First Dental Visit coming up - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 10-15-2012, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: North Dakota
Posts: 5,754
• Horses: 3
First Dental Visit coming up

I've had horses my entire life, but we've never had any dental work done on them. (To keep the story short, my dad didn't believe on spending any extra money on a horse unless it was dying.)

Well I graduated from school and am on my own now with my own money to spend.

So my boys are going to get their proper treatment on a regular basis.

I am boarding two horses with a retired couple (they have 4 horses of their own). Red is a 6-yr-old quarter horse, and I just bought him in May. Shotgun is a yearling quarter horse.

The dentist will be coming out in the beginning of November, and my boarder tells me that he usually sedates the horses. I would imagine Red is going to need some work done, as I know his previous owners didn't give him dental work.

And it is my understanding, that horses don't need their first dental check until they are about 2? The dentist comes in the spring too, so Shotgun can have work done then if he needs it.

So I'm just curious what to expect, what questions to ask, etc for my first equine dentist experience!

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post #2 of 4 Old 10-15-2012, 06:20 PM
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Washington State
Posts: 1,297
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My two unprofessional cents. :) Coincidentally, my horse just had her first dental too! Very easy going. Esp. if drugs are used- and then its super fun to watch! Drugged horses are humorous. :P
I think it might be a good idea to have the dentist look at the younger horse's mouth, just to peek, and see that his teeth and jaw have no major alignment issues that you can't see. (I wonder if there is a charge for that? I would think am minute looking in the mouth isn't much, if anything?!) I am fairly sure my 3.5 yr old girl would have that done before I bought her, and then I did it too right when she turned 3, though we were told to not do anything for another 6+ months.
If drugged, they are a bit loopy for a while after. Some don't like to eat harder grasses/grains, and will pick through, as their mouth is sensitive. My girl is a mega pig and didn't seemed phased. The vet even had to laugh at her as she dove for the paddock grass/recovery area at the vet. Anyhoo, I thought it was easy and quite interesting! Good luck!
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post #3 of 4 Old 10-15-2012, 06:27 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Northern Michigan
Posts: 3,015
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A very excellent decision on your part, and in the long run, you'll not regret it! A small price to pay to have your horses' teeth floated rather than tremendous problems/vet bill in the future. What to expect for a normal routine float: most vets do give a mild sedative, and mine does. It doesn't take long at all for it to kick in. My vet does what's called a "hand float" - simply filing by hand with a long handle, and the horse doesn't suffer any discomfort. A routine float only takes a few minutes per horse, then I lead my horses into the shed to stand and rest while the sedative wears off. Within an hour or so, (I'm just describing my experience), my horses are walking around the pasture normally, and begin to nibble their hay as if not much really had occurred. I have this done in the spring with their 4-way vaccine, but only if needed (the float). When my vet makes the trip out here, I make sure he's prepared to do floats if need be that year. My QH doesn't need hers done every year, and I've found that horses can vary in their need. Hope this helps, and good call on your part to get on it! Much better to get on the routine now, rather than the teeth getting out of hand which causes pain for the horse, and an equine dentist to come in. Let us know how it all works out! :)

Last edited by Northernstar; 10-15-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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post #4 of 4 Old 10-15-2012, 08:25 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 4,008
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I had my first dentist experience for my own horse back in February. He was 22months old then, his wolf teeth were in, and to be honest were in 4months before that when they checked, I just didnt have the money when they first checked him.

They sedated my horse, floated his teeth, pulled his wolf teeth out, and even let me feel my horses mouth/teeth after they floated them! That was incredible!

The main questions I asked were, how are his teeth? How do they line up? Any sharp edges? What do I need to do for him now that his wolf teeth are gone? When is the next time I should have you come out again?

Im sure there are more educated questions you can ask, but to be honest, my equine dentist answered all and more of the questions I had! Good Luck!
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