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dirtymartini 08-17-2010 12:57 PM

farrier-vet-equine dentist...who should float teeth?
I had a scare that I posted about yesterday. My 10 year old mini has apparently never had his teeth floated. I have had him 6 months. So, the farrier/equine dentist (he has both titles attached to his name, not sure how "official" that is) was here to do my other mini's hooves. I had him go ahead and float my 10 year old mini's teeth. He did not use a power tool, and he did not use the same file he used on the horse's feet. He had a separate set of tools for the horse's mouth.

My scare was that my mini could barely eat last night. I called a friend who is knowledgeable about horses...she kind of scolded me for using a farrier (again, he is also an ""equine dentist." Again, I don't know what that means, really!) Someone on the miniature horse forum agreed with my friend.

I got this farrier/équine dentist's name and number from my neighbor. He has floated and shod her show horse for 20 years.

My vet floated my other mini's teeth, about 6 months ago. It cost $120.

The farrier/equine dentist charged me $30.

Is it true that **vets** only spend a few days studying mouths/teeth, while **equine dentists** spend weeks? I am not stating this as a fact, this is what I have been told.

Anyway, I look forward to an interesting and *friendly* discussion. I know everyone has opinions, and I would like to hear yours. I, personally, am up in the air about this one.

barrelracer892 08-17-2010 01:10 PM

Does the farrier/"equine dentist" have any proof his training? I would ask... I know it's kind of hard to ask without offending him, but I know it would ease my mind to know that he is telling the truth.

There was a farrier at the stables I work at that told my boss he was an equine dentist. Had the set up and everything for it. He did know how to float teeth, but it's illegal for him to do it. My vet knows the guy and said that it's illegal for him to do it because he doesn't have the right qualifications.

While this farrier that I mentioned knows how to do it and probably does a great job, I would get the vet to instead. Even if it may cost more. He will most likely have more knowledge on the subject than the "equine dentist." Not to mention he's legal! Haha. Plus, you know that your vet does a good job, so I would keep having him float your horses teeth.

lilruffian 08-17-2010 01:19 PM

Id get the vet to do it, especially if your poor guy had troubles eating afterwards :( (i miss my mini lol) What did he use to keep the mouth open. Your guy was probably soar because he didn't use a proper grinder.
I got my arab's teeth floated back in Feburary by the vet (she even let me help!... sort of. Iheld the squirt bottle lol & squirted water so that her teeth wouldn't overheat under the grinder).
Even if vets dont take that long to learn how to do teeth (not sure about that), they do do it often enough to get the right practice & you probably wont have a new vet/ assistant doing it.

kitten_Val 08-17-2010 01:32 PM

That's a really long discussion on dentist vs vet. I personally go with vet with specialization in teeth. He charges same (if not less) as dentist + he can give IV sedation (dentists here are NOT authorized to give).

mls 08-17-2010 01:55 PM

Our equine vet practice has doctors who specifically went to dental courses to stay up on the latest in the equine dentistry field.

Danjones 08-17-2010 02:26 PM

personally i would allways use a reputable equine dentist like jeffery kelly for example

Deerly 08-17-2010 07:39 PM

My vet floated my horse's teeth and I have no complaints :) I probably wouldn't trust a farrier to do it but the vet was so much more convenient than trying to find a dentist!

kitten_Val 08-17-2010 11:08 PM


Originally Posted by mls (Post 721743)
Our equine vet practice has doctors who specifically went to dental courses to stay up on the latest in the equine dentistry field.

!! Exactly. I always wonder why people think vets only take several hours on teeth and that's it. Lots of vets specialize in something specific. My vet - in teeth, other vet I know - breeding and all related stuff, etc.

dirtymartini 08-18-2010 06:33 AM

kitten val-Thanks for the link, lots of info on there, but of course now I see (from that thread AND this thread) there is no one clear answer.

I posted this on the thread on the mini horse board...

"I will give you an example, the first one I can think of. I occasionally get botox between my eyebrows. I have friends that will ONLY go to a plastic surgeon for this. They are paying a premium because his time and office is worth a lot of money. However, the surgeon usually only does it (meaning is available for botox patients)one day a week. The spa that I go to, the woman does it every day, all day long. I feel more comfortable going to her than to a PS, and I pay less, too."

Anyway, thanks for all the input. I will keep checking in on the thread!

iridehorses 08-18-2010 06:59 AM

There is no reason why people can not practice multiple disciplines. If they have gone to an accredited school and have references, what is the difference that they also know how to shoe a horse?

My thoughts are that just because a person has a veterinary degree, does not qualify him (her) to float teeth. They have to study the methods the same way a farrier does.

All that being said, and as to why I would prefer a vet over a farrier is for a different reason. If something goes wrong, I want their other skills to come into play. The way things seem to work with me is that maybe nothing happened in the last 100 horses that the farrier floated - until they got to mine.

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