Ask the Vet Services Expert – Leah Turner
We have in-clinic equine facilities, including a set of stocks and stalls so we can perform procedures both in and out of the clinic. The procedures we perform mostly include dental examinations, castrations, cryptorchid surgeries, hernias, exports, artificial insemination and ultrasounds. We treat wounds on horses, medical colics and perform pre-purchase and lameness examinations. Leah has owned and raised quarter horses since 1970 and has lots of experience with equine reproduction and A.I.
Equine Dental Services
Taking care of a horse’s teeth is very important. We do more than just float teeth. We take a careful history of the horse, including age, sex, body condition and intended use. We then look in the mouth and tranquillize the horse, apply our mouth gag, open the mouth, and rinse out all the food, taking note of areas where food might be caught – sometimes the horse chews more on one side or the other.
We use a light to examine the mouth and chart any missing or abnormal teeth. We have been doing equine dentals since 1983 and have taken many courses along the way. We started out with hand floats and purchased one of the first power floats in the 1990s. Now we have a cordless power float.
Some people say that you should start checking a weanling’s teeth. Often, we don’t see the horse for teeth problems until they are older. If the bite is normal and the horse grazes regularly, the horse can get away without much dental care. A high-performance horse or a horse with problems should get dental work once or even twice per year. A horse with good teeth will live much longer. Regular dental work is important.