EQUINE DENTISTRY

Dentistry is something we are very passionate about at Lower House Equine Clinic, and we understand and recognise the importance it has in general health and welfare and also in ridden work.

ADVANCED CASES

For certain cases that require additional expertise, we are able to offer you access to our visiting dental specialist – Neil Townsend MSc BVSc Cert ES (Soft Tissue) DipECVS DipEVDC (Equine) MRCVS RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery European Specialist in Equine Dentistry.

We are able to carry out advanced dental procedures in our clinic. This includes dental extractions and dental restorations.

Neil joins us approximately once a month to perform advanced dentistry at the clinic, this includes surgical extraction using some of the latest specialist surgical extraction techniques. Learn More >

The Importance of Regular Equine Dental Checks

Equine dentistry is continually advancing and has progressed rapidly over the last decade. The emphasis over recent years has turned to preventative dentistry. By the time horses are showing visible external signs of dental disease, such as balling up food (quidding), losing weight or swellings around the head, then often this can represent advanced dental disease with conditions in their end-stage. This means that conditions may not be able to be reversed and more radical treatment such as tooth removal might be needed. Routine examination of the equine mouth as well as routine dental work is essential to pick-up and to try and prevent dental conditions in the mouth.

HOW TO TELL IF YOUR HORSE HAS A DENTAL PROBLEM?

Signs of end stage advanced dental disease can be much easier to recognise than more subtle early disease. Horses have adapted not to show dental pain, and as a general rule by the time they are showing signs it is quite advanced.

SOME OF THE SIGNS TO LOOK OUT FOR ARE:
  • Losing weight
  • Quidding Forage (Balling up forage and leaving balls of undigested forage on floor)
  • Dropping food
  • Bad smell from the mouth
  • One sided nasal discharge (could be a sign of sinusitis caused from a tooth root)
  • Swelling of the face
  • Enlargement of the lymph nodes under the jaw, particularly on one side
THE MORE SUBTLE SIGNS CAN INCLUDE:
  • Taking longer to eat than normal
  • Reluctance to eat
  • Slight change in grazing habits such as standing around not eating in the field etc.
  • Change in social hierarchy with other horses such as last to eat or being more submissive
  • Change in ridden behaviour and performance;
    Evading a contact, Leaning on the bit, Throwing the head, Rearing, Stopping at jumps, Reluctance to go forward

THE ORAL EXAMINATION

Examination of the horse’s mouth comprises one of the main parts of equine dentistry. The mouth is rinsed to remove any excess feed material left in the mouth. The mouth is then examined using a combination of manually examining the dental arcades by hand, visual inspection using dental lights and mirrors, and using probes to examine the mouth.

Some of the conditions that may be picked up on a routine dental examination include infundibular caries, peripheral caries, diastemata, fractured teeth, displaced teeth, extra teeth, missing teeth, exposure of pulp cavity, focal overgrowths and excessive transverse ridges.

CONTACT US

If you have any questions about Lower House Equine Clinic, our facilities or services, please feel free to contact us using any of the details below…

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