Horses at Best Friends get dental care

Annual dental checkups are an important part of overall horse health. The horses at Best Friends hate to go to the dentist,
By Elizabeth Doyle

Jen Reid survived another yearly dental visit. And we’re glad to see her in one piece! The dental appointment wasn’t for her, of course. It was for the horses at Best Friends’ Horse Haven. But the way Thumper feels about having his teeth cleaned, she feels lucky to be standing.

Visiting the dentist for horses

Every year, the horses at Best Friends get a visit from the dentist, who cleans, checks, and floats (or files) their teeth. Jen’s job is to hold the horses still while he works. "And every year," she said, "Thumper tries to kill us."

This year, while he was getting sedated, he leaned into her so hard that she was smashed against a wall. Did she really think he was trying to kill her? "At that moment, I don’t think he would have minded," she said with a laugh.

Sheesh. Some critters really hate the dentist!

Equine dental problems

So why does she continue to brave this task every year? Well, because teeth problems are one of the biggest health hazards to horses. Their teeth often become uneven and start scraping up their mouths. If their teeth get really bad, they can no longer chew and then they start to lose weight. A horse’s teeth never stop growing! So they need yearly dental care to keep those teeth in good shape. Like it or not!

So Thumper’s and all the other horses’ teeth are now comfortable and cared for. But after all that struggle, will Thumper ever forgive Jen? "He’ll get over it," she said. "But I will have to kiss up and bring him some carrots."

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