March 3, 2016

Open wide! Tips for healthy teeth

None of us enjoy visiting the dentist, but it’s something we have to do at least once a year to ensure our sparkly whites remain cavity-free. The same goes for your horse. In order to keep your horse healthy and in an overall good condition, consider following these helpful tips:

1.     Pay the dentist a visit:

It’s unfortunate, but must be done. Cross-tying with a rope halter is a much better choice compared to nylon. It’s easier to fit onto any horse and extremely effective at keeping your horse in one spot when the dentist pays a visit – for the basic initial examination. However, your horse would need to be sedated for more extensive examinations and treatments. Unhealthy teeth can cause various health problems and even shorten the life span of your horse.

2.     Try a natural horse calmative:

Horses can grind their teeth just like their human counterparts – for various reasons. Some horses get angry, some bored and some grind their teeth out of nervousness. Especially before a race or an important event, give your horse a natural calmative if you notice them grinding their teeth specifically out of nervousness. Grinding can also be a sign of ulcers, in which case you’d need to call the dentist.

3.     Choose a comfortable bit:

Biting on the bit in a mature can either be a sign of nervousness or damage to the mouth such as ulcers, due to the incorrect bit. Never mistake your horse’s defiance to a bit as him being “naughty” You could be forcing him to use the wrong bit for his mouth.

4.     Provide a balanced diet:

Ensure your horse receives a balanced diet of minerals and vitamins, (especially Vitamin A & D) along with a good, nutritional alfalfa – which is high in protein, energy, vitamins and minerals. Don’t forget adequate clean water.

5.     Float your horse’s teeth:

Having your horse’s teeth filed down should be done at least once a year due to the fact that they never stop growing. They may create sharp edges from certain foods and would need to filed down by a qualified veterinarian while being sedated. If the whole idea of grinding teeth makes you cringe, the good news is your horse doesn’t feel it. The nerve endings end close to the jawline so there’s no pain when they have their teeth worked on.