From Horse
Examining the horse's mouth
Canine tooth with calculus buildup and gingivitis

Dental conditions in the horse occur frequently and have been identified as a leading cause of chronic weight loss, pain and infection in the equine patient[1]. Dental disease has been shown to cause conditions such as early embryonic death and endocarditis in the horse. Failure to provide adequate dental care is a welfare issue[2].

Like all aspects of equine care a thorough examination of the patient and relevant aspects of their environment is essential to maintain high standards of professional care with positive outcomes for both patient and client. Practitioners should have a detailed knowledge of dental anatomy and physiology and should utilise their skills as veterinary professionals to consider the interrelationship between pathology in the oral cavity and concurrent disease processes in other parts of the body[3].

In order to raise the standards of dental care in Australia veterinarians need to allow more time for a dental examination than they may have done in the past.

Equine Practitioners must change their way of observing dental problems. The aetiology of dental disease must be foremost in the process of evaluation. Proper diagnosis and therapy planning cannot be undertaken until the aetiologies of disease are identified[4].

See also


  1. Fletcher BW (2004} How to Perform Effective Equine Dental Nerve Blocks eProc 50th Annu Conv Am Assoc Equine 50:233-236
  2. Tamzali, Y (2006) Chronic weight loss syndrome in the horse: a 60 case retrospective study. Equine Vet Ed AE 8(6):372-380
  3. Verdegaal, EJ et al (2006} A Right sided bacterial endocarditis of dental origin in a horse. Equine Vet Ed AE 8(4):245-250
  4. Easley, J (2002) A New Look at Dental Radiology. Proc 48th Annu Conv Am Assoc Equine 48:412-420