He's lost a front tooth - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 10-11-2010, 06:46 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 132
• Horses: 2
He's lost a front tooth

So I'm considering adopting a rescue horse. When we were looking him over yesterday, I looked in his mouth & he's missing his left front tooth. It's completely gone! The teeth on either side of it look questionable to me as well. The right front looks kind of partly black and "dead" so I'm assuming it probably needs to be pulled as well.
Since I've never run into this before, I wanted to see if anyone had opinions on whether this should be a deal breaker.
He seems to eat & graze just fine, and is a bit touchy about his mouth, but no more than lots of other horses. I haven't had the opportunity to ride him, so I'm not sure how he is with a bit in yet. I have absolutely no history on him. He was found loose and so far no one has claimed him so he should go up for auction in a week or so. Is a missing tooth (or 2 or 3) something that will turn into a major headache or feeding/bitting issue? Are there things I haven't even considered that I ought to?
If I can, I'll upload pictures if that will help, but I'm working a lot this week and may not get the chance.
brandilion is offline  
post #2 of 6 Old 10-11-2010, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Ontario
Posts: 6,176
• Horses: 5
The missing tooth and missing teeth-to-be are definitely overcome-able, but I'd be more concerned about the "why" of the teeth problems. There are probably other issues as well. If diet/care was so bad as to cause teeth to deteriorate to such a state, something else suffered as well. Be careful.
NorthernMama is offline  
post #3 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 12:52 AM
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: secret mountain valley
Posts: 1,364
• Horses: 2
I agree with NorthernMama. Also, be aware that with missing teeth, the ones that are supposed to grind against them will need special care as they are no longer worn properly. Be prepared to be vigilant with regular (more than once or twice a year) dental care for this guy.
tealamutt is offline  
post #4 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 04:20 AM
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Norco, Ca.
Posts: 19
• Horses: 3
Could very possibly just be old age. Horses chew with their back teeth so missing front ones wont affect eating, just grazing. How long are the other front teeth? I have a mule that is 31 yrs young () and we have had 3 of his front teeth pulled because they were loose. Two on the top and one on the bottom. He is doing just fine.

If it's not half ***, it's just a horse!
love longears is offline  
post #5 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 12:52 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Utah
Posts: 132
• Horses: 2
If I was taking a guess, I'd say it was an injury that caused it. Like maybe he got kicked in the teeth when he was young. It definitely doesn't appear to be recent, as the gum area where the tooth should be looks healthy and has kind of "drooped" in the place where the tooth would sit. So I'm thinking he got kicked or whatever years ago, the one tooth came out or was pulled, and since then the other tooth or teeth have died. ~But~ I'm definitely not experienced or knowledgable in this area at all!

I assumed I'd have to be concerned about dental care, but what about feeding? Since he seems to graze ok, could I assume that will continue to be the case or should I assume he should be on hay, grain, mash, cubes, or something else? I would say his weight is a little low, but since I have no history, it could possibly be attributed to lack of or poor quality feed or care.
Is there anything else I'm not thinking of? I just want to have things clear in my mind before we go forward. (A pre-purchase exam is not an option since he will go up for auction.)
brandilion is offline  
post #6 of 6 Old 10-12-2010, 12:59 PM
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
Posts: 1,216
• Horses: 1
how old is he?

~ Starline Stables ~
starlinestables is offline  

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