The health of a horse’s teeth can impact heavily on their performance and condition. Additionally, dental disease can be painful and compromise the animal’s comfort. Imagine having a bad toothache that won’t go away and you can’t tell anyone about!
We have two veterinarians, (Drs. Walshe and Polak), who have completed advanced training in equine dentistry through the Australian Veterinary Dental Association and Equine Dental Vets Australia. These are branches of the Australian Veterinary Association and set high standards for knowledge and skill level in the veterinary profession. Only a qualified veterinarian can sedate a horse and perform advanced procedures including nerve blocks and tooth removal. We sedate all our dental patients to ensure a thorough examination and relaxed, safe experience for both horse and handler. Additionally, our veterinarians can address any other health concerns and administer vaccinations on the same visit.
Six monthly dental evaluations are recommended to ensure any problems that have arisen are addressed promptly. Horses have evolved to hide their pain from predators and so can have serious dental issues without anyone being aware until we look in their mouths, so regular checks are essential. Younger horses should always have a dental evaluation performed before placement of a bit to avoid any negative experiences and older horses can have a vastly improved quality of life with regular dental treatments, particularly to address wave mouths and missing teeth.
Some of the common conditions we find on looking in horses’ mouth that our experienced vets can provide care for include:
-Sharp points on the dental arcades and associated abrasions and ulceration of the cheeks and gums (ouch!)
-Large hooks and ramps on the front and back molars
-Tooth root infections
-Missing teeth with development of steps
Our equipment is modern and well maintained, with both powertools and hand rasps being utilised when appropriate. Additionally, we provide full dental surgical services including tooth removal of molars, wolf teeth and retained incisors, and fractured jaw repair.