Dental Warning Signs
Use this brief list of possible signs to help yourself be aware of a developing issue in your own horse:

Behavior and Performance Problems That May Signal Dental Disease
  • Difficult bitting
  • Reluctance to give to a snaffle bit, especially to one side
  • Excessive head tossing or shaking when pressure applied to bit or bosal
  • Gaping mouth, pinned ears, lolling tongue
  • Neck extension to avoid bit pressure, leaning into the bit
  • Overflexing (Behind the bit) to avoid bit pain
  • Refusal to collect or bend, or maintain head set
  • Leaning into the bit
  • Failure to take a lead or run straight, failure to stop, bucking
Physical Signs of Dental Disease
  • Visible sharp outer edges on first cheek teeth seen when the corners of lips are held away from the teeth
  • Obviously fractured or displaced incisors, especially in young horses
  • Open mouth chewing
  • Failure to finish meals of hay or hard pellets, intermittent eating, slow eating
  • Packing feed in the cheek (usually near sharp points or damaged teeth)
  • Excessive salivation on eating, thin, blood tinged saliva
  • Quidding—the dropping of partially chewed boluses of food from the mouth
  • Loss of condition
  • Mouth or nasal odor that is offensive
  • Lumps on side of jaw, under jaw
  • Draining tracts under jaw
  • Unilateral nasal discharge

Home | News | Articles and Case Studies | Books | Gallery | Contact |