Equine Dental Vets

EDV Articles

Browse our informative articles on horse care and treatment written by EDV vet members as published in top equine publications.


By Dr Rachel O'Higgins

In this article, Dr Rachel O’Higgins examines the current understanding of stereotypies - a group of behaviours which are commonly referred to as ‘stable vices’. As Dr O’Higgines explains, horse owners must change the way they think about stereotypies, instead of being offensive, they need to be recognised as a horse’s coping mechanism induced by frustration and brain dysfunction.

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Dental X-Rays

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, DICEVO

This month, Dr Shannon Lee, talks about the important role of dental x-rays, outlining why x-rays are commonly used in veterinary denistry, so that horse owners can better understand the process, technology and benefits for their own horses undergoing treatment.

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Fencing Injuries and How to Prevent Them

By Dr Adrian Owen

This month, Dr Adrian Owen, a member of Equine Dental Vets, talks about the common injuries caused by poorly designed or maintained fencing.

He encourages every horse owner to consider how they can protect their horses from serious, and even fatal, injuries, with a few simple changes, including electrified fencing.

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Tying Up and Inherited Muscle Disorders

By Dr Rachel O'Higgins

Tying up is a broad term that describes a wide range of muscle disorders in horses and one of the most frustrating of all problems affecting equine athletes. Ranging from stiffness after exercise to intense pain and an inability to stand and bear weight, what was once thought of as a single condition is now known to comprise a number of specific disorders, some of which are inherited.

In this article, Equine Dental Veterinarian Dr Rachel O'Higgins, will focus on three common genetic causes of muscle problems, including recurrent exertional rhabdomyolysis, hyperkalemic periodic paralysis and polysaccharide storage myopathy.

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Congenital Dental Abnormalities

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, D.ICEVO

From an early age, dental issues can severely affect a horse’s ability to graze and socialise. However, if detected early, congenital dental abnormalities, such as malocclusion (parrot and sow mouth), cleft palate and wry nose, can be corrected.

Advances in equine dentistry hold great promise in correcting what would otherwise be detrimental conditions. For those breeding and raising young horses, it’s crucial that you learn to recognise the signs of dental conditions to support your young horse in living a long, healthy and happy life.


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Equine Castration

By Dr Euan Laidlaw

The castration of the male horse is a significant operation and fraught with potential complications. In this article, Dr Euan Laidlaw from Cheviot Vets in the United Kingdom, will explain a bit more about what to expect from the event, which may be more than you are already aware of, how you can prepare and, thus, minimise complications, and how to recognise them if and when they occur.

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Not Like Pulling Teeth

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, D.ICEVO

‘Pulling a tooth’ is a term that needs to change. If you’ve been around horses, chances are you will at some point hear someone say ‘my horse had to have a tooth pulled out’ or some similar comment.

To understand why other than baby or diseased teeth cannot be ‘pulled’, you need to understand the very unique characteristics of horse teeth which Dr Shannon Lee explains in this article.

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Foot Infections

By Dr Luke Wells-Smith BVSc

The foot abscess is a common cause of lameness and a circumstance that many horse owners will encounter at some point in time.

In this article, veterinary podiatrist Dr Luke Wells-Smith describes how they happen, the clinical signs, different types of foot infections and areas that they can affect, as well as detailing the current treatment and management strategies.

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First Dental for the Young Horse

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, D.ICEVO

When should my horse have his first dental exam?

It’s a common enough question in the horse industry and, while many people will actually offer an opinion, they may not have taken the time to become well informed.

In this article, Equine Dental Vet Dr Shannon Lee answers this question and explains why, when it comes to dental care, you need to monitor, care for and manage your young horses from a very early age.

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Heart Disease

By Dr Katharyn Mitchell BVSc

The horse has an extraordinary heart, capable of pumping 30 to 40 litres per minute at rest and up to 250 litres per minute around the body during peak exercise. However, like all things, this magnificent piece of engineering can fail.

Heart disease can cause poor performance since it is directly related to the ability of the heart to pump blood loaded with oxygen around the body. If the pumping ability is reduced, then the body does not get enough oxygen and poor performance occurs. From mild forms that may result in poor performance to severe disease, collapse or even death, heart disease is more common than most people realise.

In this article, Dr Katharyn Mitchell, explains the most common heart conditions and how they will affect the horse.


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