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Posts from the ‘Did You Know…’ Category

Equine Oral Health Exams

Check out the most recent issue of The Horse magazine ( for an article written by Dr. Easley on the importance of dental examinations.  While not every horse may need floating every year, every horse does benefit from at least a yearly examination.  Read about why this is necessary.

Equine Dental Dictionary

Some common equine dental terms you will hear and their definitions.

Bit seats:  The process of rounding over the fronts of the first large cheek teeth to accommodate a bit more comfortably.

Canine teeth:  Teeth found in the space between the incisors and the molars.

Caps:  Another term for retained deciduous (baby) teeth in young horses.

Hooks:  Dagger-like spikes that develop on the front and back ends of the cheek teeth.

Incisor reduction:  Part of the floating process that involves shortening overlong incisors to ensure molar contact.

Malocclusion:  Literally means “bad contact.”  Incisor and cheek teeth malocclusions prevents horses from masticating food properly.  Some malocclusions are parrot mouth (overbite) and monkey mouth.

Ramps:  Ski-jump-like formations that develop on the lower cheek teeth directly behind the location where the bit sits.

Steps:  An overgrowth found on a molar and caused by a lack of occlusion

Waves:  Humps in the lower line of cheek teeth.

Wolf teeth:  Small teeth directly in front of the first cheek teeth (upper and rarely, lower).

360 on Equine Dentistry

Mark your calendars!  The AAEP-sponsored event for veterinarians, 360 Equine Dentistry, is scheduled for early August at Texas A & M.  Further information forthcoming as available.  Stay tuned…..

Healthy Horse Seminar a Success

Thank you to all who helped make the Healthy Horse Seminar this past weekend, a huge success! We had over 70 horse enthusiasts attend the day-long seminar with presentations by five local veterinarians.  A thank you to the Shelby Co. Extension Office for providing such a wonderful space to hold this seminar.  Stay tuned for future happenings and information regarding the care of your horse.  Have a good spring…and don’t forget those vaccinations!

Healthy Horse Seminar in February

Schedule attendance at the Healthy Horse Seminar, 9-2 pm, Saturday February 4, 2012, at the Shelby Co. Extension Office.  Check this website often for more details.  This is a free seminar and includes lunch, handouts, and door prizes.

Equine Dentistry Consultation

Dr. Easley is available for equine dental consultation via internet, telephone, and/or travel to your clinic/hospital.  He is happy to provide in-clinic instruction for interns or new associate veterinarians who desire more detailed dental instruction in their practice.  Please contact us via our web address or telephone for more information.

Equine Oral Health – Topic for Seminar

Upcoming event…MARK YOUR CALENDAR!  There will be a Healthy Horse Seminar early next year.  At this time, February 4, 2012, is tentatively scheduled for a Healthy Horse Seminar featuring 5 local veterinarians lecturing on various topics of interest for preventative equine care.  Keep checking back for more information as it develops.

How Many Teeth Does a Horse Have?

A typical adult male horse has 40 permanent teeth, while a typical mare may have 36 to 40 teeth.  Mares are less likely to have canine (bridle) teeth. A horse’s permanent teeth are about four inches long.

Like humans, horses have two sets of teeth in their lifetimes.  The baby teeth, called deciduous teeth, are temporary.  The first deciduous incisors may erupt before the foal is born.  The last deciduous teeth come in when the horse is about eight months of age.  These “baby” teeth will begin to be replaced by adult teeth around the age of 2 1/2. By the age of 5, most horses have all of their permanent teeth.

Why Are Regular Dental Exams Important?

An oral examination should be an essential part of your horse(s)’ annual physical examination by a veterinarian.  Every examination provides the opportunity to perform routine preventative dental maintenance.  Regular examinations also help identify dental problems while they are still in early stages, which decreases the chances that the dental problem can lead to other serious health issues for your horse.  Early detection also cuts costs in the long run. 

At the minimum, all horses should receive a yearly dental examination.  Horses aged 2 to 5 years may require more frequent dental exams and attention as there is an extraordinatry amount of dental maturation during this period.  Senior horses (20 years and older) are at increased risk for developing periodontal disease and face the additional challenges of advancing age.  Twice-a-year examinations are often recommended to keep the aged horses’ teeth functioning properly into their third and fourth decades of life.

Keep in mind, a check up which is a complete examination of the oral cavity with a mouth speculum in place, does not necessary lead to floating.  The mouth should be “charted” for future reference and followup.

Call the office for a checkup!  502-633-0112

Equine Dentistry: An Interview with Dr. Jack Easley

The Equine Solution, a quarterly magazine published by Butler Schein Animal Health, contains an interview with Dr. Easley regarding equine dentistry.  Dr. Easley shares his views on equine dentistry of the past, present and future.  Go to for access to this interview as well as other timely equine related articles.