Patterson Animal Hospital

Equine Dental Care

These are signs that a horse is having problems with his teeth:


  • long, unchewed particles of hay in manure
  • changes in eating or drinking habits
  • irregular movement of lower jaw
  • bumps or enlargement on jaw/side of face
  • abnormal tongue carriage
  • sharp points on front of first lower or upper molars
  • oral pain
  • head shy
  • quidding – dropping partially chewed food from mouth
  • weight loss
  • halitosis
  • abnormal slurping sound during chewing
  • food pocketing between teeth
  • loosening and loss of teeth
  • lacerations of cheek and tongue
  • “hamster-like” cheek swelling
  • very slow chewing
  • inappetence
  • holding head in abnormal position during eating
  • using one side of the mouth for chewing
  • reluctance to eat hay
  • spending more time eating
  • abnormal head carriage
  • resistance to bit
  • head shaking during work
  • foul smelling, chronic nasal discharge from one nostril
  • excess salivation
  • bleeding from mouth
  • swelling or distortion of lips
  • tooth displacement

A horse's long term health can be affected by poor dental care. If your horse has any of the above symptoms it may be due to its oral condition. Patterson Animal Hospital offers routine oral care for your horse and if it's a complicated case that needs more advanced care we can get you a referral to make sure your horses needs are met.