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Practice Name

Alpine Animal Hospital

Primary Location
17776 Highway 82
Carbondale, CO 81623
Phone: (970) 963-2371
Fax: (970) 963-2372

Office Hours

DayHours
Monday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Wednesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM2:00 PM
SundayClosed
Main Content

Equine Dentistry and Dental Surgery

Click here to watch an Equine Oral Exam

Click Here to watch an Equine Dental Health Video!

Horses need regular preventive dental maintenance every six months to yearly. Unlike people, horses’ teeth have an eruption rate of 2 to 3 mm per year. The teeth should wear in correspondence to yearly eruption rate. Malocclusions, or improper position of the teeth, can lead to many health issues and behavioral problems.

Dentistry is an aspect of horse management that’s often overlooked. Horse owners should remember the value of an annual dental checkup. Checking for uneven teeth wear beginning as a yearling and once a year thereafter is a sound practice. Proper teeth care benefits both the horse and owner. A well functioning mouthful of teeth allows better utilization of feed while chewing, thereby reducing feed expenses. This can help maintain better condition and general health, help prevent colic and esophageal choke and can greatly improve responsiveness to the bit. Most equine tooth problems involve the cheek teeth of the upper and lower jawbones. These teeth are called premolars and molars.

Horses grind feed with side-to-side and an up-and-down chewing. As a result of the horse’s lower jaw being narrower than its upper jaw and grinding motion during chewing, sharp points tend to form along the edges even in normal horses. Points form on the cheek side of the upper jaw and the tongue side of the lower jaw. On the upper teeth, the outside edge toward the jaw is the unused edge. On the bottom teeth, the inside edge toward the tongue will be unused. This uneven grinding surface causes an inefficiency in grinding feed. Over time, unused sharp edges can elongate and cause malocclusion, irritation and lacerations to the gums. These cuts in the cheeks and gums ( sores and ulcers) often have negative effects on performance while riding. A list of clinical signs associated with dental problems includes:

  • loss of feed from mouth while eating
  • difficulty chewing or excess salivation
  • loss of body condition
  • large, undigested food particles in manure
  • head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue rolling
  • fighting the bit or resisting the bridle
  • bucking or failing to stop or turn
  • foul odor from mouth or nostrils
  • traces of blood in mouth
  • nasal discharge or facial swelling

Some horses show no noticeable signs because they just simply adapt to their discomfort. Waiting too long for treatment may increase the treatment needed or may even make remedy impossible, resulting in tooth loss

The relatively simple and inexpensive practice of dental floating/equilibration removes the sharp edges from the cheek teeth along the upper and lower jaws and adjusts the occlusal surfaces as necessary. The goal of floating is to maintain the symmetry and balance of the arcade and to allow free chewing motion. A dental exam also provides the opportunity to perform preventative medical & dental maintenance procedures and avoid having relatively minor problems become serious in the future. At the same time bit seats are contoured to ensure maximal responsiveness to the bit. Now is the perfect time to have your horse checked before the hard winter season arrives.

Dental Surgery

New Patients Welcome

Learn about Fear Free Visits to the Vet and the Certified Fear Free Professionals at Alpine Animal Hospital.


New Patient Welcome

Refer a friend or family member to our clinic and receive a $25 credit to your account and your friend will receive a $25 credit as well.

Sign up using the form below or call (970) 963-2371 to make an appointment.

Name: *
Email: *
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Featured Services

Services We strive to provide complete care for our patients. Learn more about all the services we provide. Make An Appointment Refer a friend or family member to our clinic and receive a $25 credit to your account and your friend will receive a $25 credit as well. Online Forms Our patient forms are available online so they can be completed in the convenience of your own home or office.

Petsimonials

This is the best vet hospital I've ever experienced with multi-generational Maltese puppies. The best ! We are so grateful to have Alpine Vet Hospital in Carbondale, Co

 

Very impressed with the teamwork you all do and we're also fans of the Fear
Free mission. It's nice having care for our pets that is as knowledgeable
and reassuring as you all are. Keep up the good work!

   
Alpine Animal Hospital
has 64 reviews & surveys
from actual clients
 
97.06 %
Overall rating

Read them all

Office Hours

DayHours
Monday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Tuesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Wednesday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Thursday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Friday8:00 AM5:00 PM
Saturday8:00 AM2:00 PM
SundayClosed
Day Hours
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM 8:00 AM Closed
5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 5:00 PM 2:00 PM

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