Harmony Veterinary Services, LLC
Equine Dental Guidelines from the American Association of Equine Practitioners
All horses should have a veterinary oral and dental examination at least annually.
Horses 2-5 years, over 20 years, and those with known dental pathology may need more frequent visits.
Decisions regarding specific frequency of visits should be based on the individual needs of the horse.
Maintaining your horse's mouth is a key component to a happy, healthy horse. Having a qualified veterinarian examine your horse's mouth routinely will prevent your horse from potentially suffering from common dental problems such as sharp points, caudal molar hooks, broken/chipped teeth, or infections. The AAEP has laid out guidelines for horse owners to gain awareness and understanding of their horse's dental needs.
History including evaluation of the following unique points;
*Previous health concerns
*Breed, life stage and lifestyle
*General housing and management
*Current ration, diet and pasture
*Bitting and tack requirements
Comprehensive oral and dental examination including;
*General health assessment
*Body condition scoring
*Extra-oral masticatory system (visual and palpation)
*Restraint and/or sedation
*Incisor and canine evaluation
*Intra-oral speculum examination (visual and palpation)
On the basis of history and dental exam findings, assessments are made for;
*Chewing and/or weight loss problems
*Bitting and headshaking issues
*Head asymmetry, draining tracts and/or nasal discharge
*Deciduous teeth condition
*Incisor and/or canine problems
*Abnormal dental wear problems
*Diastema and/or periodontal disease