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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. June / 23 / 2024

Are We Loving Our Pets to Death? - The New York Times
Are We Loving Our Pets to Death?  The New York Times

How Canadian restaurants are making money by offering menu items for pets - The Globe and Mail
How Canadian restaurants are making money by offering menu items for pets  The Globe and Mail

Pets make for the best financial advisers and motivators. They force you to be more mindful about your spending, study ... - Fortune
Pets make for the best financial advisers and motivators. They force you to be more mindful about your spending, study ...  Fortune

32 Things That Pet Owners Who’ve Rescued Pets Swear By - HuffPost
32 Things That Pet Owners Who’ve Rescued Pets Swear By  HuffPost

Dewey loosens dog restrictions, so what beaches allow pets? - The News Journal
Dewey loosens dog restrictions, so what beaches allow pets?  The News Journal

West Des Moines woman pleads not guilty to animal neglect charges - KCCI Des Moines
West Des Moines woman pleads not guilty to animal neglect charges  KCCI Des Moines

Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river - WFLA
Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river  WFLA

Pet Wellness Fair Makes Vaccines, Services More Accessible To Oklahomans - News On 6
Pet Wellness Fair Makes Vaccines, Services More Accessible To Oklahomans  News On 6

US pet food recalls: More than 40% due to Salmonella - PetfoodIndustry.com
US pet food recalls: More than 40% due to Salmonella  PetfoodIndustry.com

How to navigate the end of your pet's life - Detroit News
How to navigate the end of your pet's life  Detroit News

The Costs of Caring for Pets - The New York Times
The Costs of Caring for Pets  The New York Times

Pets of the Week: Meet Popeye and Wilken - Brainerd Dispatch
Pets of the Week: Meet Popeye and Wilken  Brainerd Dispatch

Unwanted Houston area pets finding homes thanks to TikTok, Facebook - Houston Chronicle
Unwanted Houston area pets finding homes thanks to TikTok, Facebook  Houston Chronicle

Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat - Excelsior Citizen
Keeping Pets Safe in the Summer Heat  Excelsior Citizen

Bear spotted in Cape Coral, no pictures, bring in pets, police say - News-Press
Bear spotted in Cape Coral, no pictures, bring in pets, police say  News-Press

Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river - Yahoo! Voices
Florida residents warned to bring pets inside after bear spotted heading toward river  Yahoo! Voices

Tulsa Animal Welfare shares tips to prevent lost pets this July 4th - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare shares tips to prevent lost pets this July 4th  KTUL

Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10,000 and supplies for local pets - KOKH FOX25
Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10,000 and supplies for local pets  KOKH FOX25

Are we loving our pets to death? - West Hawaii Today
Are we loving our pets to death?  West Hawaii Today

Summer heat safety; Experts offer guidance for handling pets, children in hot cars - LehighValleyNews.com
Summer heat safety; Experts offer guidance for handling pets, children in hot cars  LehighValleyNews.com

Wellness End of Life Care Pets | | abqjournal.com - Albuquerque Journal
Wellness End of Life Care Pets | | abqjournal.com  Albuquerque Journal

Dr. Cynthia Maro: Protect pets and all animals from heat stroke and stress - The Times
Dr. Cynthia Maro: Protect pets and all animals from heat stroke and stress  The Times

How to keep pets safe and cool in summer heat - The Herald-News
How to keep pets safe and cool in summer heat  The Herald-News

Pets of the week: Texas Holden wants to enjoy your company. Charlie is independent - MLive.com
Pets of the week: Texas Holden wants to enjoy your company. Charlie is independent  MLive.com

Pet Simulator 99 Good vs Evil Event: Good vs Evil World, New Limited Huge Pets, and more - Sportskeeda
Pet Simulator 99 Good vs Evil Event: Good vs Evil World, New Limited Huge Pets, and more  Sportskeeda

How Pet Care Became a Big Business - The New York Times
How Pet Care Became a Big Business  The New York Times

Wellness End of Life Care Pets | | abqjournal.com - Albuquerque Journal
Wellness End of Life Care Pets | | abqjournal.com  Albuquerque Journal

PET OF THE WEEK: Easton - Odessa American
PET OF THE WEEK: Easton  Odessa American

Pets of the Week: June 23, 2024 | Lifestyles | marshallnewsmessenger.com - Marshall News Messenger
Pets of the Week: June 23, 2024 | Lifestyles | marshallnewsmessenger.com  Marshall News Messenger

Pet cremation service to open in Leetonia, offering water cremations - Mahoning Matters
Pet cremation service to open in Leetonia, offering water cremations  Mahoning Matters

WATCH: Palm Bay Man Escapes Vehicle Explosion, Saves Pets Inside Burning Home - SpaceCoastDaily.com
WATCH: Palm Bay Man Escapes Vehicle Explosion, Saves Pets Inside Burning Home  SpaceCoastDaily.com

Know these symptoms to avoid heat-related illnesses in humans, pets - WBAL Radio
Know these symptoms to avoid heat-related illnesses in humans, pets  WBAL Radio

Paws-itively Montana: Foster a pet this summer with the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter - Q2 News
Paws-itively Montana: Foster a pet this summer with the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter  Q2 News

10 Bath Time Products for Pets! – One Green Planet - One Green Planet
10 Bath Time Products for Pets! – One Green Planet  One Green Planet

Lewisville and TCAP to Host Affordable Vaccine Clinic for Pets on July 6th - Hoodline
Lewisville and TCAP to Host Affordable Vaccine Clinic for Pets on July 6th  Hoodline

Opinion | Grieving over your beloved pet who has died is perfectly OK - South China Morning Post
Opinion | Grieving over your beloved pet who has died is perfectly OK  South China Morning Post

WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL PET YOU’VE EVER HAD? (PART THREE) - FOX 28 Spokane
WHAT’S THE MOST UNUSUAL PET YOU’VE EVER HAD? (PART THREE)  FOX 28 Spokane

The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024) - MarketWatch
The Best Pet Insurance for Multiple Pets (2024)  MarketWatch

How to keep pets safe from summer heat - KPLC
How to keep pets safe from summer heat  KPLC

Owner describes Sailor as ‘Velcro puppy’ | Pet Photos - Leader Publications
Owner describes Sailor as ‘Velcro puppy’ | Pet Photos  Leader Publications

Pet of the Week: Spencer | News | bristolpress.com - The Bristol Press
Pet of the Week: Spencer | News | bristolpress.com  The Bristol Press

Petco Love Celebrates Foster a Pet Month, Reminds Pet Lovers You Can Save a Life - Parsippany Focus
Petco Love Celebrates Foster a Pet Month, Reminds Pet Lovers You Can Save a Life  Parsippany Focus

Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs PETS Act, Paving The Way For Veterinary Telehealth In The State - Tampa Free Press
Florida Gov. DeSantis Signs PETS Act, Paving The Way For Veterinary Telehealth In The State  Tampa Free Press

Bird flu in Michigan: How to protect your pets - Detroit Free Press
Bird flu in Michigan: How to protect your pets  Detroit Free Press

How to keep pets safe from summer heat - Lake Charles - KPLC
How to keep pets safe from summer heat - Lake Charles  KPLC

Health department distributes hundreds of vaccines to pets - WYMT
Health department distributes hundreds of vaccines to pets  WYMT

Hickory writer: Leave July 4 fireworks to pros, watch pets - Hickory Daily Record
Hickory writer: Leave July 4 fireworks to pros, watch pets  Hickory Daily Record

Free pet services offered to keep animals out of shelters thanks to 'Nuevo Chip Chicks' in IE - KABC-TV
Free pet services offered to keep animals out of shelters thanks to 'Nuevo Chip Chicks' in IE  KABC-TV

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of June 23 - Summit Daily
Pet Scene: Summit County's adoptable pets for the week of June 23  Summit Daily

Pets of the Week - SCNow
Pets of the Week  SCNow

Dogs unleashed: Michigan communities crack down on pets running wild - Detroit News
Dogs unleashed: Michigan communities crack down on pets running wild  Detroit News

For $335 an hour, these pet psychics will talk with your dog - SFGATE
For $335 an hour, these pet psychics will talk with your dog  SFGATE

Pet of the Week: Scarlett at Second Chance - Sentinel & Enterprise
Pet of the Week: Scarlett at Second Chance  Sentinel & Enterprise

Lifestyle briefs | Pet adoption event is also a fundraiser - Eureka Times-Standard
Lifestyle briefs | Pet adoption event is also a fundraiser  Eureka Times-Standard

The Animal Foundation to provide free pet ID tags, collar ahead of Fourth of July - News3LV
The Animal Foundation to provide free pet ID tags, collar ahead of Fourth of July  News3LV

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

2 adults, pet displaced after Matthews house fire - WBTV
2 adults, pet displaced after Matthews house fire  WBTV

C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue hosts safety event for pet owners - KY3
C.A.R.E. Animal Rescue hosts safety event for pet owners  KY3

Social Media Campaigns and Partnerships Fuel Nationwide Adoptions for Houston's Homeless Pets - Hoodline
Social Media Campaigns and Partnerships Fuel Nationwide Adoptions for Houston's Homeless Pets  Hoodline

Bird flu crisis escalates: Virus spreads to pets and wildlife in 31 US states - WION
Bird flu crisis escalates: Virus spreads to pets and wildlife in 31 US states  WION

Meet Kevin Bacon and Roscoe, this week’s CVAS pets of the week - Franklin County Free Press
Meet Kevin Bacon and Roscoe, this week’s CVAS pets of the week  Franklin County Free Press

FWACC reminds owners to protect pets from heat following 7 recent pet deaths - 21 Alive News
FWACC reminds owners to protect pets from heat following 7 recent pet deaths  21 Alive News

Oxygen masks for pets now part of standard fire engine equipment in Essex - Yahoo News UK
Oxygen masks for pets now part of standard fire engine equipment in Essex  Yahoo News UK

Harris County Pets hosting Pets On Wheels in Crosby - Houston Chronicle
Harris County Pets hosting Pets On Wheels in Crosby  Houston Chronicle

Meet this week's SPCA pets: Foxy, Honey Comb, Walter and Remus - The Ledger
Meet this week's SPCA pets: Foxy, Honey Comb, Walter and Remus  The Ledger

REMSA and SPCA advise on heat risks for kids and pets - KUNR Public Radio
REMSA and SPCA advise on heat risks for kids and pets  KUNR Public Radio

This NYC vet makes house calls. In 'Pets and the City,' she's penned a memoir full of tails - Waterbury Republican American
This NYC vet makes house calls. In 'Pets and the City,' she's penned a memoir full of tails  Waterbury Republican American

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Easy Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks - K945
Easy Tips for Keeping Your Pets Safe During 4th of July Fireworks  K945

How to keep your pets calm, relaxed during July Fourth fireworks, thunderstorms - The Columbus Dispatch
How to keep your pets calm, relaxed during July Fourth fireworks, thunderstorms  The Columbus Dispatch

Pets of the week - Greenfield Daily Reporter
Pets of the week  Greenfield Daily Reporter

Give a Shelter Pet a Snuggly Summer - countynewscenter.com
Give a Shelter Pet a Snuggly Summer  countynewscenter.com

Sonesta International Hotels welcomes pets this summer - KUTV 2News
Sonesta International Hotels welcomes pets this summer  KUTV 2News

Pets Page: Columbus Animal Care Services - The Republic
Pets Page: Columbus Animal Care Services  The Republic

Here’s where you can take your pets experiencing extreme heat in Lexington - Fox 56 News
Here’s where you can take your pets experiencing extreme heat in Lexington  Fox 56 News

Make summer travel with pets enjoyable, seamless | Features | davisenterprise.com - Davis Enterprise
Make summer travel with pets enjoyable, seamless | Features | davisenterprise.com  Davis Enterprise

Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) - Pima County
Pima Animal Care Center (PACC)  Pima County

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Conspiracy of Ravens - The New York Times
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s Conspiracy of Ravens  The New York Times

German Shepherds' Attempt To Deny Impressive 'Work' Performed on Gutter Is a Riot - Parade Pets
German Shepherds' Attempt To Deny Impressive 'Work' Performed on Gutter Is a Riot  Parade Pets

Owners of pet donkey lost 5 years ago near Auburn discover where he's been - CBS News
Owners of pet donkey lost 5 years ago near Auburn discover where he's been  CBS News

Pet Supplies Plus holds luau pet party and adoption event - WDTV
Pet Supplies Plus holds luau pet party and adoption event  WDTV

Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10000 and supplies for local pets - KOKH FOX25
Oklahoma City tattoo shop's drive nets $10000 and supplies for local pets  KOKH FOX25

Nationwide Insurance drops thousands of pet policies. Here's why | cbs8.com - CBS News 8
Nationwide Insurance drops thousands of pet policies. Here's why | cbs8.com  CBS News 8

How to Keep Pets Safe in Extreme Heat, Plus 7 Heatstroke Warning Signs - Good Housekeeping
How to Keep Pets Safe in Extreme Heat, Plus 7 Heatstroke Warning Signs  Good Housekeeping

West Valley City Animal Services hosts weekend adoption event to find homes for pets in need - KSL.com
West Valley City Animal Services hosts weekend adoption event to find homes for pets in need  KSL.com

Indiana heat wave affects pets, too. Here's how to keep them safe - IndyStar
Indiana heat wave affects pets, too. Here's how to keep them safe  IndyStar

Protecting your pets' paws during the summer heat - 25 News KXXV and KRHD
Protecting your pets' paws during the summer heat  25 News KXXV and KRHD

Clear The Shelters: Heat safety tips for pet owners - NBC New York
Clear The Shelters: Heat safety tips for pet owners  NBC New York

Keeping your pet's paws safe from the heat - WCTI12.com
Keeping your pet's paws safe from the heat  WCTI12.com

Pet Vet: Causes of blindness in dogs - WNDU
Pet Vet: Causes of blindness in dogs  WNDU

Best Pet Insurance Companies for June 2024 - NerdWallet
Best Pet Insurance Companies for June 2024  NerdWallet

Pet Peeves: Adopt-A-Highway - Laguna Beach Local News - Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper
Pet Peeves: Adopt-A-Highway - Laguna Beach Local News  Laguna Beach Independent Newspaper

Pets on Set: Humane Society of El Paso explain how to keep pets safe during summer heat - cbs4local.com
Pets on Set: Humane Society of El Paso explain how to keep pets safe during summer heat  cbs4local.com

Whoopi Goldberg Mistakenly Ate This Snack for Pets After Meeting the Pope - Inquisitr
Whoopi Goldberg Mistakenly Ate This Snack for Pets After Meeting the Pope  Inquisitr

More than 4,000 additional robotic pets to be given to seniors in New York to combat loneliness - ABC News
More than 4,000 additional robotic pets to be given to seniors in New York to combat loneliness  ABC News

Escaped pet donkey found ‘living best life’ with elk - AS USA
Escaped pet donkey found ‘living best life’ with elk  AS USA

Run Dawg Mobile Dog Gym in Las Vegas gives pets way to escape extreme heat - News3LV
Run Dawg Mobile Dog Gym in Las Vegas gives pets way to escape extreme heat  News3LV

Nationwide dropping pet insurance for 100,000 - Fox Business
Nationwide dropping pet insurance for 100,000  Fox Business

Pets of the Week for June 22, 2024 - The Montana Standard
Pets of the Week for June 22, 2024  The Montana Standard

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