How often should I have my horses teeth floated?
Horses should be checked from age 6 months old to make sure everything is coming in correctly. Your first floating procedure should be at age 1 1/2 yrs old and every 6 months until the age of 10yrs old. Between the age of 10-12 years the roots in the horses mouth quit growing they have reached maturity, although the teeth keep erupting from the gum-line usually allowing for yearly exams. Each horse is different and genetics and strength of the tooth enamel play a role in how often the teeth should be floated. Also, each horse has its own individual tolerance for pain. So as a rule we say every 6 months for horses under 10 and once a year for horses 10 and older.
What are Caps?
Between the age of 2 1/2 to 5 years old your horse has 24 Deciduous teeth ( Baby Teeth,Caps) which they are shedding. Some horses retain their caps which means your equine dentist will have to extract them. Sometimes they break and leave fragments that cause severe pain, therefore it is not recommended to try to remove the caps on your own.
What are some signs that my horse needs it's teeth floated?
signs that your horse may need to be floated are: when your horse is
dropping food or you may even notice weight loss. Another sign is
called "quidding"- this is when your horse packs balls of hay and grass
into its cheeks. Your horse does this to put a barrier between its
cheeks, tongue and the sharp enamel points irritating its mouth. You
may notice balls of hay in your horses stall or puffy cheeks on your
horses face. You may also notice, difficulty when chewing, undigested food
particles in your horses manure, excessive bit chewing and head
tossing, difficulty riding or being on a line. You may also notice a
foul odor coming from your horses mouth, nasal discharge or swelling in
the face, jaw or mouth tissue.
Abnormalities in the incisors are a good indication that something more is going on in the molar area.