10 signs of dental disease and how you can prevent it

We all know a horse-sized toothbrush is out of the question, so what can we do to help maintain condition in between our horse's dentist appointments?

Dental disease isn't just a human thing, it happens to horses as well, but ideally, if you have your horse's teeth checked regularly by a dentist then you'll never see the following symptoms:

10 signs of dental disease

horse showing its teeth.jpg
  1. Changes in eating/feeding habit including inappetance (a veterinary emergency in ponies, miniature horses and donkeys)
  2. Quidding
  3. Dunking/dropping feed/forage into water
  4. Drooling
  5. Weight loss/poor body condition
  6. Poor/Changes in bitted behaviour including bridling
  7. Halitosis
  8. Nasal discharge (especially but not limited to one sided, thick, yellow/green with/without offensive smell)
  9. Masses/swellings around the head
  10. Faecal fibre length; is a good indicator of dental efficiency

Please don't rely on dental signs as an indicator of needing to call your dentist; many horses will not show signs until dental disease is advanced and treatment is unlikely to be curable in these instances.

The only way to maintain teeth quality is to keep an eye on your horse's behaviour and get him an appointment with the horse dentist.  

    Engage with the services of a qualified dentistry professional who will arrange to visit your animal a couple of times a year or so from approximately 12 months of age - however a preliminary oral examination should take place in foals to rule out conformational difficulties.

    Qualified Equine Dental Technicians and vets may be found by contacting the British Association of Equine Dental Technicians (BAEDT) www.baedt.com.

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