From the Horse’s Mouth

by Amelia Hutchinson MRCVS
Published: Last Updated on

Hello HandyMag readers! As I write this, we have just about survived January in lockdown 3. First, I want to briefly introduce myself as the new vet at Station House. My name is Amelia; I am Yorkshire born and bred, and completely horse mad!

This month I am here to give you a little information about horse’s teeth and dentistry (one of my interests at work).

Five fun facts about horse’s teeth:

  • Adult horses have between 36 and 44 teeth (females have 36-40, males have 40-44).
  • A foal (baby horse) grows 24 baby teeth, also known as caps. These caps are lost by 5 years of age.
  • Horses teeth constantly erupt (grow) throughout their lifetime, they are born with very long tooth roots that get gradually smaller as they get older.
  • We can use horse’s teeth to give an idea of age.
  • Your horse’s teeth take up more space in their head than their brains!

It is strongly recommended that your horse or pony’s teeth are examined at least once a year by a veterinary surgeon or an equine dental technician (on the BAEDT register). These examinations may be more frequent if you have a young horse (younger than 5 years), older horses (over 20 years old) or if there are known problems that need to be checked more regularly.

A horse or pony may show signs of dental problems such as dropping food (also known as quidding), a fowl smelling mouth, weight loss, excess salivation or behavioural changes when ridden. It is always important to remember that equines are prey animals, so, in some cases, show no symptoms at all but may have pain related to their teeth or mouth.

At Station House Vets, we are currently investing in the newest dental equipment (which I am extremely excited about using). Dental examinations can take place on your yard or at our clinic (which saves on the visit charge).

I look forward to getting out and about across North Yorkshire and meeting more of the equine family at Station House.

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