Every Horse Needs an Annual Dental Exam, Says the American Association of Equine Practitioners
RELEASE: May 8, 2008
AUTHOR/ADMINISTRATOR: By Sally Baker
Because proper dental care is vital to a horse’s overall health, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) is launching a campaign to promote the need for horses to receive a thorough oral examination at least once a year. Designed to reach horse owners, the campaign kicked off in April and run through 2008.
It is important to catch dental problems early. Horses with dental problems may show obvious signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs at all. But left undiagnosed and untreated, a dental problem can develop into a much more significant health concern. In a 2006 study of horses suffering from chronic weight loss, 20% of the horses experienced weight loss due to dental disorders.* In addition to weight loss, the inability to chew feed into small particles can lead to colic, and the bacteria associated with gum disease in the horse’s mouth can migrate to other areas of the body, similar to what occurs with gum disease in humans.
“Routine dental maintenance is the easiest step an owner can take to prevent a more serious problem from developing,” said AAEP President Eleanor M. Green, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, Dipl. ABVP. “When you schedule vaccinations or a Coggins test for your horse, this is the perfect opportunity to schedule a dental examination with your horse’s veterinarian as well.”
For more information about the AAEP’s dental campaign, contact Sally Baker at (859) 233-0147 or firstname.lastname@example.org
* Tamzali, Y. (2006) Chronic weight loss syndrome in the horse: a 60-case retrospective study. Equine Veterinary Education/American Edition
, December 2006, p. 372–380.