Floating older horse's teeth - The Horse Forum
 
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post #1 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 07:17 PM Thread Starter
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Floating older horse's teeth

I'm getting an 18 year old mare in the spring. She has been well cared for all her life and is if anything a little chubby. I don't know if she has had her teeth floated very often or not. I'm just wondering how often I should have them done when I get her. Should I get her done every year even if there seems to be no problem, or should I just have a checkup every 2 or 3 years? Since I've never owned a horse before I really don't know this kind of thing so any help would be much appreciated!

Also, I live in Alberta, Canada and I was wondering what a vet might charge for a float to be done? Will just any vet do it or does it have to be a equine dentist?r
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post #2 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 09:40 PM
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Hello fellow Albertan :)

Equine dentists usually recommend for older horses and ones under the age of 3 to be done every 6 months. I do not recommend a vet as I dont honestly believe they have the training to do a completely great job. Equine dentists are out there for a reason, that is what they specialize in and you can trust that they know what they are doing. If your horse needs teeth pulled ect or has something going on in his mouth an equine dentist is still your best bet however vets generally charge alot less if money is an issue...
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post #3 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 11:08 PM
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Every 6 months?! Seriously?! We have 2 12 year old mares that have never had their teeth floated...never NEEDED them floated. My retired mare has had them done once, and our 5 year old pony mare once and to get her wolf teeth removed. I never knew they needed it so often...why?! If there are no ridges and they're eating just fine, accepting the bit and having no problems...why fix something that isn't broken?

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post #4 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 11:21 PM
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I agree that older horses need care more often, but once she is seen, you'll be able to get a better idea in terms of where she is at, since there is often a wide spectrum of mouth conditions at that age.

I also agree that you should use someone with specialized dental training who is a vet. Dentists are not licensed to administer sedation (at least here, don't know about in Canada) and are not fully equipped or legally able to respond to adverse reactions, which are more common in older horses. It is true that the average veterinarian isn't fully trained in dentistry, but many have a special interest and pursue extensive training beyond a DVM.
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post #5 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 11:34 PM
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I would at the least have her checked yearly...I too have had horses checked often, but never needing it done for years at a time. If there are no ridges, or 'imbalances' in the mouth, there is no reason to go grinding at their mouths just because "it should be done" that often. Yes, check it, but if her mouth is okay, per the dentist\vet, then just get her checked again later in the year.

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post #6 of 8 Old 01-12-2010, 11:53 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice! I will have her checked at least once a year to see how her teeth are. I wouldn't probably want anything done if her teeth are fine but I'll definately make sure she gets the checkups!
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post #7 of 8 Old 01-13-2010, 01:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EveningShadows View Post
Every 6 months?! Seriously?! We have 2 12 year old mares that have never had their teeth floated...never NEEDED them floated. My retired mare has had them done once, and our 5 year old pony mare once and to get her wolf teeth removed. I never knew they needed it so often...why?! If there are no ridges and they're eating just fine, accepting the bit and having no problems...why fix something that isn't broken?
Heres a great site to answer those questions Equine Dental Care for Horse Health & Performance
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post #8 of 8 Old 01-17-2010, 10:49 PM
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Horses under the age of 5 should be checked every 3 months because they are sheding caps and getting new teeth in, after that every 6 months until they get older, older horses unless they have a problem should be done every year since their teeth get harder and typically wear less therefore less sharp points are created.

I would suggest staying away from vets that use power tools, as I find that the power tools can be a little much for older horses and cause more problems then before the teeth were even done. I also dont agree with the over sedation and speculum use. Find a good dentist that uses hand floats for you older horse that can address every tooth in the mouth.
If you need a good dentist I know of one that travels the country. He is a vet that only does equine dentistry and only uses hand tools and reaches in the horses mouth and feels every tooth making sure that every sharp edge is removed.

Good Luck with your horse.
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