Caps on teeth of young stud - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 10-29-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Caps on teeth of young stud

Ok -- this is all new to me, but a friend of mine has a colt whose teeth are still developing. I think he is somewhere around 2 years old. My friend says that she needs to have the vet/dentist come out to "pop his caps" because he's not eating properly. Can someone explain this to me better? Also, what do you all do -- have the dentist do it, or let the teeth develop naturally through this stage?
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post #2 of 7 Old 10-30-2008, 01:51 PM
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"Caps" are what the baby teeth are called when they are growing out and being replaced by the adult teeth. Sometimes they get lodged in place and don't come out when they are supposed to and this can be painful. When this occurs, your vet can remove the caps.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 7 Old 10-30-2008, 02:25 PM
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good knowledge to have

On The 6th day god Created The Quarter Horse...One The 7th he Painted All The Good Ones---*trisha<3
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post #4 of 7 Old 10-30-2008, 07:27 PM
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Evaluating A Horse's Teeth - An Owner's Guide

The last photo shows the retained cap above the new tooth.

College of Equine Dentistry Australia

Top photo showing one adult tooth and 3 caps which were retained and should be pulled.

And here is a poem for you:

The Age of a Horse

anonymous verse

To tell the age of any horse
Inspect the lower jaw, of course.

The six front teeth the tale will tell,

And every doubt and fear dispel.

Two middle nippers you behold

Before the colt is two weeks old.

Before eight weeks two more will come;

Eight months the corners cut the gum.

The outside grooves will disappear

From middle two in just one year;

In two years from the second pair;

In three years "corners," too, are bare.

At two the middle "nippers" drop.

At three the second pair can't stop.

When four years old the third pair goes.

At five a full new set he shows.

The deep black spots will pass from view

At six years from the middle two;

The second pair at seven years;

At eight the spot each corner clears.

From middle "nippers" upper jaw

At nine the black spots will withdraw.

The second pair at ten are bright;

Eleven finds the corners light.

As time goes on, the horsemen know,

The oval teeth three-sided grow.

The old horse has more "whoa" than "get"

We keep him only for a pet.
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post #5 of 7 Old 10-30-2008, 10:02 PM Thread Starter
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Ryle -- Thanks. How common is it that we have to have the caps done, rather than them falling off / out by themselves? Is there something that we as owners can do to prevent the caps from getting lodged in place like that? This was the first time I had heard about it.

Horse Poor -- I will go and look at those photos when I can access high speed, hopefully tomorrow. And thanks for that poem. I do have a reference for that, but the poem is much more pleasant!

My friend has to pay our vet $200 to get this done. Is that alot? Seems like it to me, but I really have no clue.
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post #6 of 7 Old 10-31-2008, 11:03 AM
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I don't know why some fall off and others don't except that there are differences from body to body both in how things develope and the positioning of the teeth as well as the pain tolerance of an individual. It may be that your horse is just more sensitive to the discomfort of the cap---like my 6 yr old son who is moaning about eating ANYTHING because his front tooth is loose ;)

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #7 of 7 Old 10-31-2008, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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