Saturday, June 16, 2007

Always Look a Gift Horse in the Mouth

Signs of Possible Dental Trouble

(Please remember that many times there will be no obvious signs of dental disease until problems are severe.)

*dropping more food than previously.
*eating more slowly than before.
*the appearance of "quids" (wads of grass or hay that the horse tries to chew, then spits out.)
*head shaking
*holding the head to one side while chewing
*whole grains in the manure
*bad odor in the mouth and nose
*swelling on the face or along jaw
*bleeding gums
*tossing the head while being ridden
*uncharacteristically fighting the bit
*weight loss or poor condition

If you notice any of these signs of developing problems, contact your veterinarian or equine dentist as soon as possible. As with human teeth, preventing the progression of trouble is much easier than correcting problems at a later time!

Left: Before dental exam
Right: Six months after dental treatment

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