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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 Tue. July / 05 / 2022

Las Vegas shelter waives reclaim fees for all lost, stray pets through July 10 - Fox 5 Las Vegas
Las Vegas shelter waives reclaim fees for all lost, stray pets through July 10  Fox 5 Las Vegas

Pets are part of the family, survey of Oregon pet owners finds - Central Oregon Daily
Pets are part of the family, survey of Oregon pet owners finds  Central Oregon Daily

5 Pets That Are Great for Small Spaces — Best Life - Best Life
5 Pets That Are Great for Small Spaces — Best Life  Best Life

Surrendered, abandoned pets in Minnesota see 'dramatic uptick': Here's how you can help - KARE11.com
Surrendered, abandoned pets in Minnesota see 'dramatic uptick': Here's how you can help  KARE11.com

Preserving memories of beloved pets - Mankato Free Press
Preserving memories of beloved pets  Mankato Free Press

Pets are being given up as owners struggle to pay bills - CBS News
Pets are being given up as owners struggle to pay bills  CBS News

Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for July 4th, 2022 - Clarksville Online
Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for July 4th, 2022  Clarksville Online

Fire destroys home east of Cortez; two pets die - The Journal
Fire destroys home east of Cortez; two pets die  The Journal

If you bought certain Zignature® pet food products labeled as "Grain Free" or "Chicken Free," you may be eligible for benefits in a class action settlement USA - English - USA - PR Newswire
If you bought certain Zignature® pet food products labeled as "Grain Free" or "Chicken Free," you may be eligible for benefits in a class action settlement USA - English - USA  PR Newswire

Howard retires from Fairview Veterinary Clinic after 42 years of helping pets, owners - The Stanly News & Press | The Stanly News & Press - Stanly News & Press
Howard retires from Fairview Veterinary Clinic after 42 years of helping pets, owners - The Stanly News & Press | The Stanly News & Press  Stanly News & Press

Letters to the editor: ‘Green’ batteries’; keep pets secured; CU’s Eastman debacle; no longer a newspaper - Boulder Daily Camera
Letters to the editor: ‘Green’ batteries’; keep pets secured; CU’s Eastman debacle; no longer a newspaper  Boulder Daily Camera

St. Joseph Animal Shelter over capacity, needs more pets adopted and fostered - KQ2.com
St. Joseph Animal Shelter over capacity, needs more pets adopted and fostered  KQ2.com

The Complex Challenge of Transporting Pets - The Foreign Service Journal
The Complex Challenge of Transporting Pets  The Foreign Service Journal

What experts say about keeping your pets cool this summer - The Week
What experts say about keeping your pets cool this summer  The Week

4 pets killed in South Abilene house fire on 4th of July - KTAB - BigCountryHomepage.com
4 pets killed in South Abilene house fire on 4th of July  KTAB - BigCountryHomepage.com

Global Pet Furniture Market is Projected to Reach US$ 9.2 Bn By 2032, Future Market Insights Inc. - Yahoo Finance
Global Pet Furniture Market is Projected to Reach US$ 9.2 Bn By 2032, Future Market Insights Inc.  Yahoo Finance

Driftless Humane Society Pets of the Week - La Crosse Tribune
Driftless Humane Society Pets of the Week  La Crosse Tribune

Gilmore helps find forever homes for older and sick pets - TMJ4 News
Gilmore helps find forever homes for older and sick pets  TMJ4 News

Pantry volunteer helping families keep their pets - Denver 7 Colorado News
Pantry volunteer helping families keep their pets  Denver 7 Colorado News

MLFD saves pets from Marina Dr. fire - Columbia Basin Herald
MLFD saves pets from Marina Dr. fire  Columbia Basin Herald

Council to consider approving changes in Mitchell's pet ordinances, allowing shock collars - Mitchell Republic
Council to consider approving changes in Mitchell's pet ordinances, allowing shock collars  Mitchell Republic

Update: 2 people and 3 pets rescued from burning Syracuse home, one firefighter injured - syracuse.com
Update: 2 people and 3 pets rescued from burning Syracuse home, one firefighter injured  syracuse.com

Louisville Metro Animal Services avoids euthanizing adoptable pets - Courier Journal
Louisville Metro Animal Services avoids euthanizing adoptable pets  Courier Journal

Pet beer label contest benefits Provincetown animal shelter on Cape - Cape Cod Times
Pet beer label contest benefits Provincetown animal shelter on Cape  Cape Cod Times

Want to save £240 a year? Stop leaving the central heating on for your pets - The Guardian
Want to save £240 a year? Stop leaving the central heating on for your pets  The Guardian

East Bay pets of the week for July 8 - East Bay Times
East Bay pets of the week for July 8  East Bay Times

KC Pet Project shelter filled back up after 300 pets arrived this week - KCTV 5
KC Pet Project shelter filled back up after 300 pets arrived this week  KCTV 5

Pets at Home Group (LON:PETS) Lowered to "Underperform" at Royal Bank of Canada - MarketBeat
Pets at Home Group (LON:PETS) Lowered to "Underperform" at Royal Bank of Canada  MarketBeat

Clarendon Co. fire crews rescue several pets from blaze that displaced 4 children, 2 adults - WLTX.com
Clarendon Co. fire crews rescue several pets from blaze that displaced 4 children, 2 adults  WLTX.com

High temperatures can be too much for your pets - KELO
High temperatures can be too much for your pets  KELO

Ferrets are adorable, but they should not be pets - Los Angeles Times
Ferrets are adorable, but they should not be pets  Los Angeles Times

🌱 Huntington Daily: Local Job Openings + Pets Available For Adoption - Patch
🌱 Huntington Daily: Local Job Openings + Pets Available For Adoption  Patch

Foxtail barley seeds present problem for Perrysburg pets, residents blame unkept field - WTOL
Foxtail barley seeds present problem for Perrysburg pets, residents blame unkept field  WTOL

Fireworks warnings for pet owners to come via Service NSW app - Sydney Morning Herald
Fireworks warnings for pet owners to come via Service NSW app  Sydney Morning Herald

SPCA Pets of the week: Athena and Scott - NorthcentralPa.com
SPCA Pets of the week: Athena and Scott  NorthcentralPa.com

Oil stocks lift FTSE 100, Pets at Home slumps on rating cut - Kitco NEWS
Oil stocks lift FTSE 100, Pets at Home slumps on rating cut  Kitco NEWS

Safety measures from first responders to prevent leaving child or pets in hot car - WHSV
Safety measures from first responders to prevent leaving child or pets in hot car  WHSV

BBB: Lost pet scams — are you at risk? - The Union-Recorder
BBB: Lost pet scams — are you at risk?  The Union-Recorder

Family, pets displaced after central Austin duplex fire - KXAN.com
Family, pets displaced after central Austin duplex fire  KXAN.com

Fire significantly damages Casper home; crew rescues multiple pets - Casper Star-Tribune
Fire significantly damages Casper home; crew rescues multiple pets  Casper Star-Tribune

The 3-year 'paws' is over: Bend's Fourth of July Pet Parade returns after hiatus, to the joy of many - KTVZ
The 3-year 'paws' is over: Bend's Fourth of July Pet Parade returns after hiatus, to the joy of many  KTVZ

Tips for ‘Fear Free’ pets during July 4 fireworks - KTLA Los Angeles
Tips for ‘Fear Free’ pets during July 4 fireworks  KTLA Los Angeles

Preparing Your Pets for Fourth of July Fireworks - NBC 6 South Florida
Preparing Your Pets for Fourth of July Fireworks  NBC 6 South Florida

Pet parade delights in Columbiana County - WKBN.com
Pet parade delights in Columbiana County  WKBN.com

More space for vets and pets: New 40,000-foot veterinary clinic opens at LSU - The Advocate
More space for vets and pets: New 40,000-foot veterinary clinic opens at LSU  The Advocate

10 Best Chewy Blue Box Event Pet Deals (2022): Cat and Dog Supplies - WIRED
10 Best Chewy Blue Box Event Pet Deals (2022): Cat and Dog Supplies  WIRED

Do You Know How to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Disaster? - FEMA
Do You Know How to Keep Your Pets Safe During a Disaster?  FEMA

Pets of the week – Chicago Tribune - Chicago Tribune
Pets of the week – Chicago Tribune  Chicago Tribune

Best pet camera - KXAN.com
Best pet camera  KXAN.com

Adoptable Pets in St. Petersburg - The Gabber Newspaper
Adoptable Pets in St. Petersburg  The Gabber Newspaper

Monroe County Animal Control features its Pets of the Week - Monroe Evening News
Monroe County Animal Control features its Pets of the Week  Monroe Evening News

Cape Fear Gardening: Protecting your pets from dangerous water - WECT
Cape Fear Gardening: Protecting your pets from dangerous water  WECT

Packed Bay Area Animal Shelters Need Help Finding Homes for Pets - NBC Bay Area
Packed Bay Area Animal Shelters Need Help Finding Homes for Pets  NBC Bay Area

How pets give your kids a brain boost - BBC
How pets give your kids a brain boost  BBC

PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — July 4 - Gwinnettdailypost.com
PHOTOS: Gwinnett Animal Shelter Adoptable Pets of the Week — July 4  Gwinnettdailypost.com

Florida Man Kills Neighbor's Pet Rooster: “Chickens Die Everyday… At Churches, Popeyes, Kentucky Fried Chicken” - Whiskey Riff
Florida Man Kills Neighbor's Pet Rooster: “Chickens Die Everyday… At Churches, Popeyes, Kentucky Fried Chicken”  Whiskey Riff

Best DIY ideas to make your home pet friendly - Interesting Engineering
Best DIY ideas to make your home pet friendly  Interesting Engineering

Animal shelter to NRA and gun restriction foes: No pets for you - NBC News
Animal shelter to NRA and gun restriction foes: No pets for you  NBC News

Global Consumer Asset Tracking Solutions Market Report 2022: Pet Tracking Sector Showing High Potential - ResearchAndMarkets.com - Business Wire
Global Consumer Asset Tracking Solutions Market Report 2022: Pet Tracking Sector Showing High Potential - ResearchAndMarkets.com  Business Wire

Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com - Clarksville Now
Pets of the Week | ClarksvilleNow.com  Clarksville Now

Protect your pet during excessive heat - ICgov.org
Protect your pet during excessive heat  ICgov.org

Huntsville Animal Services advises how to protect pets during fireworks noises | Alabama Mountains - Spot On Alabama
Huntsville Animal Services advises how to protect pets during fireworks noises | Alabama Mountains  Spot On Alabama

Fireworks and pet safety – Action News Jax - ActionNewsJax.com
Fireworks and pet safety – Action News Jax  ActionNewsJax.com

Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance Review 2022 - Investopedia
Pets Plus Us Pet Insurance Review 2022  Investopedia

PET SEGMENT: Live hoppily-ever-after when you adopt Bunny - WSBT-TV
PET SEGMENT: Live hoppily-ever-after when you adopt Bunny  WSBT-TV

Pets available for adoption - week of 06/13/22 - PHOTOS - Capital Gazette
Pets available for adoption - week of 06/13/22 - PHOTOS  Capital Gazette

Lunchtime Walk, Pet Party: Moorestown Manual - Patch
Lunchtime Walk, Pet Party: Moorestown Manual  Patch

ElderDog Canada Highlights Importance of Relationships Between Pets and Seniors - VOCM
ElderDog Canada Highlights Importance of Relationships Between Pets and Seniors  VOCM

Seattle Has the Cutest Shop Pets—Here's Proof - Seattle Met
Seattle Has the Cutest Shop Pets—Here's Proof  Seattle Met

Emotional support pets: experts warn of animal welfare risk - The Guardian
Emotional support pets: experts warn of animal welfare risk  The Guardian

Pets for adoption locally | Home + Life + Health | tucson.com - Arizona Daily Star
Pets for adoption locally | Home + Life + Health | tucson.com  Arizona Daily Star

A luxurious new pet resort and market, Royal Pets, is opening in Midtown Tampa - thatssotampa.com
A luxurious new pet resort and market, Royal Pets, is opening in Midtown Tampa  thatssotampa.com

‘We’re scared’: Orange County shelter overcrowded with surrendered pets as rent rises - WESH 2 Orlando
‘We’re scared’: Orange County shelter overcrowded with surrendered pets as rent rises  WESH 2 Orlando

Pet Monitoring Camera Market Size And Forecast | Guardzilla, Motorola, Petzila, PetChatz, Ezviz, Petcube, Furbo, Pawbo, Blink Home, Zmodo – Designer Women - Designer Women
Pet Monitoring Camera Market Size And Forecast | Guardzilla, Motorola, Petzila, PetChatz, Ezviz, Petcube, Furbo, Pawbo, Blink Home, Zmodo – Designer Women  Designer Women

How to protect your pets during Fourth of July fireworks - WSB Radio
How to protect your pets during Fourth of July fireworks  WSB Radio

Petlibro's Wi-Fi-Enabled Automatic Feeder Helps You Monitor Pets - Bustle
Petlibro's Wi-Fi-Enabled Automatic Feeder Helps You Monitor Pets  Bustle

Pets in Need SoMD Dog of the Week: Banjo - The Southern Maryland Chronicle
Pets in Need SoMD Dog of the Week: Banjo  The Southern Maryland Chronicle

Pet Care E-Commerce Market Report 2022 Market SWOT Analysis, Key Indicators, Forecast 2028 – Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Chewy, Inc., PETstock, Nestlé, Ancol Pet Products Limited, Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd – Designer Women - Designer Women
Pet Care E-Commerce Market Report 2022 Market SWOT Analysis, Key Indicators, Forecast 2028 – Petco Animal Supplies, Inc., Chewy, Inc., PETstock, Nestlé, Ancol Pet Products Limited, Blue Buffalo Co., Ltd – Designer Women  Designer Women

US Pet Insurance Market Size, Scope and Forecast | ASPCA Pet Insurance, FigoPet Insurance, Pet Plan Insurance, Trupanion Inc., Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, Embrace Pet Insurance, EnviroServ Waste Management Ltd., Healthy Paws Pet Insu - Designer Women
US Pet Insurance Market Size, Scope and Forecast | ASPCA Pet Insurance, FigoPet Insurance, Pet Plan Insurance, Trupanion Inc., Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, Embrace Pet Insurance, EnviroServ Waste Management Ltd., Healthy Paws Pet Insu  Designer Women

Pet of the Week: Eevee - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Pet of the Week: Eevee  NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Pet of the Day: Bronco - KCTV 5
Pet of the Day: Bronco  KCTV 5

Pets can boost your brain power, study says - CNN
Pets can boost your brain power, study says  CNN

Prepare for Your Pets this Hurricane Season - American Humane
Prepare for Your Pets this Hurricane Season  American Humane

Pet-friendly recreation - Michigan (.gov)
Pet-friendly recreation  Michigan (.gov)

Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for April 18th, 2022 - Clarksville Online
Clarksville Area Pets of the Week for April 18th, 2022  Clarksville Online

20 Chewy pet items our readers can’t get enough of - CNN Underscored
20 Chewy pet items our readers can’t get enough of  CNN Underscored

Playing for Pets is Thursday and Friday - SIU News
Playing for Pets is Thursday and Friday  SIU News

Editors’ picks: 27 pet products we’ve tried and absolutely love - CNN Underscored
Editors’ picks: 27 pet products we’ve tried and absolutely love  CNN Underscored

Pet Ownership Statistics: 78% of Pet Owners Acquired Pets During Pandemic - Forbes
Pet Ownership Statistics: 78% of Pet Owners Acquired Pets During Pandemic  Forbes

Why Should Kids Have Pets: 8 Evidence-Based Reasons - PsychCentral.com
Why Should Kids Have Pets: 8 Evidence-Based Reasons  PsychCentral.com

Best Air Purifiers for Pets of 2022 | US News - U.S. News & World Report
Best Air Purifiers for Pets of 2022 | US News  U.S. News & World Report

Unusual Pets - WHYY
Unusual Pets  WHYY

10 apps every pet owner should have - Mashable
10 apps every pet owner should have  Mashable

311 Best Pet Quotes - Parade Magazine
311 Best Pet Quotes  Parade Magazine

How Owners Are Putting Their Pets on Human Diets - The New York Times
How Owners Are Putting Their Pets on Human Diets  The New York Times

9 Celebrity Pets That Are Too Cute For This World - Collider
9 Celebrity Pets That Are Too Cute For This World  Collider

Who Inherits Your Pet? - AARP
Who Inherits Your Pet?  AARP

Meet Our Pandemic Pets | Duke Today - Duke Today
Meet Our Pandemic Pets | Duke Today  Duke Today

Pandemic puppies? Animal shelters, vets overwhelmed with surrendered pets - Deseret News
Pandemic puppies? Animal shelters, vets overwhelmed with surrendered pets  Deseret News

Pet of the Week: 2022 pets - WTOP
Pet of the Week: 2022 pets  WTOP

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