Dentistry is an important part of the health care, and welfare, of your horse. Horse’s teeth continuously erupt throughout their lives and the surfaces of these teeth are naturally worn away due to grinding of roughage and feed. Over the years, horse’s diets have significantly changed due to domestication and horses are now often fed a diet lower in fibre and grass and higher in concentrates than previously.
It has been suggested that dietary changes result in a horse having to chew and move their jaw less frequently in order to digest feed and this has resulted in less wear of the teeth and the development of sharp points, misalignment and dental abnormalities.
Poor dental care can give rise to weight loss, choke, colic, quidding (dropping food), inappetance due to pain, bad breath, head shaking, bitting problems and poor performance. The aim of regular dental examinations is to allow early identification, diagnosis and treatment of various dental abnormalities.
We recommend a full veterinary dental examination at the time of vaccination. This annual examination is not confined to the teeth. Other diseases of the oral cavity can be diagnosed, if present; therefore, this is an effective prevention of equine oral disease.
As well as ambulatory, we conduct weekly Equine Dental Clinics at Castle Cary utilising stocks for safe restraint, supervised sedation if required and specialised equipment, oroscopes and lighting for both routine, remedial dentistry and extractions. We use digital radiography, invaluable in diagnosis of the more painful dental problems such as tooth root abscesses and root fractures.
We feel strongly about oral disease prevention in your horse. There is no extra charge for sedation during dental examinations.
Strategic Worming Package
Monitoring and controlling the internal parasites in your horse is simple with our Strategic Worming Package.
We offer an annual package which includes two faecal egg counts (FEC) and two worm treatments per year for one low payment of £45.42 inc VAT. We will provide sample packs, full reporting and veterinary advice based on FEC results, recording of the results for future reference and monitoring the parasite burden of your horse. The minimum sample size required is only two pebbles of fresh droppings preferably presented to us within 24 hours for testing by our nurses at Castle Cary. Results are generally known and reported within 24 hours of receipt.
Contact the practice to enrol your horse or pony for the Strategic Worming Package.
Vaccinations are available for horses, ponies and donkeys. Vaccinations protect your horse against life threatening diseases such as tetanus, and diseases that can severely affect their health and performance, such as equine influenza (flu) and herpes virus infection. Vaccination is the only proven method of protecting against these diseases: there is no specific cure for them and treatment may not only be unsuccessful but also extremely expensive.
The high percentage of horses within the UK which are regularly vaccinated is believed to be a major reason in reducing the numbers of large epidemics of influenza. The number of horses affected by clinical disease during an outbreak is markedly reduced when the equine population is protected by vaccination.
These diseases are preventable by vaccination but have not yet been eradicated so your horse might still come into contact with them. Booster vaccination is an effective way of ‘topping up’ a horse’s immunity thereby minimising the risk of disease when challenged by natural infection.