Drug testing

Float a Horses Teeth -- What Does that Mean and Why is it Necessary?

So what does it mean to float a horse's teeth? I'm sure you've heard this a time or two (if you haven't, sooner or later you will from another horse owner or from your vet), and if you're like me, you imagined for the longest time what this could possibly mean and wondered what it involved.

To float a horse's teeth certainly sounds funny, too.

Floating means to smooth or contour your horse's teeth with a file (called a "float"). Unlike your own teeth, your horse's teeth keep growing. At times, your horse's teeth may develop sharp edges, making it difficult for her to chew food, hold a bit, or simply have pain and discomfort inside her mouth.

An adult horse may have between 36-44 permanent teeth. And just like humans, your horse gets two sets of teeth in her lifetime. Your horse starts out with temporary baby teeth and by age five, will most likely have her full set of permanent teeth.

The horse's front teeth cut hay and grass, while the top and bottom cheek teeth grind the forage between the flat surfaces in a sideways motion. This grinding action breaks down the food into a pulp before swallowing which helps it to be digested better. If your horse is unable to grind down food all the way due to uneven teeth surfaces, the unchewed food will not be digested as well.

Most often, points develop on the upper cheek teeth toward the outside of the mouth next to your horse's cheek. And on the bottom cheek teeth toward the inside of the mouth next to your horse's tongue. These points can then cut into the cheek and tongue making your horse uncomfortable.

Though it may seem tedious and like a burden, you know having routine dentist check-ups contribute to the overall good health of your own teeth. Well, your horse is no different and deserves some of the same attention to her teeth as you give to yours. Confined horses or those that do not have the ability to graze all day are more prone to teeth overgrowth, as they are not naturally grinding their teeth all day to keep them smooth. Also, just like you, your horse can have other dental problems. A horse can have excessively worn teeth, loose or broken teeth, or infected gums.

One sign that your horse's teeth may need to be floated is if she is consistently dropping food from her mouth and you start seeing signs of weight loss. Your horse may also exhibit behavior like head-tossing or opening her mouth frequently.

Possible horse dental problem indicators:

  • Drops food from her mouth
  • Exhibits difficulty in chewing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Loss of weight
  • Undigested food particles in manure
  • Head-tossing
  • Excessive bit chewing
  • Resisting having the bridle put on
  • Difficult handling while riding
  • Mouth odor
  • Blood in the mouth
  • Face swelling
  • Nasal discharge

Because horses are adaptable creatures, even if they are having discomfort, some do not show any signs of dental problems. So don't assume that if there are no symptoms, there are no problems.

Sharp teeth edges can hurt the inside of your horse's mouth causing pain and creating sores on her tongue or cheeks. Your horse may show resistance when riding due to added pain from the bit pressing against the sores.

The vet or equine dentist will carefully file all your horse's teeth that need smoothing to achieve a flat grinding surface between the upper and lower teeth. Having your horse's teeth floated is well worth it so she digests her food better, is in better spirits, and makes riding more enjoyable for you both.

How often floating is necessary varies quite a bit from one horse to another. Some horses seem to have slower-growing teeth and may require floating only once every several years while others may require floating every few months. Even if your horse does not require her teeth to be floated often, it is still a good idea to have her teeth and gums examined once a year.

The procedure the vet typically uses to float your horse's teeth is to first sedate your horse to make her relaxed. A special halter is put on with a rope thrown over a ceiling rafter or the equivalent in order to hold your horse's head up. A mouth speculum is used to keep your horse's mouth open. The vet will then either manually file your horse's teeth using a rasp in a back and forth motion to flatten the high points, or may use a power tool. The whole procedure is quick and painless - taking about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

If you're like me, you cringe at the thought of someone filing away on your teeth with a rasp. You can imagine the shooting pain from the nerves in your teeth. Personally, the dentist can't give me enough Novocain to make me feel comfortable before poking around or drilling in my mouth.

Unlike us, a horse's nerves end close to the gumline, so there is no nerve where the tooth is being worked on, and therefore does not feel any nerve pain. We humans should be so lucky.

Randall Holman, site owner of Front Range Frenzy and horse enthusiast, is the author of the above article. You will find other easy and practical basic horse care information on his website: http://www.FrontRangeFrenzy.com.

In The News:

Skygazers will be treated to the “super snow moon,” on Feb. 19, the largest supermoon of 2019.
In November 2016, astronomers watched a young star some 1,500 light-years away from Earth belch out an explosion of plasma and radiation that was roughly 10 billion times more powerful than any flare ever seen leaving Earth's sun. This sudden stellar eruption may be the most luminous known flare ever released by a young star — and it could help scientists better understand the still-murky process of star formation.
An audacious attempt to find explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance has been called off after the expedition team lost an undersea drone beneath Antarctic ice.
“Our wish is to fly this year,” NASA official Thomas Zurbuchen said at the surprise announcement of a new Moon mission overnight. “We want to incentive speed … We want to start taking shots on goal.”
Bones recently found in a Siberian cave have given researchers a new glimpse into the timeline of an extinct human species. The species – known as Denisovans – at one time lived alongside Neanderthals in the same cave, the evidence showed.
NASA's Opportunity Rover has died on Mars.
A rare 12th-century triple toilet seat will be going on display at a London museum later this year.
Ex-baseball player Jose Canseco has officially joined the group that believes "the truth is out there" and is on the hunt for UFOs and Bigfoot. 
MILAN (AP) — Archaeologists have discovered a fresco in an ancient Pompeii residence that portrays the mythological hunter Narcissus, who fell in love with his own reflection.
It’s a river unlike any in Australia — and a fortnight ago it barely existed.

Doggie Day Care is an Awesome Alternative

Doggie day care is becoming more and more prevalent in... Read More

DOG ID TAGS-Identify and Protect Your Dog With Any of These Methods

The American Humane Society estimated that last year alone; fifteen... Read More

Westie Puppies For Sale ? 7 Important Questions To Ask Your West Highland Terrier Breeder

Let's say you've made up your mind on the breed... Read More

Secrets of Kitty Body Language

Kittens communicate in a very distinct way. Did you know... Read More

The Top 3 Tricks Horse Owners Can Use To Unspoil A Barn Spoiled Horse

It's been weeks since you went riding. Now you have... Read More

Tank Requirements For Discus Fish

For Discus fish, there are 2 consideration in tanks -... Read More

Can Cats And Dogs Live Together As Friends?

Can cats and dogs live together without constantly being at... Read More

Okay Lets Do A Poodle Again

My wife and I have been married for 32 years.... Read More

Tropical Fish Breeding for Beginners - Guppies and Swordtails

Breeding tropical fish can be a lot of fun. Try... Read More

Are You Ready for a Boxer?

Are you ready for a Boxer?The answer is "no" if... Read More

Pet Owners Are The Majority Population In The U.S.

According to recent statistics, an astounding 65% of all U.S.... Read More

*Understanding* - The First Of The 6 Keys To Building A Life Long Partnership With Your Horse

Yesterday we talked a little about the 6 Keys for... Read More

Buying a Custom Bird Cage

Many of us dream of having a beautiful, exotic bird... Read More

Antibiotics? I Think Not

Have you noticed that doctors are now being much more... Read More

Lower Your Veterinarian Costs And Increase the Longevity of Your Pets Lives

What does doing natural preventative care mean? I thought vaccinating,... Read More

Dog Eye Problems - What To Watch Out For

Dog eye problems can occur at any time. You should... Read More

Canine Distemper

What is Canine Distemper?Canine distemper is a highly contagios disease... Read More

Dog Hygiene Basics

Giving your dog a bath is important, but not as... Read More

Does Your Dog Miss You Too Much?

Your dog seems to be driving you up the wall... Read More

Hamsters and their quest for world domination

"Hamsters?!" I hear you say. "Who cares about some fury... Read More

The 7 Stages of Puppy Development

Let's take a look at the different stages, but before... Read More

Tips For Keeping Your Pug Happy And Healthy

Bringing home a Pug can change our life, but it... Read More

The Joy Of Having Puppies!

One of the greatest thrills for a little boy or... Read More

Your Dogs Health; Why Dog Breath is No Laughing Matter

Your dogs health is important to you. You show her... Read More

Dog Trick To Cure A Nuisance Barker: Training Buddy to ?Speak? on Command

All breeds and sizes of dogs can be taught easily... Read More

broken street light led manufacturer in usa Pete's produce ..