Keeping Your Horse’s Teeth Healthy
We’ve all heard the expression, ‘getting a little long in the tooth’. Of course, it’s an alternative way of saying someone’s getting old! Horses’ teeth grow for much of their life, and wear between 2mm and 3mm a year, as a result of them happily chewing and grinding their food. It’s important that food is broken down properly in the horse’s mouth, as it allows the gut to digest it fully and therefore avoid problems such as weight loss or colic.
Horses are natural trickle feeders, typically eating for up to 18 hours a day, but with modern day winter stabling, this isn’t always the case and we need to be aware of problems that may arise.
The team here at Remus dealt with a lovely pony called Prince, who died within days of us taking him in. We found him in a field rugged up and with food but emaciated and with a huge tooth abscess. His owner loved him but was not aware that, despite feeding him, he was quidding (dropping) most of it back out. She didn’t realise that as he got older his teeth needed more attention.
As well as dropping food, horses with problem teeth might show facial swellings, head shaking or potentially nothing obvious at all. This article from Your Horse magazine sets out the importance of maintaining healthy teeth and what you should be looking out for.
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