It is to the advantage of the horse’s welfare if any dental problems are diagnosed and treated as quickly as possible. Below is a list of common symptoms which should alert the horse owner to a possible in the horse.
- Head position or contact instability whilst riding
- Heavy contact or leaning when riding
- Difficulty turning one way when riding
- Reluctance to go forward into the hand when riding
- Reluctant to slow or flex at the poll
- Poor or excessive reaction to half halts
- Hard to bridle
- Rearing or bolting
- Failure to gain condition
- Weight loss
- Long fibres found in droppings
- Bad breath from mouth or nostrils
- Sores at corner or within mouth
- Cheeks sensitivity when pressed against teeth
- Bolting of feed
- Quidding of hay
- Excessive drooling
- Miserable persona
- Bumps on the lower jaw or enlargements elsewhere on skull
- Draining abscesses anywhere on the head
- Discharge from the eye or nose
What is less often understood is that many horses do not outwardly show any signs of discomfort, and as a result many owners are left unaware that the horse may have problems. Many horses seem to ‘soldier on’ and it is not until they have a proper dental examination that problems are discovered.
For this reason it is vital that your horse is checked every 6-12mths by a fully qualified EDT or Veterinary Surgeon who will then be able to recommend an appropriate treatment plan and advise accordingly.
Most dental problems can be resolved relatively easily if caught at an early stage, and this will help prolong the viable life expectancy of the teeth and keep the horse comfortable throughout its life.