How do I check whether my horse's teeth need to be done? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 07:57 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ohio
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How do I check whether my horse's teeth need to be done?

I got her October of 09 and the previous owner failed to mention when her teeth were last done. How do I just check myself instead of waiting for the worse when she'll start dropping food from her mouth, etc...
She's turning five this month, by the way.
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post #2 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 09:54 AM
Join Date: Jul 2007
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You can't really assess whether your horse needs it's teeth floated or not because without an oral speculum to open the mouth and actually sticking your hand up in there and feeling those back molars you just aren't going to be able to really see what is going on. Most of the teeth that need floating are way back in the jaw and just looking in or running your finger along the inside of your horse's mouth is just not a good way to judge.

This is why you should have your vet assess your horse's teeth at least once a year. He/She can actually use an oral speculum and look and feel all the way back to the very back molars to see what those teeth look like.

Cindy D.
Licensed Veterinary Technician
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post #3 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 03:00 PM
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What my dad always told me that if you feed your horse oats, alot will be falling out of his mouth or there will be lots of whole oats in the poop.
I don't know if it's a myth or not.

Just get the vet to check your horses teeth when it goes in for a vet checkup.
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post #4 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 03:03 PM
Green Broke
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I was told by one vet that if they are dropping food you need their teeth done and also check the manure out. See if the food looks well digested. If not that is another sign that he needs his teeth done.
My horse is getting hers done next month.
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post #5 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 03:09 PM
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Have a vet check them. Do not wait until your horse starts dropping food. Some horses with sharp spots can eat with out dropping food.
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post #6 of 8 Old 02-15-2010, 06:12 PM
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with a horse that age his teeth are changing alot. I would have them done yearly in the spring by a dentist not a regulaer vet
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post #7 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 01:13 AM
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I agree, have the vet take a look. The float shouldn't be expensive at all, I think Gun's was 15 bucks.

With Gunny, he was tossing his head a lot when chewing, as if he was readjusting the grain. He also took his bit like it was candy and would suck it...I guess it somehow made his teeth feel better. Of course, he's an amicable enough boy we could get our hands into his mouth and feel the spurs...but I wouldn't recommend that with many horses.

"Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high. Keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky. And live like you ain't afraid to die...don't be scared, jut enjoy the ride." - Chris LeDoux
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post #8 of 8 Old 02-17-2010, 03:37 AM
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I'd get a specialist equine dentist to come out and do his teeth for you. Vets aren't trained specifically in teeth so will just do a basic file of the teeth. A dentist has studied the ins and outs of teeth as a speciality so will do a more efficient job. It's like going to a doctor for a filling. They can have a go as they know a bit about teeth and mouths, but they're not going to do the greatest job!

Get the dentist out soon. Then at least you know how the teeth are looking. If they need to be done, then you know where to start from. And if they don't need to be done, the the dentist will tell you how long until they will come back to do them. Probably another 6 months or so. I prefer to get everything out of the way and start a fresh when getting a new horse.
I will get the farrier out, worming, vaccinations, and teeth done all within the first couple of weeks. Gives me a peace of mind.
Kayty is offline  

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