Misleading teeth?
 
 

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Misleading teeth?

This is a discussion on Misleading teeth? within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    • 1 Post By Corporal
    • 1 Post By x8jason8x
    • 1 Post By stevenson
    • 1 Post By farmpony84
    • 1 Post By BayDancer
    • 1 Post By stevenson
    • 1 Post By corgi

     
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        06-26-2013, 03:15 PM
      #1
    Foal
    Misleading teeth?

    Another thread made me think of this, but my horse has old teeth.

    A couple of years ago, my vet came out to do coggins, and he had some of his vet students with him, so he was more thorough than usual. He checked my horse's teeth and announced to the student recording that he was 20 years old. I corrected him, saying he was only 14, and I showed him my horse's racing tattoo and his JC papers.

    We discussed it, and he explained to me and his students that aging by teeth wasn't always accurate because something like neglect or trauma could affect his teeth, making the horse look older. (This wasn't a shock; he came to us as a rescue case.)

    The other thread got me thinking, if I were to sell my horse, a vet doing a PPE might think I were lying and relay that to a buyer. It doesn't matter in my situation because A) I'm never planning to sell my horse and B) I have evidence to back up my claim. But I could easily see the situation being different.

    Don't get me wrong, if I've got no other proof or reason to believe otherwise, I'm happy to go by what the teeth say, and I don't mind taking the word of a good vet. But I've worked for/around enough veterinarians to know that sometimes a few of them get arrogant and forget that others have horse knowledge too, and they refuse to listen.

    Okay, long post short: Anyone else ever run into this?
         
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        06-26-2013, 03:20 PM
      #2
    Trained
    People have been known to switch papers. OTTB's can die and the owner can use those papers. I could hardly read the tattoo on the OTTB I owned, and I got him (free) when he was an 8yo. I could read his teeth and he was, indeed, eight years old at the time I took him.
    I would look for both parrotting and Gaylene's (sp?) groove. If he is NOW 20yo, the stain will be there, top to bottom. In the few years it will recede on the top of the top teeth, and, if he lives to be a 30yo it will disappear. My horse, "Toma" (1970-2004) live a ripe old life and you could read his teeth.
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-26-2013, 03:23 PM
      #3
    Foal
    Our vet says you can tell by the depth of the dimples in his/her head next to the ears more accurately. Then again, my last horse was a 6 year old OTTB, and his dimples were deeper than my gelding's, who was 11 at the time. I'd say that the wear on the horse is more significantly shown than accurate age in either case. I'm certainly no vet, but stress does seem to age them faster.
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-26-2013, 03:42 PM
      #4
    Green Broke
    TB's get what is called wavy mouth. They have poor teeth . ( per multiple Vets)
    So their age by teeth can be misleading. I had a Morgan and had his teeth checked when I purchased him, got one age, and changed Vets, got a diff age, and when I used the 3rd Vet the age would have been the same with the 2nd vet. As the 2nd Vet said, someone at some point had done some fancy dental work on him. Also you can tell by the cups in the teeth. The rounder the cup the younger the horse
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-26-2013, 03:49 PM
      #5
    Super Moderator
    Nutrition does have something to do with it. My oldest horse, who is 29 has always had teeth that would age him much older than he was and that is because in his younger years (2-3 time frame) he was not taken care of and was very underweight. He actually went hungry for so long that he ate the bark off the trees in his pen.

    I have always had huge issues with his teeth and he now only has about 4 left.
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-26-2013, 03:52 PM
      #6
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Corporal    
    People have been known to switch papers. OTTB's can die and the owner can use those papers. I could hardly read the tattoo on the OTTB I owned, and I got him (free) when he was an 8yo. I could read his teeth and he was, indeed, eight years old at the time I took him.
    I would look for both parrotting and Gaylene's (sp?) groove. If he is NOW 20yo, the stain will be there, top to bottom. In the few years it will recede on the top of the top teeth, and, if he lives to be a 30yo it will disappear. My horse, "Toma" (1970-2004) live a ripe old life and you could read his teeth.
    I certainly believe that happens; horse people can be sketch. It's not the case here; my horse had a clearly readable tattoo, and other than some mangled teeth, he's aging as expected.

    I've always been taught that aging a horse by it's teeth is more of an estimate than a sure-fire thing. (Here's an interesting article on the topic, too Judging Horse Age from Teeth) I was just taken aback by how off the vet was.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by x8jason8x    
    Our vet says you can tell by the depth of the dimples in his/her head next to the ears more accurately. Then again, my last horse was a 6 year old OTTB, and his dimples were deeper than my gelding's, who was 11 at the time. I'd say that the wear on the horse is more significantly shown than accurate age in either case. I'm certainly no vet, but stress does seem to age them faster.
    Yeah, I've seen the dimples above the eyes appear early or later than expected, so I'd rarely go with that. According to Linda Tellington-Jones who does ttouch, it indicates a hard life or trauma. I'm not sure how accurate that is either, but I could believe it. My own horse had really shallow dimples up until he was 15, and then they deepened quickly after his best mare/mate died in an accident, and he was in mourning for quite a while.
         
        06-26-2013, 03:55 PM
      #7
    Foal
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevenson    
    TB's get what is called wavy mouth. They have poor teeth . ( per multiple Vets)
    I knew TBs tended to have bad teeth, but I've never heard it called wavy mouth. Cool! (Well, sort of, lol.)

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by farmpony84    
    Nutrition does have something to do with it. My oldest horse, who is 29 has always had teeth that would age him much older than he was and that is because in his younger years (2-3 time frame) he was not taken care of and was very underweight. He actually went hungry for so long that he ate the bark off the trees in his pen.

    I have always had huge issues with his teeth and he now only has about 4 left.
    Aww, poor boy. Good thing he has you now :)

    Yeah, I could see that too. My horse also came from a severe neglect case.
    stevenson likes this.
         
        06-26-2013, 04:04 PM
      #8
    Green Broke
    Getting floats done one year, the Vet had me look at the teeth on the TB's and they were very wavy looking , it was pretty cool. The mouth looked different than the quarter horse and the Morgan.
    BayDancer likes this.
         
        06-27-2013, 10:13 AM
      #9
    Yearling
    When I first got my horse, I was told she was 12 or 13 yeas old. When she had her next vet exam, the new vet told me she was 23 or 24 years old according to her teeth. She was a polo pony, used in matches up until 3 months before I got her.

    The PPE vet used the groove to age her at 12 or 13. The new vet used the shape of her teeth to age her at 24.

    She does not act 24. She is very forward and loves to GO.

    I don't know what to believe but when asked how old she is, I split the diffefence and say she is 18!

    She doesn't have deep grooves above her eyes.
    BayDancer likes this.
         

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