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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 Wed. September / 23 / 2020

Santa Barbara County Animal Services helping find lost pets in other counties - NewsChannel 3-12 - KEYT
Santa Barbara County Animal Services helping find lost pets in other counties - NewsChannel 3-12  KEYT

Dozens of Adoptable Pets Arrive in Massachusetts After Surviving COVID-19 and 2 Hurricanes - PEOPLE
Dozens of Adoptable Pets Arrive in Massachusetts After Surviving COVID-19 and 2 Hurricanes  PEOPLE

Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane – Pasadena Weekendr - Pasadena Now
Pets of the Week at Pasadena Humane – Pasadena Weekendr  Pasadena Now

See adoptable pets of the week from North State rescues - Redding Record Searchlight
See adoptable pets of the week from North State rescues  Redding Record Searchlight

Wag Wednesday|Keep your pets safe during the fall - ArkLaTexHomepage
Wag Wednesday|Keep your pets safe during the fall  ArkLaTexHomepage

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

Pets of the Week - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week  Clarksville Now

Event highlights the underdogs | Pets | fltimes.com - Finger Lakes Times
Event highlights the underdogs | Pets | fltimes.com  Finger Lakes Times

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

Website aims to help reunite Bear Fire survivors with their lost pets - Action News Now
Website aims to help reunite Bear Fire survivors with their lost pets  Action News Now

Pets for adoption this week in Savannah - Savannah Morning News
Pets for adoption this week in Savannah  Savannah Morning News

Pets of the week, Sept. 23 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com - Hickory Daily Record
Pets of the week, Sept. 23 | Local News | hickoryrecord.com  Hickory Daily Record

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

Ella Creates Special Bonds With Her Pets - SMA News Today
Ella Creates Special Bonds With Her Pets  SMA News Today

Preparing Your Pets for Disasters - PRNewswire
Preparing Your Pets for Disasters  PRNewswire

PETS OF WEEK: Petunia and Monty | Community | wiscnews.com - WiscNews
PETS OF WEEK: Petunia and Monty | Community | wiscnews.com  WiscNews

Pets of the Week: 9-22-20 – WBKB 11 - WBKB-TV
Pets of the Week: 9-22-20 – WBKB 11  WBKB-TV

Good Day Pets – Meet Tongues! - KCAU 9
Good Day Pets – Meet Tongues!  KCAU 9

With fall here, keep up pest preventatives for your pets and watch for seasonal allergies - NOLA.com
With fall here, keep up pest preventatives for your pets and watch for seasonal allergies  NOLA.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

Pets of the Week: Sept. 21 | The Herald-News - The Herald-News
Pets of the Week: Sept. 21 | The Herald-News  The Herald-News

Dozens Of Pets Transported From Virgin Islands Up For Adoption Through MSPCA-Cape Cod - CBS Boston
Dozens Of Pets Transported From Virgin Islands Up For Adoption Through MSPCA-Cape Cod  CBS Boston

Marion County Pets: Kiki, Suzie and Rambo - WCJB
Marion County Pets: Kiki, Suzie and Rambo  WCJB

Pets may be more susceptible to Covid-19 than first thought, study says - South China Morning Post
Pets may be more susceptible to Covid-19 than first thought, study says  South China Morning Post

What Car Mods Have You Made For Your Pets? - Jalopnik
What Car Mods Have You Made For Your Pets?  Jalopnik

Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Kelp, Carson Daly, Mack, Alex, Bart - Rockville, MD Patch
Adoptable Pets Of The Week: Kelp, Carson Daly, Mack, Alex, Bart  Rockville, MD Patch

‘Among Us' colors, costumes, and pets: How to customize your character - Inverse
‘Among Us' colors, costumes, and pets: How to customize your character  Inverse

Churches to bless family pets Oct. 4 - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal - Republican Journal
Churches to bless family pets Oct. 4 - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal  Republican Journal

Pet food giveaway; 6abc teams up with 1 Love 4 Animals to help families in need - WPVI-TV
Pet food giveaway; 6abc teams up with 1 Love 4 Animals to help families in need  WPVI-TV

Millennials Are Pampering Their Pets - 88.9 KETR
Millennials Are Pampering Their Pets  88.9 KETR

95 lost pets seeking owners following North Complex West Zone Fire - KRCRTV.COM
95 lost pets seeking owners following North Complex West Zone Fire  KRCRTV.COM

How to protect your pets in the changing weather - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
How to protect your pets in the changing weather  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

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

Pets that are so excited for fall - msnNOW
Pets that are so excited for fall  msnNOW

Robotic pets used to help prevent social isolation for senior citizens in West Alabama - WBRC
Robotic pets used to help prevent social isolation for senior citizens in West Alabama  WBRC

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

Livestock, pet supplies available for fire victims - KEZI TV
Livestock, pet supplies available for fire victims  KEZI TV

Walmart offers Pet's Favorite odor-eliminating candles - PRNewswire
Walmart offers Pet's Favorite odor-eliminating candles  PRNewswire

2 Vets Explain Why Your Cat's Chosen You as Their Comfiest Sleeping Spot - POPSUGAR
2 Vets Explain Why Your Cat's Chosen You as Their Comfiest Sleeping Spot  POPSUGAR

Pets and the People who Love Them | Lifestyles - News Courier
Pets and the People who Love Them | Lifestyles  News Courier

Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings - prideofdetroit.com
Pets of Detroit: The Official Power Rankings  prideofdetroit.com

Who will take care of Fido when you're gone? Minnesotans put trust in trusts - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Who will take care of Fido when you're gone? Minnesotans put trust in trusts  Minneapolis Star Tribune

Many struggling to feed themselves during pandemic also struggling to feed their pets - Wink News
Many struggling to feed themselves during pandemic also struggling to feed their pets  Wink News

Friends of Strays offers assistance to keep pets home with their families - St Pete Catalyst
Friends of Strays offers assistance to keep pets home with their families  St Pete Catalyst

Do Cats Get Lonely? 2 Experts Tell Us the Surprising Truth - POPSUGAR
Do Cats Get Lonely? 2 Experts Tell Us the Surprising Truth  POPSUGAR

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

Meet Ziva, Bodie and Princess, this week’s San Gabriel Valley Pets of the Week - The San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Meet Ziva, Bodie and Princess, this week’s San Gabriel Valley Pets of the Week  The San Gabriel Valley Tribune

Cognitive Decline in Aging Pet Dogs Not Impacted by Diet or Prior Training - SciTechDaily
Cognitive Decline in Aging Pet Dogs Not Impacted by Diet or Prior Training  SciTechDaily

PET TALK: Introducing a new baby to pets - New Castle News
PET TALK: Introducing a new baby to pets  New Castle News

Help Find Missing Pets From Creek Fire Evacuations - Sierra News Online
Help Find Missing Pets From Creek Fire Evacuations  Sierra News Online

Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (9/23/20) - ABC15 Arizona
Adoptable pets from Arizona Humane Society and Maricopa County Animal Care (9/23/20)  ABC15 Arizona

Clarksville area Pets of the Week for September 23rd, 2020 - Clarksville Online
Clarksville area Pets of the Week for September 23rd, 2020  Clarksville Online

Adoptable pets of the week | Local News | thesuntimes.com - Heber Springs Sun-Times
Adoptable pets of the week | Local News | thesuntimes.com  Heber Springs Sun-Times

How to Handle Your Pet's Allergies - Lifehacker
How to Handle Your Pet's Allergies  Lifehacker

PAWS: Let's educate pet owners - Muskogee Daily Phoenix
PAWS: Let's educate pet owners  Muskogee Daily Phoenix

Pet Parasite Forecast: Higher rate of anaplasmosis - FOX 61
Pet Parasite Forecast: Higher rate of anaplasmosis  FOX 61

Pet of the Week: Ginger - KATC Lafayette News
Pet of the Week: Ginger  KATC Lafayette News

September 23 Pet of the Week: Ryan - FOX21News.com
September 23 Pet of the Week: Ryan  FOX21News.com

You won't find a cheaper pet camera than the Petcube, now $36 - CNET
You won't find a cheaper pet camera than the Petcube, now $36  CNET

My Pet Peeves - The Southside Messenger
My Pet Peeves  The Southside Messenger

Coyote attacks on pets increasing in Draper - fox13now.com
Coyote attacks on pets increasing in Draper  fox13now.com

How to unlock all skins, hats, and pets in Among Us - Dot Esports
How to unlock all skins, hats, and pets in Among Us  Dot Esports

Arlington Pet of the Week: Jettie - ARLnow
Arlington Pet of the Week: Jettie  ARLnow

Animal hoarding burdens shelters with sick, neglected pets - Columbia Missourian
Animal hoarding burdens shelters with sick, neglected pets  Columbia Missourian

Boone is KLBK’s Pet of the Day! - KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com
Boone is KLBK’s Pet of the Day!  KLBK | KAMC | EverythingLubbock.com

Pet of the Week Jasper | Local News - Independent Tribune
Pet of the Week Jasper | Local News  Independent Tribune

Detroit woman frustrated that Michigan veterinary clinics still won’t let pet owners inside - WDIV ClickOnDetroit
Detroit woman frustrated that Michigan veterinary clinics still won’t let pet owners inside  WDIV ClickOnDetroit

Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week - KTUL
Tulsa Animal Welfare pets of the week  KTUL

Kids often hit hard by death of beloved pet, study finds - Medical Xpress
Kids often hit hard by death of beloved pet, study finds  Medical Xpress

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

Emergency responders work to save pets - Southern Standard
Emergency responders work to save pets  Southern Standard

Plan ahead for Sept. 3-Oct. 6: Pet blessing in Cocoa, fish fry on Merritt Island - Florida Today
Plan ahead for Sept. 3-Oct. 6: Pet blessing in Cocoa, fish fry on Merritt Island  Florida Today

Petco Opens 100th In-Store Pet Hospital - Retail Leader
Petco Opens 100th In-Store Pet Hospital  Retail Leader

Providence Animal Center Pet of the Week: Sweet Potato - The Delaware County Daily Times
Providence Animal Center Pet of the Week: Sweet Potato  The Delaware County Daily Times

Pet of the week: Baby - WXII12 Winston-Salem
Pet of the week: Baby  WXII12 Winston-Salem

N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020 - nj.com
N.J. pets in need: Sept. 21, 2020  nj.com

Bless family pets at St. Margaret's - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal - Republican Journal
Bless family pets at St. Margaret's - Belfast - Waldo - Republican Journal  Republican Journal

U.K. Gardener Harvests Potato She Swears Resembles Dog: 'I Still Keep Laughing About It' - PEOPLE
U.K. Gardener Harvests Potato She Swears Resembles Dog: 'I Still Keep Laughing About It'  PEOPLE

Philadelphia pet store with a growing Amazon presence leases South Jersey industrial building - Philadelphia Business Journal
Philadelphia pet store with a growing Amazon presence leases South Jersey industrial building  Philadelphia Business Journal

Pet of the Week: 'Meet Norman' - KJCT
Pet of the Week: 'Meet Norman'  KJCT

Top Halloween Costumes For Adults, Kids, and Pets - khak.com
Top Halloween Costumes For Adults, Kids, and Pets  khak.com

Pet of the week: Tiger | Features | redmondspokesman.com - redmondspokesman.com
Pet of the week: Tiger | Features | redmondspokesman.com  redmondspokesman.com

Valenta: Pet preparations for a disaster - Austin American-Statesman
Valenta: Pet preparations for a disaster  Austin American-Statesman

A Vet’s Opinion on Hairball Gels For Furball-Prone Cats, and Her Favorite Brand! - POPSUGAR
A Vet’s Opinion on Hairball Gels For Furball-Prone Cats, and Her Favorite Brand!  POPSUGAR

Pet of the Week | 9/23/20 - CIProud.com
Pet of the Week | 9/23/20  CIProud.com

Local organization needs more foster families to care for elderly pets - KTBS
Local organization needs more foster families to care for elderly pets  KTBS

PetCure Oncology and VMCLI Fighting Pet Cancer in Long Island, NY - GlobeNewswire
PetCure Oncology and VMCLI Fighting Pet Cancer in Long Island, NY  GlobeNewswire

Do Cats Need Baths? An Expert Weighs In - POPSUGAR
Do Cats Need Baths? An Expert Weighs In  POPSUGAR

Watch: Irish family convinced their pet cat has strong Northern Irish accent - Irish Post
Watch: Irish family convinced their pet cat has strong Northern Irish accent  Irish Post

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

2 Middle Tennessee shelters participate in BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event - WKRN News 2
2 Middle Tennessee shelters participate in BISSELL Pet Foundation’s Empty the Shelters event  WKRN News 2

Some ways to reduce your pet's anxiety - fox6now.com
Some ways to reduce your pet's anxiety  fox6now.com

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

First State Animal Center to host pet food drive - Delaware State News - Delaware State News
First State Animal Center to host pet food drive - Delaware State News  Delaware State News

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

$35 OFF First Invoice for Pet Sitting or Dog Walking - Old Town Alexandria, VA Patch - Patch.com
$35 OFF First Invoice for Pet Sitting or Dog Walking - Old Town Alexandria, VA Patch  Patch.com

Jennie Garth rescued a dog named Fauci during COVID-19. Now, she has this message - Today.com
Jennie Garth rescued a dog named Fauci during COVID-19. Now, she has this message  Today.com

Pet of the Week: Romeo and Freckles - WETM - MyTwinTiers.com
Pet of the Week: Romeo and Freckles  WETM - MyTwinTiers.com

Tuscaloosa Pet of the Week, Sept.15,2020:Meet Christian and Ellie - wvua23.com
Tuscaloosa Pet of the Week, Sept.15,2020:Meet Christian and Ellie  wvua23.com

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