Dentistry - More than Floating Teeth
Jul 1, 2011
Some years ago I was called to look at an Arabian stallion that was down and did not want to get up. We encouraged the horse to stand and were shocked to see how thin he was. This horse would normally weigh 1100 pounds and was down to about 800 pounds.
The physical exam was normal. An oral exam revealed a mouth full of abscessed teeth. He was put on antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, and analgesics. I extracted eight molar teeth during that visit. We started the horse on a senior feed. Over a few weeks time and a few visits, I extracted every molar tooth the horse possessed.
A few months later he was back up to his original weight and able to return to his profession of breeding mares. This stallion continued to maintain a healthy weight until his passing at the ripe old age of 29. Had this horse received routine dentistry over the years he may have died with all of his teeth. It is easy to forget about dental care as long as the horse is eating and carrying normal weight.
Dental problems have to be very severe to cause a horse to stop eating or to cause extreme weight loss. You should have your horses teeth checked once or twice yearly. Most horses need dentistry yearly and a few can go 2 years between dental care.
Dr. Ron Conley has been practicing advanced equine dentistry with power tools since 1988. He was a board member of Florida Equine Dental Association for 2 years. He has presented talks at three Florida Equine Dental Association meetings. Dr. Conley has instructed senior students at Purdue University and presented equine dentistry talks and demonstrations at the Hoosier Horse Fair.
All of the veterinarians at Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital practice this level of dentistry on every case they see. Radiographic, endoscopic, and lab work are all available to help in the treatment of advanced cases. You can learn more about these services by visiting the Dentistry Page on our website. Please call Conley and Koontz Equine Hospital for all of your equine dental needs.