).


How do I know if my horse needs dental attention?

  • Their eating habits change
  • The horse may dribble feed
  • The horse may wash their hard feed in their water bucket
  • At feed time, the horse may hold their head to the side or not eat at all.
  • The horse may have unpleasant breath
  • The horse may have a swollen face.
  • The horse may roll the hay into a ball and drop it on the ground rather than eat it,.


Why do horses’ teeth become sharp?

The upper jaw is wider than the lower jaw (anisognathism) and chewing occurs in a mostly sideways-circular motion. This can lead to sharp edges on the outside of the upper cheek teeth and the inside edges of the lower cheek teeth. Horses diets have changed over the years becoming more and more processed and this may exacerbate and accelerate dental problems. (source: http://www.baedt.com/faq_5358.html)


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