As horses age, their dental health becomes increasingly important. Regular dental care for older horses is crucial for maintaining their overall health and well-being. Spring is an ideal time to schedule a dental exam for your older horse, as it allows you to catch any potential issues before they become more serious. Continue reading to see more about dental care and how to help your horse!
Why is Dental Care Important for Older Horses?
As horses age, their teeth wear down and may become damaged or infected. This can lead to various dental issues, including sharp points, overgrown teeth, and periodontal disease. These problems can cause discomfort and pain for the horse and may even impact their ability to eat and drink properly. Regular dental care can help prevent these issues from developing or becoming more severe. By maintaining good dental health, older horses can continue to eat, drink, and graze comfortably, which is essential for their overall health and well-being.
Common Dental Issues in Older Horses
Here are some of the most common dental issues that older horses may experience:
Sharp points: As horses chew, their teeth wear down unevenly, creating sharp points on the teeth. These points can cause pain when the horse chews and may even damage the horse's cheeks and tongue.
Overgrown teeth: If an equine’s teeth are not worn down properly, they may become overgrown. Overgrown teeth can cause discomfort when the horse chews and could lead to infections and abscesses.
Periodontal disease: Periodontal disease is a condition that affects the tissues surrounding the teeth. As horses age, they may become more susceptible to this condition, which can cause inflammation, pain, and tooth loss.
Loose or missing teeth: As horses age, their teeth may become loose or even fall out. This can cause distress when the horse chews, impacting its ability to eat and drink properly.
How to Care for Your Older Horse's Teeth
Regular dental exams are essential for maintaining your aging equine’s dental health. Here are some tips for caring for your older horse's teeth:
Schedule regular dental exams: Older equines should have a dental exam at least once a year and more often if they have dental issues or are at risk for dental problems.
Provide good quality forage: Good quality forage is essential for maintaining your older horse's dental health. It helps keep their teeth worn down and prevents overgrown teeth and sharp points.
Provide dental-friendly feed: Choose feeds that are easy to chew and digest, and avoid feeds that are hard or require a lot of chewing.
Monitor your horse's eating habits: Keep an eye on your equine’s eating habits and make a note of any changes in appetite or difficulty chewing. These could be signs of dental issues.
Practice good dental hygiene: Brush your horse's teeth regularly and provide them with toys and treats that promote healthy chewing.
Sponsor an Equine for Ryerss Dental Care
If you are interested in helping maintain the dental health of one of our residents at Ryerss Farm, you can sponsor a dental visit for your favorite horse! By doing so, you will happily give the gift of a healthy smile! Our residents receive yearly care. There are many other donation and sponsorship options for Ryerss Farm as well, such as horse pedicures, stall endowments, memory plates, benches, and more! You can visit our website for more information.
Regular dental care is essential for maintaining the health and well-being of aging equines. By scheduling regular dental exams and providing good quality forage and dental-friendly feed, you can help prevent dental issues from developing or becoming more severe. Paying attention to your older horse's eating habits and practicing good dental hygiene will also help keep their teeth healthy and comfortable. By taking these simple steps, you can ensure that your aging equine enjoys a happy and healthy life!