When was the last time you had your horse’s teeth cleaned? According to the AVMA, animals who have never had a teeth cleaning have signs of dental disease by the time they are three years old. For that reason, Anderson Equine Veterinary Clinic recommends that all horses have a yearly dental cleaning and oral examination.
Gum Disease in Horses
Horses are prone to developing the same types of dental diseases and problems as humans, including gingivitis, periodontal disease, tooth decay, staining, and cavities. The process of dental decay and disease starts every time your horse eats.
When your horse eats, food particles get on their teeth and gums. This fuels the bacteria in your horse’s mouth, causing an acid attack on the enamel of their teeth and creating a sticky, clear substance called plaque. If the plaque is left on teeth, it hardens into tartar. When plaque and tartar are left on your horse’s teeth for an extended period of time, it can lead to gingivitis, periodontal disease, cavities, and oral infections.
Signs of Dental Disease in Horses
When it comes to detecting potential oral health problems in horses, owners must be vigilant in noticing changes in behavior. This is because equines often do not act like they are in pain until the pain is severe.
If you notice any of the signs below, it is important that you contact us to schedule a dental checkup, teeth cleaning and gum disease treatment.
- Broken or Loose Teeth
- Discomfort While Eating
- Extremely bad Breath
- Pussy or Bloody Drool
- Red Gums
- Staining on the Teeth
- Swollen or Inflamed Gums
- Weight Loss or Loss of Appetite
The Hazards of Untreated Periodontal Disease in Horses
Untreated periodontal disease in horses can lead to dangerous infections, like abscesses and blood infections. Advanced dental disease may also affect your horse’s heart, liver, and kidneys. In order to avoid these potentially life-threatening conditions, it is important to keep your equine’s teeth clean with a combination of at-home care and regular veterinary teeth cleanings.
Horse Dental Cleanings in San Diego
Anderson Equine Veterinary Clinic recommends that all horses receive their first dental checkup shortly after they are weaned and at least once a year for every year of their lives. Horse dental checkups include an examination of your horse’s head, neck, face, ears, and mouth in order to check for signs of health problems.
Once the basic examination is complete, Dr. Anderson will completely clean all the plaque and tartar from your horse’s teeth and below the gum line. Once your horse’s teeth are clean, we can give you tips and tricks to help you remove food particles and plaque at home between professional pet dental cleanings, like pet-safe toothpaste and toothbrushes as well as dental chews.