Mobile Large Animal Veterinarian in Longs, South Carolina

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Advanced Dentistry

The most advanced preventive care and dental treatments in the Grand Strand

Horses of all sizes need dental care! Miniature horses often have more severe dental problems due to breeding for this size.

Why dental care is important

 

     Your dentist recommends that you have an exam done every 6 months, so that any problems can be corrected before they turn into much bigger (and more expensive) issues. The same is true for equine dentistry. On top of that, if your horse does have an issue, obviously they cannot tell you that they do. At the most, you can read their behaviors, such as dropping feed, turning the head while eating, weight loss, and more. Based on our experience of thousands of dental exams, most horses do not show obvious signs that they have an issue. Remember, they are prey animals - any sign of weakness in the wild may have gotten them eaten! Therefore, it's important that you act proactively for your horse. Like other forms of medicine, preventive care is far better than treating advanced forms of disease.

       Dental problems foremost cause variable degrees of pain, but did you know they affect more than just the mouth? If your horse has a painful mouth, they most likely will not respond to the bit as well. We have worked on a few "out of control" horses that became very calm rides after their dental procedures. Senior horses with dental problems often cannot chew much, if any, of their food if kept on a diet of hay and grain. As horses reach advanced age, the grinding surfaces of their teeth start to become smooth - some are even as smooth as porcelain. Can you imagine trying to chew hay by grinding two pieces of porcelain together? Needless to say, this results in poor digestion of the feed. This age group also is at a much higher risk for loose teeth and gum disease, both of which are very painful. All of these problems usually result in a horse that is not maintaining its weight well. No older horse should be skinny! With proper feeding and dental care, your senior horse can maintain an appropriate weight and health status!

Senior horses with dental issues often present to us like this. This mare was being fed an inappropriate feed for her dentition. Through dental care and feed changes, we were able to get her to an appropriate weight in three months!