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Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.comHorse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com   Horse Training, Horse Care, and Riding Books and Videos from Cherry Hill at www.horsekeeping.com  

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October 25, 2008

Wolf Teeth in Older Horses

  2008 Cherry Hill   Copyright Information

Cherry,

I have read up on wolf teeth and everything that I have read has talked about wolf teeth being pulled in younger horses- yearlings and two-year-olds. What about older horses, like seven and up? You mentioned age having an affect on pulling wolf teeth, but what is that affect?

Cherry Hill's Horsekeeping AlmanacI have a seven year old gelding that still has his wolf teeth. I have had him for a year and he has not shown signs of them bothering him until these last couple of months, so I started to read up on them. Is it possible to have his wolf teeth pulled even at his age?

Thank you very much for your time,

Christina

 

Hi Christina,

It is best if you have your veterinarian look at your aged gelding to determine if pulling the wolf teeth would be better than leaving them in place. It is different for each horse and every veterinarian has his or her own preferences.

In young horses, when the wolf teeth first come in, the roots are shallow and more easily separated from the jaw bone than they are in older horses. When I have observed wolf teeth being removed on mature horses, the veterinarian uses a variety of dental elevators to push the gums away from the wolf tooth before extraction with forceps. Sometimes, if the root has ankylosed (fused) to the bone, the root is broken when the tooth is extracted and part of the root remains in the socket. This may or may not cause a problem.

But rather than take any chances with wolf tooth removal in older horses, your veterinarian might prefer to cut and file the tooth down to the gum. Sometimes this alleviates the problem the horse has with the bit.

Horse Health Care by Cherry HillTo read more about dental exams and wolf teeth, refer to my photographic guide Horse Health Care,

and check out this article about Wolf Teeth.

Cherry Hill horse trainer and author of 30 books and DVDs

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