Nearly all horses will suffer from a dental problem at some point in their lives – fortunately with prompt treatment, most are easily resolved.
Common symptoms of a horse with dental problems can include:
- Loss of condition
- Facial swellings
- Difficulty eating hard feed or hay/haylage, perhaps dropping it half-eaten on the floor.
- Soaking or dipping feed into the water bucket
- Bad breath
- Head shaking, perhaps more noticeable when ridden
- Head shyness
- Feed or grass packing in the cheeks, or ‘hamster cheeks’
- Unsteady head carriage or one-sidedness under saddle
- More subtle change in ridden behaviour, perhaps on one more rein more than the other.
- Long strands of hay or undigested food in the droppings
As prey animals, many horses are conditioned not to show any outer signs of dental pain. Problems may go un-noticed even if the horse is in considerable discomfort, so it is always advisable to have your horse’s teeth regularly examined (click to read out our article on how often).
If you are concerned that your horse might have a dental problem or is overdue a check-up, contact us or call 07554 441776 to arrange an appointment.