Humans (are meant to) visit the dentist for a standard examination every six months. Equines are similar! These check-ups serve as preventive oral exams to stave off possible dental issues. A dentist fixes a problem once they identify it. This is known as floating in horse teeth and repair in human teeth. Let’s find out more about the average cost, when to book your horse for a float, and the horse teeth floating method.
Horse Teeth 101
However, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of horse teeth and equine eating patterns before we get into the specifics of horse teeth floating.
Horse teeth erupt throughout the course of their lives, just like those of other animals whose diet consists of roughage, such cows and rabbits. Furthermore, when they eat this roughage all day, the enamel on their teeth wears down.
But that’s not the problem. The problem lies in the fact that they chew in a circular manner all the time, wearing down the enamel unevenly and eventually producing sharp points. It’s time to float their teeth at that point.
What is Horse Teeth Floating?
Teeth floating is not a standard oral examination performed by an equine veterinarian.
According to Dr. Dennis French, University of Illinois professor of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, “floating a horse’s teeth is to file or rasp the teeth to decrease the sharp edges and make the surface smoother.”
Dental floats are metal filing tools used by veterinarians for this purpose. The vet can more easily reach every tooth thanks to its large handle. In addition, the files are available in a range of sizes, forms, and textures to address uncomfortable misalignment or sharp edges. If the term “odontoplasty” seems familiar to you, it simply refers to floating.
The Importance of Floating
For us, dental repair maintains the aesthetic appeal and functional integrity of our teeth. Floating horse teeth makes theirs feel pleasant and function properly.
If a horse is in discomfort due to an unevenly worn tooth, behavioural and health problems may arise. Given that horses are unable to speak to humans, the importance of routine oral examinations in order to identify potential issues cannot be overstated. especially considering how simple and affordable a floating treatment is in the event that an equine needs one.
The Cost of Horse Teeth Floating
Now that you know the benefits of teeth floating for horses, let’s talk about the procedure’s price.
Your horse’s tooth flotation procedure could cost you anywhere from $75 to $200, depending on your region and the veterinarian’s fees. It’s a fairly standard procedure that takes the veterinarian forty-five minutes to finish. A horse’s teeth should be floated once a year, but for horses under five, it should be done every six months.
5 Signs Your Horse Needs Their Teeth Floated
Horses can’t communicate with humans verbally, but their behaviour reveals their emotions. These are five telltale symptoms that your horse needs to have his or her teeth floated and that you should call the doctor.
When horses have trouble chewing their food, it forms a ball and keeps falling out of their mouths, a condition known as quidding. This occurs when their mouth can’t close properly to chew food appropriately due to uneven or pointy teeth.
2. Weight Loss
A horse that is unable to chew its food properly will not be able to absorb enough of it. Additionally, a pain-ridden horse will not eat as much as they should. Given that horses are inherently foragers, this may also lead to more severe health issues like colic.
3. Tenderness Around Mouth or Head
When they are not feeling well, nobody wants to be bothered with. This also applies to horses whose teeth become uncomfortable due to wear and tear on the tips. They’ll probably be a little bashful until the issue is resolved.
4. Frequent Head Shaking
Horses are unable to examine their own mouths. This explains why they shake their heads a lot when their teeth hurt. This suggests contacting your veterinarian. To find any dental problems, they might perform an oral examination.
5. Behavior Issues
A further indication that the wear on your horse’s teeth is uneven is if they are acting strangely. They could simply be hurting! While you are riding them, if they are constantly tossing their head or chewing the bit, it could be irritating their tooth. It’s obvious when your horse needs a float, especially if he behaves well most of the time.
The Repercussions of Not Keeping Your Horse’s Teeth Floating
A few issues may occur if you ignore the indications that your horse’s teeth need to be trimmed. These consist of:
Sharp enamel piercing or stabbing their tongue, lips, or cheeks
behavioural problems when riding a little
Feed wasted from quidding Colic from insufficient consumption
Schedule regular dental examinations and have teeth floated done at least once a year to avoid discomfort before it occurs if you want your horse to be happy and healthy.
How Often Should Horse Teeth Be Floated?
Teeth floating is required for horses under five years old every six months. It is advised to be done annually after that. However, it’s best to speak with your veterinarian if you see any indications of pain.
Who Floats Horse Teeth?
That’s what an equine veterinarian does. The process should only be carried out by a qualified specialist because over-floating can harm the tooth’s tissue and result in further dental health problems. It is therefore not advised to give your farrier or riding teacher permission to do this.
Does Floating Hurt?
No, the horse is not harmed by floating. Because there aren’t many nerve endings in their teeth, the process won’t hurt. For everyone’s safety, you may cover your horse’s eyes or sedate them if they become agitated during treatments.
Can A Horse Be Ridden After This Procedure?
You want to give your horse enough time to heal, just like with any surgery. The day after you float your horse’s teeth, you can usually ride them regularly.