Geertsema Equine Services Inc.
Health & Wellness
for your horses overall health & well being.
to Recognize your Horse's Dental Problems
Horses with dental problems may show obvious
signs, such as pain or irritation, or they may show no noticeable signs
at all. This is because some horses simply adapt to their
discomfort. For this reason, periodic dental examinations are
essential to your horse's health.
It is important to catch dental problems
early. If a horse starts behaving abnormally, dental problems
should be considered as a potential cause. Waiting too long may
increase the difficulty of remedying certain conditions or may even make
remedy impossible. Look for the following indicators of dental
problems from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) to
know when to seek veterinary attention for your horse:
- Loss of feed from
mouth while eating, difficulty with chewing, or excessive
- Loss of body
- Large or
undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure.
- Head tilting or
tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit, or resisting
- Poor performance,
such as lugging on the bridle, failing to turn or stop, even
- Foul odor from
mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth.
- Nasal discharge or
swelling of the face, jaw or mouth tissues.
Oral exams should be an essential part of an annual
physical examination by a veterinarian.
Every dental exam
provides the opportunity to perform routine preventative dental
maintenance. Mature horses should get a thorough dental exam at least
once a year, and horses 2 -5 years old should be examined twice
Vaccinations: diseases known to our local surroundings:
highly contagious viral respiratory disease characterized by a dry
Tetanus (Lock Jaw)
toxins pass through the body to the brain via local nerves. There is an
irritation on nerves causing muscle spasms. Death may occur due to the
paralysis of respiratory muscles and asphyxiation.
contagious disease of the upper respiratory track and adjacent lymph
nodes especially between the jaws.
have been identified as major reservoirs for the virus. Mosquitoes
feeding on the birds then spread the virus while feeding on other species
including human or horse. Horses that have contracted the WNV may
have elevated temperature, listlessness, apathy, weakness, poor
coordination, partial or full paralysis, nervousness, lethargy or
drowsiness, and seizures.
To de-worm or not de-worm.....
First.... ask which de-wormers you should
use at different times of the year.
If your horse absolutely hates being
de-wormed, take an old syringe, wash it out and fill it with something
yummy like applesauce or molasses and water. Squirt this in your horse's
mouth every once in a while. Soon, he might not mind being de-wormed so much.
you haven't de-wormed your horse in a while, cut down on his hard feed
(pellets, sweet feed) the day before, the day of and the day after his
de-worming. The de-wormer may kill a lot of worms which could get stuck
in his intestines. You don't want large quantities of digested feed
getting stuck behind the worm blockage because this causes colic.
Worms can develop a resistance to one
de-wormer if it is given all of the time. You need to rotate your
de-wormers. Ask for a rotation schedule.
Worms thrive in moist, warm environments so
you must get serious about de-worming all of your horses in the spring
When you use a paste de-wormer, put the syringe in
the corner of your horse's mouth and aim for the back of his tongue. Squirt the paste in
one quick motion, making sure that your horse's mouth is empty before
administering. After squirting the de-wormer paste into your horse's
mouth, hold his head up for a moment to make sure he doesn't spit it
de-wormer can make a dog really sick, so make sure you clean up any spilt
paste and throw syringes away after they are used.
Geertsema Equine Services Inc.
'Striving for excellence in veterinary care'
1495 Aldergrove, BC, V4W 2V1 Office:
604-857-5432 / 1-888-858-5432
604-729-2970 Pg: 604-918-1079