Equine Dentistry

Routine dentistry

The vets at Phoenix Equine have a passion for providing outstanding dental services across Devon. We regularly attend courses dedicated to equine dentistry with leading specialists and are fully kitted out to perform dental work on shires through to donkeys and miniature Shetlands.

Dental checks are recommended at least annually as part of a basic healthcare regime for all horses. This gives the vet the best chance to detect a problem before it becomes severe enough to cause the horse to show outward signs of discomfort.

Once a horse starts showing signs of oral pain (quidding, weight loss, bit evasion, leaning on one rein more than the other, head tossing, etc) the disease process within the mouth has often been established for a long time and becomes far more costly (and painful to the horse) to resolve.

Just as you would see a dentist every six months to allow them to pick up on any problems in the mouth it is just as important for your horse, maybe even more so as your horse will not be able to tell you that it has increased sensitivity, a little gum pain or finds it hard to chew on one side more than the other. We also don’t routinely X-ray horse’s teeth so it is vital that the vet has the best chance of detecting any abnormalities, especially as good dentition is so vital for the overall health of the horse and its ridden potential.

Phoenix Equine are able to provide oral examinations, routine floating (tooth rasping), remedial dentistry including diastema and periodontal disease treatment, oral endoscopy (to show you a live video feed of what is going on inside your horse’s mouth), oral radiography (X-rays) and minor surgery (such as wolf tooth extraction) all out on your yard if the facilities are suitable.

All work, including the full oral examination, is performed under light sedation for multiple reasons:

  • It gives the best chance of detecting abnormalities in the mouth.
  • It is less stressful for the horse.
  • It makes examination with a metal speculum safer for the vet and the handler.
  • It facilitates painful procedures such as flushing of diastema to be performed more comfortably for the horse.
  • It ensures that sharp and abrasive power tools can be used far more safely in the mouth preventing unnecessary damage to the delicate tissues of the mouth.
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