For the few years that I’ve had Eva I have always got the vet to check and do her teeth. There wasn’t any particular reason that I didn’t use an equine dentist, as it was a service my vet offered I accepted and I just kept it that way.
The yard I’m at booked a dentist to come and do a few horses at the yard so I thought I may as well add Eva to the list and get a more specialised opinion on them.
Before he even got started I immediately liked the way he handled her. Firm but kind. Evas’ eyes were popping out her head at a strange man entering her stable without prior written permission – and without me due to distancing – but he took it all in his stride speaking to her and but not letting her take charge.
He pointed out that Eva has an ‘Alpha Mare tooth’ on her lower jaw (which made me giggle a little as it does suit her personality – she runs the field she is in)
An ‘alpha mare tooth is a canine tooth, that mares don’t normally grown but it is not uncommon. Heres a bit of a better explanation….
Canines: Canine teeth or ‘tushes’ as they are more commonly known are the short and often-sharp teeth found in the gap or ‘diastema’ between the incisor teeth and cheek teeth on both the upper and lower sides of the mouth. Although generally only found in male horses, small canine teeth can also be found in some mares. Canine teeth erupt at around 4-5 years of age. The original purpose of canine teeth was as fighting weaponry and as such they serve no useful function in the modern horse. **
Eva had a few sharp bits that needed seen to, while he worked he let her move about a little bit so that she didn’t feel trapped. Evas eyes may of been popping out of her head, at the sheer shock that I was allowing someone to be so intrusive with her, but although she was not 100% happy she allowed the dentist to work away.
One thing that the dentist did note was there was a possible Diastema forming, which is essentially a gap between teeth that could lead to food getting trapped there, in order to fix this the gap needs widened so that the food doesn’t get trapped.
While he said that it looked like it was the very beginning, he advised I should get a vets opinion, and I would rather get these things see to as early as possible. As it isn’t an emergency I might have to wait a little with everything going on with Covid-19 but I am going to book an appointment in.
I have done a bit of reading on diastemas from various sources and, like with everything earlier the better, and it seems to be a straight forward procedure to sort it but it has to be a vet that does it and not an equine dentist.
Overall I’m very glad I got the dentist to Eva, she didn’t need sedating and hopefully we have spotted the diastema and can get it sorted before it becomes an issue!