Wolf Teeth: Pull vs File - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 06:40 PM Thread Starter
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Wolf Teeth: Pull vs File

My 5 year old gelding recently had his wolf teeth filed down. This happened at the trainer's place (Sailor is still in training) and I wasn't there. Our trainer said the vet decided to file the teeth down instead of pulling them. I am not very clear on why...

Can someone please explain to me the pros/cons of pull vs file?
Thanks.

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 06:45 PM
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Subbing to see the answers people have. Are you sure they were wolf teeth? It may just be that I had Gracie's pulled when she was 3 and it didn't have time to grow more, but it was very small, I can't imagine it even be easy to get to for filing. O_o
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 06:45 PM
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I would have them pulled. You only need to do it once and it's a better long-term solution. It's quicker and easier to pull them once.
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 07:51 PM
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Do you guys have them pulled as a matter of course, or only if they cause a problem?

I got two different answers from my vet. One time he told me we could pull my colt's wolf teeth before he went into training. Some months later he told me only to have them pulled if they were causing a problem.

So right now my 2 yr old still has them.
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 08:01 PM
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If they're filing them I would think that they're canines. Soda's get filed down because they're huge. Wolf teeth are usually so small and don't seem to grow really, so I can't see why they'd need to file them. Soda had a residual one that hung on until 2 springs ago, had a vet out for a dental and it fell out then.
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 08:01 PM
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Pull wolf teeth if you want to use a bit. Much easier to do it once. Also easier before they get old. Might as well prevent a problem instead of waiting for it to happen. But they do file canine teeth, are you sure that wasn't what they were talking about?
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-18-2012, 08:52 PM
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Are you sure they're wolf teeth? The wolf teeth are the ones in the back,in front of the molars and behind where the bit sits. The canine teeth are in the front, behind the incisors and in front of where the bit sits.

IMO, file the canines, pull the wolf teeth.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 12:02 AM
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I have seen horses with very large wolf teeth that are rounded and deep rooted before. They look like a small half molar sitting in front of the upper molars typically. One horses we attempted to remove. It was very hard to do, didnt fit in the tool right and it splintered instead of coming out easily like the small sharp ones do thus creating a complicated removal and more healing time for the horse. This was an older horse ( 7 or 8 yo IIRC) that had just came to the barn who had not previous had issues but on his first oral exam we found them and opted to remove them.

After that horse any others like those large rounded ones we opted not to pull if they did not interfere with the bit or pinch. No need and the cost outweighed the benefit in our opinion.

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post #9 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 02:32 PM
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Our two 2yo's both still have their wolf teeth. One because they're so close to the molars that they're unlikely to cause any issues [that one is mouthed and very very soft] and the other because hers are so small the vet said it will be difficult to get them out at this stage, and it was possibly her first time ever having her teeth done today, so we didn't want to push her too far. She was very heavily sedated and didn't react at all to the float but even so...

My 17yo Anglo has canines and his canines would get in the way if he was an advanced enough dressage horse to wear a double bridle - he barely has room in his mouth for ONE mouthpiece. His canines would be filed in that situation, or possibly even removed (some vets, mouth specialists, will do that, but it's incredibly invasive surgery). I actually think they might have been filed at some point; the ends have a flat part which is frustratingly on an angle so they are actually sharp. Had another gelding with them and HIS were blunt.

We had a horse that had wolf teeth when we bought him, he was 5 then and had been harness raced. His mouth was awfully hard, and I physically did not have the strength to MAKE him listen (to soften him up!)... so we had his wolf teeth removed. They were small and out within 10 minutes. He got HARDER. It took a truly NASTY mechanical hackamore to break him of the habit of ignoring me, then a lot of guts on my part to put him in a thick rubber snaffle to re-mouth him, and then a thick french link after that.

My TB will have her wolf teeth removed probably on her next dentist visit because they're sat forward of her molars, although unless you're using a gag the bit shouldn't go up that high anyway under normal circumstances so in theory they shouldn't actually affect her - but I know horses that WERE affected by their wolf teeth and when removed were much happier, so with a horse whose wolf teeth are not supported by another larger tooth, they're coming out.

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Last edited by blue eyed pony; 10-19-2012 at 02:37 PM.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony View Post
Our two 2yo's both still have their wolf teeth. One because they're so close to the molars that they're unlikely to cause any issues [that one is mouthed and very very soft] and the other because hers are so small the vet said it will be difficult to get them out at this stage, and it was possibly her first time ever having her teeth done today, so we didn't want to push her too far. She was very heavily sedated and didn't react at all to the float but even so...

My 17yo Anglo has canines and his canines would get in the way if he was an advanced enough dressage horse to wear a double bridle - he barely has room in his mouth for ONE mouthpiece. His canines would be filed in that situation, or possibly even removed (some vets, mouth specialists, will do that, but it's incredibly invasive surgery). I actually think they might have been filed at some point; the ends have a flat part which is frustratingly on an angle so they are actually sharp. Had another gelding with them and HIS were blunt.

We had a horse that had wolf teeth when we bought him, he was 5 then and had been harness raced. His mouth was awfully hard, and I physically did not have the strength to MAKE him listen (to soften him up!)... so we had his wolf teeth removed. They were small and out within 10 minutes. He got HARDER. It took a truly NASTY mechanical hackamore to break him of the habit of ignoring me, then a lot of guts on my part to put him in a thick rubber snaffle to re-mouth him, and then a thick french link after that.

My TB will have her wolf teeth removed probably on her next dentist visit because they're sat forward of her molars, although unless you're using a gag the bit shouldn't go up that high anyway under normal circumstances so in theory they shouldn't actually affect her - but I know horses that WERE affected by their wolf teeth and when removed were much happier, so with a horse whose wolf teeth are not supported by another larger tooth, they're coming out.
Just goes to show that every horse is different. Some horses will do just fine with their wolf teeth in, some will not. But really though, it's easier to just have them pulled when they come in. To remove Gracie's one, it was a shot to numb, and then a chisel type instrument to loosen it. She was a bit sore but got over it quickly, and it was a whole extra $40, and considering I was already forking over $400 for two dentals, it wasn't a big deal, lol.

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