During our visit we will undertake a comprehensive intra-oral exam of your four legged friend. In order to do this effectively and safely we normally use a mouth speculum sometimes known as “gag”. Every tooth is checked in detail and all issues are recorded and then treated where possible.
As a horse owner myself, I have a very calm and caring manner and work without sedation wherever possible, however I operate closely with several vet practices who are happy to sedate for me as I`m a fully qualified BAEDT registered member.
Depending on what we find during the initial exam we may have to remove sharp points and properly float edges of cheek teeth. Also the first cheek teeth will be rounded if required to stop the delicate inner cheeks being damaged by the bit or teeth. Any tall teeth that effect the correct motion of the mouth will need to be reduced. Waves, hooks and ramps will also need treating, and any irregular prominent transverse ridges will be carefully reduced. Any excessively tall canine teeth can also be reduced, rounded off and any build up of tartar removed. If Wolf teeth are present they are also removed.
Experience training and dental instruction for Vets and Equine Dental Technicians by arrangement. Rachel works alongside vet practices in Norfolk, Essex and Suffolk. Trained to Bhs stage 3, UK CC2 Coach, an Instructor and BHS register Rachel can offer courses in: first aid, cpd, safeguarding and protection.
I can offer demonstrations and talk to show visitors about the industry and importance of equine dentistry. Available for county shows, dental shows, equestrian shows. I am a BAEDT Stall leader.
I can offer talks, clinics and lectures for riding clubs, pony clubs, universities and agricultural colleges, dental and equestrian shows. Dental Instruction to Vets and EDT’s by arrangement. Rachel has taught Waveney Harriers Pony Club, given lectures at open college university in equine studies at Newmarket, held Clinics at vet practices in Essex, Suffolk and Newmarket and has trained the Household Cavalry, the Kings Troop and the Donkey sanctuary with pre-exam courses.
Most horse owners are aware that regular maintenance of a horses mouth is essential to its welfare. It is also essential for its digestion, performance and behaviour. Most insurance companies now pay out on claims for a dental related problem if your horse has been to a vet or checked by a BAEDT registered EDT. The oral examination is an essential part of your horse’s annual health checks. Regular checks can identify any dental problems early on and avoid the possibility of more severe dental conditions which could lead to other serious health issues for the horse.
All horses should receive a dental exam at least once a year. Younger horses (aged 2 to 5 yrs) may need more frequent dental exams, due to the many dental changes which occur during their growth and developmental years. Senior horses, 20 years + can be more prone to periodontal disease along with the challenges of advancing age. 6 monthly checks and treatments may be required to keep the teeth of senior horses functioning correctly and to support their overall health.
Possible signs that your horse may have dental issues include: performance problems such as head tossing or shaking, mouthing or chewing the bit, sticking the tongue out of the mouth or over the bit, resisting bridling, refusing to maintain vertical head carriage, getting behind the bit, rearing or bolting, dropping hard feed, excessive salivation, foul odour from the mouth, head tilting when eating, not grazing as much as expected, nasal discharge & facial swelling. However, due to the natural instincts of being a prey animal, horses can hide the signs of pain for long periods of time and usually don't show symptoms of dental pain until the problems are more advanced. Most minor equine dental problems can develop into major issues if unchecked, which is why it is better to have your horse's teeth checked regularly by a qualified Equine Dental Technician or a specialist Vet holding the Advanced Certificate in Equine Dentistry for preventative care. Invariably a horse does not show any signs of a dental problem which is why regular examinations are paramount.
A preliminary external examination will assess: chewing muscles, skull bone health, salivary glands and lymph nodes along with the range of jaw movement. Eyes and nostrils are checked for discharge. After the mouth has been rinsed clean, a preliminary palpation examination is carried out to feel for any abnormalities within the mouth and teeth. A detailed assessment is then made of each tooth, the gums, cheeks and tongue.
Depending on what we find during the initial exam we may have to remove sharp points and properly float edges of cheek teeth. Also the first cheek teeth will be rounded if required to stop the delicate inner cheeks being damaged by the bit or teeth. Any tall teeth that effect the correct motion of the mouth will need to be reduced. Waves, hooks and ramps will also need treating, and any irregular prominent transverse ridges will be carefully reduced. Any excessively tall canine teeth can also be reduced, rounded off and any build up of tartar removed. If Wolf teeth are present and causing an issue, they can also be removed.
In primitive horses, wolf teeth were fully developed premolars. Over time they have significantly reduced in size and are now redundant. They serve no purpose to a modern horse. They are usually situated in the upper jaw, just in front of the first cheek teeth and can cause bitting problems due to the bit causing discomfort. Bits can also cause wolf teeth to fracture, which can cause further pain and an increased risk of infection. While it's not always necessary to remove wolf teeth, they're often routinely removed when a horse is between 2.5-3 years of age and ideally before they are mouthed and bitted. Wolf teeth can be removed at any age and extraction is normally carried out under standing sedation with local anaesthetic.