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Float a Horses Teeth -- What Does that Mean and Why is it Necessary?


So what does it mean to float a horse's teeth? I'm sure you've heard this a time or two (if you haven't, sooner or later you will from another horse owner or from your vet), and if you're like me, you imagined for the longest time what this could possibly mean and wondered what it involved.

To float a horse's teeth certainly sounds funny, too.

Floating means to smooth or contour your horse's teeth with a file (called a "float"). Unlike your own teeth, your horse's teeth keep growing. At times, your horse's teeth may develop sharp edges, making it difficult for her to chew food, hold a bit, or simply have pain and discomfort inside her mouth.

An adult horse may have between 36-44 permanent teeth. And just like humans, your horse gets two sets of teeth in her lifetime. Your horse starts out with temporary baby teeth and by age five, will most likely have her full set of permanent teeth.

The horse's front teeth cut hay and grass, while the top and bottom cheek teeth grind the forage between the flat surfaces in a sideways motion. This grinding action breaks down the food into a pulp before swallowing which helps it to be digested better. If your horse is unable to grind down food all the way due to uneven teeth surfaces, the unchewed food will not be digested as well.

Most often, points develop on the upper cheek teeth toward the outside of the mouth next to your horse's cheek. And on the bottom cheek teeth toward the inside of the mouth next to your horse's tongue. These points can then cut into the cheek and tongue making your horse uncomfortable.

Though it may seem tedious and like a burden, you know having routine dentist check-ups contribute to the overall good health of your own teeth. Well, your horse is no different and deserves some of the same attention to her teeth as you give to yours. Confined horses or those that do not have the ability to graze all day are more prone to teeth overgrowth, as they are not naturally grinding their teeth all day to keep them smooth. Also, just like you, your horse can have other dental problems. A horse can have excessively worn teeth, loose or broken teeth, or infected gums.

One sign that your horse's teeth may need to be floated is if she is consistently dropping food from her mouth and you start seeing signs of weight loss. Your horse may also exhibit behavior like head-tossing or opening her mouth frequently.

Possible horse dental problem indicators:

Because horses are adaptable creatures, even if they are having discomfort, some do not show any signs of dental problems. So don't assume that if there are no symptoms, there are no problems.

Sharp teeth edges can hurt the inside of your horse's mouth causing pain and creating sores on her tongue or cheeks. Your horse may show resistance when riding due to added pain from the bit pressing against the sores.

The vet or equine dentist will carefully file all your horse's teeth that need smoothing to achieve a flat grinding surface between the upper and lower teeth. Having your horse's teeth floated is well worth it so she digests her food better, is in better spirits, and makes riding more enjoyable for you both.

How often floating is necessary varies quite a bit from one horse to another. Some horses seem to have slower-growing teeth and may require floating only once every several years while others may require floating every few months. Even if your horse does not require her teeth to be floated often, it is still a good idea to have her teeth and gums examined once a year.

The procedure the vet typically uses to float your horse's teeth is to first sedate your horse to make her relaxed. A special halter is put on with a rope thrown over a ceiling rafter or the equivalent in order to hold your horse's head up. A mouth speculum is used to keep your horse's mouth open. The vet will then either manually file your horse's teeth using a rasp in a back and forth motion to flatten the high points, or may use a power tool. The whole procedure is quick and painless - taking about 15 to 20 minutes to complete.

If you're like me, you cringe at the thought of someone filing away on your teeth with a rasp. You can imagine the shooting pain from the nerves in your teeth. Personally, the dentist can't give me enough Novocain to make me feel comfortable before poking around or drilling in my mouth.

Unlike us, a horse's nerves end close to the gumline, so there is no nerve where the tooth is being worked on, and therefore does not feel any nerve pain. We humans should be so lucky.

Randall Holman, site owner of Front Range Frenzy and horse enthusiast, is the author of the above article. You will find other easy and practical basic horse care information on his website: http://www.FrontRangeFrenzy.com.


TODAYS NEWS BY OFFICEJAX FREE ADVERTISING AND AD EXCHANGE SOLUTIONSMORE PETS INFORMATION RESOURCES updated Sun. September / 27 / 2020

In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort? - The New York Times
In Isolating Times, Can Robo-Pets Provide Comfort?  The New York Times

Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows - Science Daily
Pets linked to maintaining better mental health and reducing loneliness during lockdown, new research shows  Science Daily

Pets of the week: Trip and Louie - Billings Gazette
Pets of the week: Trip and Louie  Billings Gazette

PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle | djournal.com - Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
PETS OF THE WEEK | Lifestyle | djournal.com  Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal

Dr. Maro: Know the signs of pain in pets - The Times
Dr. Maro: Know the signs of pain in pets  The Times

Pets of the week: Dozer and Haley are two happy, energetic dogs in need of new homes - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Dozer and Haley are two happy, energetic dogs in need of new homes  MLive.com

Wally: Pet of the Week 9-27.20 - Tyler Morning Telegraph
Wally: Pet of the Week 9-27.20  Tyler Morning Telegraph

Poisonous toads roaming in Florida could be deadly for your pets - FOX 35 Orlando
Poisonous toads roaming in Florida could be deadly for your pets  FOX 35 Orlando

SPCA continues no lost pets campaign by microchipping animals - WABI
SPCA continues no lost pets campaign by microchipping animals  WABI

3 displaced, 15 pets dead, 1 firefighter injured following house fire in Suffolk - WAVY.com
3 displaced, 15 pets dead, 1 firefighter injured following house fire in Suffolk  WAVY.com

Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets - WGRZ.com
Erie County offers free rabies vaccinations for pets  WGRZ.com

Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home - The Daily Nonpareil
Clean carpets possess a deeper meaning than just an inviting home  The Daily Nonpareil

Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Jordan - nwitimes.com
Gallery: Pets of the week: Meet Jordan  nwitimes.com

Adoptable pets in Tucson - Arizona Daily Star
Adoptable pets in Tucson  Arizona Daily Star

FOTAS: County shelter pets find fantastic forever homes - Charleston Post Courier
FOTAS: County shelter pets find fantastic forever homes  Charleston Post Courier

Firefighter suffers minor injuries, pets die in fire - The Suffolk News-Herald - Suffolk News-Herald
Firefighter suffers minor injuries, pets die in fire - The Suffolk News-Herald  Suffolk News-Herald

30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game - Today.com
30 adoptable pets get ‘courtside’ seats at NBA playoff game  Today.com

Points for Pets: Dental disease is most common disease among older cats, dogs - WV News
Points for Pets: Dental disease is most common disease among older cats, dogs  WV News

Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets - THV11.com KTHV
Cabot animal shelter using facial recognition to help find lost pets  THV11.com KTHV

PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel - The Franklin Sun
PUPS Act introduced to keep pets, owners together after travel  The Franklin Sun

Ammon reptile owners talk about surrendered pets - Local News 8 - LocalNews8.com
Ammon reptile owners talk about surrendered pets - Local News 8  LocalNews8.com

SMVHS Pet of the Week: Duke - Lompoc Record
SMVHS Pet of the Week: Duke  Lompoc Record

Annual pet blessing held as a drive-thru event due to ongoing pandemic - WLOS
Annual pet blessing held as a drive-thru event due to ongoing pandemic  WLOS

Pet owners felt less lonely and stressed during COVID-19 lockdown - Earth.com
Pet owners felt less lonely and stressed during COVID-19 lockdown  Earth.com

Annual pet costume contest goes virtual to raise money for animal groups - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Annual pet costume contest goes virtual to raise money for animal groups  Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Check out these solutions for your pets! - yurview.com
Check out these solutions for your pets!  yurview.com

PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits - Chron.com
PET TALK: Chickens can be pets, but they also have other benefits  Chron.com

Buy these stocks to ride the pandemic 'pet boom,' according to Bank of America - CNBC
Buy these stocks to ride the pandemic 'pet boom,' according to Bank of America  CNBC

Big Flats house fire takes the life of one man and family pets - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Big Flats house fire takes the life of one man and family pets  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Pets and People: Putting two feet first | Pets And Animals - Frederick News Post
Pets and People: Putting two feet first | Pets And Animals  Frederick News Post

Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Meet Duchess  WCAX

Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston County Animal Resource Center pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster - STLtoday.com
Meet our pets of the week: Two Lab mixes and a rooster  STLtoday.com

Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families - University of Georgia
Stanton Foundation grant to help pets, families  University of Georgia

The Majority Of Pet Owners Admit Cancelling Plans To Hang Out With Their Furry Friends - Tyla
The Majority Of Pet Owners Admit Cancelling Plans To Hang Out With Their Furry Friends  Tyla

Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds - PEOPLE
Majority of Pet Owners Admit to Canceling Plans to Hang with Dog Instead, Survey Finds  PEOPLE

Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds - Fox News
Pet owners cancel plans to spend time with dogs, cats instead, Pet Census finds  Fox News

Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week - Galveston County Daily News
Galveston Island Humane Society pets of the week  Galveston County Daily News

You All Need To Pet The Dog In Hades More - Kotaku
You All Need To Pet The Dog In Hades More  Kotaku

Photos: Hoosiers fall in love with new pets this autumn at free adoption event - The Indianapolis Star
Photos: Hoosiers fall in love with new pets this autumn at free adoption event  The Indianapolis Star

Sponsor spotlight: Pet safety during a home remodel - My Edmonds News
Sponsor spotlight: Pet safety during a home remodel  My Edmonds News

Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets - myfox8.com
Local sisters make ‘furrtastic’ accessories for pets  myfox8.com

How to get a pet in Among Us: Step by step guide - Sportskeeda
How to get a pet in Among Us: Step by step guide  Sportskeeda

NYC woman sues pet shop for not letting her take pricey poodle home - New York Post
NYC woman sues pet shop for not letting her take pricey poodle home  New York Post

What do pet owners think about CBD? Study says... - Jill Lopez
What do pet owners think about CBD? Study says...  Jill Lopez

Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets - 1430wcmy.com
Blue green algae poses danger to swimmers and pets  1430wcmy.com

Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk - Agri News
Is your pet's food making you sick? Study finds many don't know the risk  Agri News

Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com - Idaho Mountain Express and Guide
Pet Talk | Features | mtexpress.com  Idaho Mountain Express and Guide

United Pet Fund in Blue Ash collecting donations Sunday - WKRC TV Cincinnati
United Pet Fund in Blue Ash collecting donations Sunday  WKRC TV Cincinnati

Lost Dog, Husky/Pitbull Mix in Robbins | Pets | thepilot.com - Southern Pines Pilot
Lost Dog, Husky/Pitbull Mix in Robbins | Pets | thepilot.com  Southern Pines Pilot

Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA) - FDA.gov
Real Pet Food Company of Phoenix, AZ Voluntarily Recalls One Lot of Billy+Margot Wild Kangaroo and Superfoods Recipe Dog Food in 4 lb Bags Because of a Possible Salmonella Health Risk (USA)  FDA.gov

Pets of the week: Darling London has a friendly personality, loves to play fetch - Victoria Advocate
Pets of the week: Darling London has a friendly personality, loves to play fetch  Victoria Advocate

Pet of the Week: Billie Jean - South Bend Tribune
Pet of the Week: Billie Jean  South Bend Tribune

El Paso Animal Services helps feed needy pets with a food bank - KVIA El Paso
El Paso Animal Services helps feed needy pets with a food bank  KVIA El Paso

Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island - Long Island Press
Sick 9/11 Hero's Dog Among Pets Up For Adoption on Long Island  Long Island Press

CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo - Lompoc Record
CAPA Pet of the Week: Canelo  Lompoc Record

Pet Toys Market : development, key opportunity, and forecast to 2026 | Kong, chuck it, Jolly pets, Nylabone, Petmate - The Daily Chronicle
Pet Toys Market : development, key opportunity, and forecast to 2026 | Kong, chuck it, Jolly pets, Nylabone, Petmate  The Daily Chronicle

Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes - Tampa Bay Times
Tampa Bay area pets looking for forever homes  Tampa Bay Times

COVID-19 roundup: Strong immune response from J&J vaccine as antibodies found in pets | Daily Sabah - Daily Sabah
COVID-19 roundup: Strong immune response from J&J vaccine as antibodies found in pets | Daily Sabah  Daily Sabah

Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets - WFXRtv.com
Three rabies cases confirmed in Roanoke City and County; experts remind pet owners to vaccinate their pets  WFXRtv.com

Peter Fischetti: Losing a pet: Her heart failed, and ours broke - The News Herald
Peter Fischetti: Losing a pet: Her heart failed, and ours broke  The News Herald

Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27 - SILive.com
Cuddle with a new friend this fall — adopt a pet: Sept. 26-27  SILive.com

Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Barney is the perfect family dog. Zelda is just plain adorable  MLive.com

Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend - washingtoncountyinsider.com
Jobs, jobs, jobs at Pet Supplies Plus in West Bend  washingtoncountyinsider.com

Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’ - MarketWatch
Here are some of the companies that could benefit from COVID's ‘pet boom’  MarketWatch

Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending - Lake Expo
Dead, Malnourished Pets Found In Camden County; Charges Pending  Lake Expo

All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets - Prescott Daily Courier
All About Pets: Emergency preparations for your pets  Prescott Daily Courier

Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet! - Waterbury Republican American
Hit the Paws Button: Vote for your favorite pet!  Waterbury Republican American

Keeping pets at a healthy weight - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Keeping pets at a healthy weight  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

These household items can be poisonous to your pets - KSAT San Antonio
These household items can be poisonous to your pets  KSAT San Antonio

Grab Rover and drive over to church for a pet blessing - Sun Sentinel
Grab Rover and drive over to church for a pet blessing  Sun Sentinel

Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets - KOIN.com
Pet Health: Smoky air especially harmful to pets  KOIN.com

Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Real Pet Food Company recalls dog food due to possible salmonella contamination  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

World's largest pet walk to take place Sept. 26 - Ponte Vedra Recorder
World's largest pet walk to take place Sept. 26  Ponte Vedra Recorder

How Pets May Improve Our Immunity - Psychology Today
How Pets May Improve Our Immunity  Psychology Today

Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News - Galveston County Daily News
Friendswood Animal Control pet of the week | Lifestyle | The Daily News  Galveston County Daily News

6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets - MSN Money
6 Things to Know About Insuring Your Pets  MSN Money

Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week - Clark, NJ Patch
Nominate Your Pet For Clark-Garwoods Pet Of The Week  Clark, NJ Patch

Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc - WMDT
Pets on the Plaza: Meet Roxy - 47abc  WMDT

MRI and PET Reveal Parkinson's Is Two Diseases - Diagnostic Imaging
MRI and PET Reveal Parkinson's Is Two Diseases  Diagnostic Imaging

28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love - CNN
28 top-rated Amazon products your pets will love  CNN

Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20 - SILive.com
Get cozy with one of these 20 adoptable pets: Sept. 19-20  SILive.com

Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby - Duluth News Tribune
Pet of the week: A senior Lab looking for a good rope toy, and a petite, quiet tabby  Duluth News Tribune

Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires - KPTV.com
Salem animal hospital offers free treatment for pets hurt in area wildfires  KPTV.com

Woman starts community pet food pantry to help owners during the pandemic - Yahoo News
Woman starts community pet food pantry to help owners during the pandemic  Yahoo News

Pet of the Week: Oliver - County 17
Pet of the Week: Oliver  County 17

Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap - WATE 6 On Your Side
Young-Williams Animal Center Pet of the Week: Dr. Yap  WATE 6 On Your Side

PET OF THE WEEK - Sky Hi News
PET OF THE WEEK  Sky Hi News

The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet - CNBC
The global pandemic's newest luxury traveler? Your pet  CNBC

Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters - KLAS - 8 News Now
Free pet adoptions this weekend at animal shelters  KLAS - 8 News Now

Austin Humane Society distributes thousands of pounds of pet food - FOX 7 Austin
Austin Humane Society distributes thousands of pounds of pet food  FOX 7 Austin

Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade' - KTIV
Siouxland Humane Society hosts 18th annual 'Pets on Parade'  KTIV

Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit! - newstalkkit.com
Is Your Pet Spoiled? Just A Little Bit!  newstalkkit.com

Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days - PRNewswire
Help Pets in Need Find a Forever Family During PetSmart Charities® National Adoption Days  PRNewswire

Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi - KBTX
Aggieland Humane Society Pet of the Week: Yogi  KBTX

Pets with Potential: Sky - WCAX
Pets with Potential: Sky  WCAX

Best Pet Pampering: The Woof Dog Daycare and Boarding - Journal Times
Best Pet Pampering: The Woof Dog Daycare and Boarding  Journal Times

Advice on raising pets makes most owners have a cow, survey finds - Israel Hayom
Advice on raising pets makes most owners have a cow, survey finds  Israel Hayom

Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs - The Arizona Republic
Pet stores at Arizona malls accused of selling 'puppy mill' dogs  The Arizona Republic

Pet tortoises are being eaten ALIVE by hungry rats deprived of kitchen scraps during lockdown - Daily Mail
Pet tortoises are being eaten ALIVE by hungry rats deprived of kitchen scraps during lockdown  Daily Mail

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