Equine Dentistry


Horses teeth continually grow and erupt throughout their lives. Every horse wears its teeth differently while grinding their feed. Horses can develop sharp enamel points as their teeth wear. These points can cause pain and even ulceration of the cheeks and tongue. The most common procedure veterinarians perform on horse’s teeth is called floating, which is the process of filing the points of the teeth down. Our doctors can perform this with hand tools or specialized power tools, depending on your horses’ temperament.

Common Signs of Dental Problems Include:

  • Head tossing
  • Poll soreness
  • Weight loss
  • Foul odor from nostrils or mouth
  • Nasal discharge
  • Poor performance
  • Biting problems
  • TMJ soreness
  • Dropping feed
  • Excessive salivation
  • Facial swelling
  • Undigested grain or hay in feces

Mt. Spokane Veterinary Hospital is here to ensure that your horse’s teeth are properly cared for. Dental care can be provided at the hospital or at your farm. Our clinic is equipped to handle routine dentistry and more complicated dental cases. Unlike lay dentists, our training and experience in equine dentistry are what allow us to provide the best in equine dental and veterinary care. If your horse requires radiographic or endoscopic examination, we have the tools and the ability to perform these diagnostics. Frequently teeth can be extracted without any facial deformities.

Horses may suffer from many dental problems. The most common include:

o  Sharp enamel points forming on cheek teeth, causing lacerations of cheeks and tongue

o  Retained caps (deciduous teeth that are not shed)

o  Discomfort caused by bit contact with the wolf teeth

o  Hooks forming on the upper and lower cheek teeth

o  Long and/or sharp canine teeth

o  Lost and/or broken teeth

o  Abnormal or uneven bite planes

o  Excessively worn teeth

o  Abnormally long teeth

o  Infected teeth and/or gums

o  Misalignment/Malocclusion (can be due to congenital defects or injury)

o  Periodontal (gum) disease