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Horse teeth are of the hypsodont kind, meaning they grow continuously throughout a horse’s life.
Horses that live in the wild wear their teeth by grinding away on tough pastures, which helps keeping them even. The diet for the domesticated horse does not require the horse to grind as much and so can lead to uneven wear of the molars.
When teeth wear unevenly, they may end up with sharp points especially along the molars. Often these occur along the outer edge of the upper molars and the inner edge of the lower molars.
Signs of dental problems are head shaking, drooling, dropping of food while eating or loss of body condition. If your horse has any of those signs, you should get us out to check your horse’s teeth.
When we come out for a dental examination of your horse, we may choose to give it a mild sedation and use a gag to keep the mouth open. This is the best way to examine a horse’s mouth as it enables us to inspect all molars thoroughly. We can remove wolf teeth and dental caps if needed.
At VETPlus we recommend an annual dental checkup for most horses, but as each circumstance can vary it may be better for you to come in to one of our clinics and discuss your situation with us. We can also offer you an annual health check of your horse including blood samples, so feel free to inquire about this as well.
We are able to offer the New Zealand Equine Veterinary Association recommended pre-purchase procedure. Our equine vets can assess any horse up to stage 5 of the examination and provide you with a Veterinary Certificate detailing their findings before you consider purchasing a horse.
We offer field anesthesia to complete various surgical procedures on your horse. These include castration, Periosteal strips to straighten foals legs and hernia repairs to name a few.
Freeze branding and fire branding services are available for the various equine breeds in the Central Plateau Region.
Our thoroughbred freeze branding service also includes micro-chipping, DNA sampling and registration paperwork.
VETPlus sponsors and has vets attending horse events on a regular basis. If your club is looking for sponsorship or if you need a vet present at a horse event, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to suit your needs. Two of our vets have a particular interest in eventing and have previously attended the FEI Three-Day event in Taupo as part of the vet panel there, and one of our vets has recently completed an FEI Vet Endurance course.