Just as human do, horses require periodic dental care. Generally speaking, cavities are less of an issue for a horse, provided the ingredients of the feed are not super saturated with molasses, unnatural flavorings or sweeteners. Uneven wear on the teeth can create health issues for your equine friend.
- A Horse’s Teeth Grow Continuously! If a horse is fed a natural diet of grasses and other natural plants chosen by horse nutritionists, the teeth can naturally wear themselves down at about the pace that the teeth grow. When they are fed a diet that doesn’t allow this process to take place, the horse is subject to uneven wear on their teeth.
- Concerns About Uneven Wear: Generally, this causes razor-like hooks to develop on the teeth causing discomfort while feeding. This may cause weight loss, which can make the horse prone to illness. The halter can press the cheek against the sharp teeth, causing cuts and abrasions. In response to this, the horse may chew in an unnatural way, leading to more serious problems with their teeth.
- Symptoms of Dental Discomfort: You can generally detect dental discomfort by observing your horse while he eats. If he is salivating more than usual, eating slowly, dropping unchewed food from his mouth or you notice large pieces of food in his feces, these are all signs that may indicate dental discomfort.
If you suspect a problem with your horse’s teeth, contact your veterinarian. Many times, it’s a matter of the horse’s sharp ridges and hooks being filed down, allowing the horse to move its jaw in the proper manner. Preventive care, proper diet and recognizing the symptoms will all help in maintaining healthy teeth for your horse.