Equine Dentists

EventingMum

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Essential, horses can often be pretty stoic about discomfort in their mouths and so it's not obvious that there's a problem. Regular checks can stop major dental problems occurring, help the horse grind their food ensuring they digest their food properly as well as avoiding ridden issues. Most insurers now write in their small print that any horse insured must have it's teeth checked annually. It's also important to make sure any EDT used is properly qualified and insured such as those listed on www.baedt.com - there's far too many that aren't and the consequences of incorrect work aren't worth the risk.
 

applecart14

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The problem with vets rasping teeth and EDT's rasping teeth is that vets do not have as much in depth knowledge as an EDT. Its like asking a GP to perform open heart surgery, they may know the workings of the heart, the bits involved, but they would not know how to carry out such a procedure.

Also in my experience vets tend to rasp without using a gag. You cannot possibly reach the back teeth without using a gag to force the horses mouth open as the teeth go such a long way back. In order to facilitate a hand, arm and rasp (or other equipment necessary) you can only do that if there is room and you are not going to get bitten.

When my vet came out a few weeks ago to rasp my horses teeth he used a gag, I made sure when I booked the appointment that they he had one in his car! He spent at least 25 minutes at the job and was very thorough. My EDT who I normally use, spends about 30 - 40 minutes.

On the other side of the coin, I saw another vet practice on a different yard rasp a horses teeth and had to suppress a laugh, they shoved the rasp in the mouth (without a gag) spent about three minutes of vigorous rasping and declared the job done for another 12 months.

Surely that is not sufficient for any horse, even a routine rasp without any complications?????

Like Eventing Mum says, the consequences for not rasping teeth correctly can be huge. A horse will not be able to digest his food if the edges of the teeth do not meet and grind correctly. He will suffer discomfort in his mouth, his teeth will be sharp in places, blunt in others. He may go on to develop pockets where food will gather. He will not be able to work correctly as the bit is no longer comfortable in his mouth. In severe cases he will lose weight as he will not be getting the best nutrients and vitamins from his feed, and his poo will show his food hasn't been digested properly as it will show long fibres of partly indigested food.
 
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Shay

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Agree. Getting your horse's teeth done is as much a part of essential horse care as vaccinations, worming or shoeing / foot care. As above I prefer to use a qualified EDT as they have more hands on day to day experience than a vet. But they do sometimes need to work together if there is a particular problem.
 

Nicnac

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Everything about owning horses is a luxury but once you have them, looking after them properly is a necessity. Yes EDTs or Vet/EDTs are necessary just as dentists are for us.
 

asmp

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Not a luxury but a necessity. Oldie needs to be done very 6 months as 9 years ago dentist found he had a broken tooth. After expensive time at the vets to remove it, he now needs to be done regularly to keep the opposite one filed down. Meanwhlle, while he was doing oldie last week, he looked at youngster, took a couple of caps off and then announced youngster had fractured his front tooth (oldie must have booted him). Hence visit to vet on Monday to be x-rayed but thankfully no real harm done.
 

Micky

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Yes think of it as getting the farrier every 6/8 weeks...essential though only every 9/12 months...we have two vets that are qualified EDTs as well as normal EDTs which can be handy if they need to be sedated! Def worth it...
 

Mrs B

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I'd say crucial. One of mine came to me having had a 5 stage vetting, including quick teeth check (owners said teeth recently done, but as always, I took that with a large bucket of salt).

As usual when getting a new one home, had EDT out straight away ... as soon as the rasp went in on the near side, uppers, it stopped. "Hello!", says my EDT .. "what do we have here?"

Poor little guy had a major slab fracture of the first upper molar. Still attached at the root, the outside third of his tooth had fractured away, and was angled outwards ... had been wearing a hole in his cheek for months, big enough for my EDT to fit his thumb in. No wonder he was a bit 'ouchy' to bridle! ... As EventingMum says, they can be real stoics about pain.

And as for EDT vs. vet ... I wouldn't go to my GP for a filling ;)
 

scewal

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I normally used an EDT. Last year my vet did it. Learnt my lesson as when my EDT visited this time she had ulcers from where the vet didn't rasp right at the back.
 
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