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.

Equine Biosecurity


Biosecurity is not just about controlling exotic or notifiable diseases, or diseases that are fatal to humans; it’s about general disease control in our horses, right across the board, and it all starts with good hygiene practices and infection control. Dr Shannon Lee discussed biosecurity, what you can do about it, and how important it is to both horse and humans.

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Tendon Injuries

By Drs Kemmink, Batterham and Wells-Smith

Tendon injuries are a cause of lameness that is diagnosed in all equine performance disciplines. If you have ever had a horse with a bowed tendon you probably already know that it can be a frustrating cause of lameness. Chances are that your horse never even got better. So why are tendon injuries so difficult to treat? In this feature, published in Horses and People March 2013, Equine Dental Vet Members Drs Kemmink, Batterham and Wells-Smith have come together in this article to explain this common injury.

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Equine Metabolic Disease

By Dr Kath Mitchell BVSc BSc (Hons)

Do you have an ‘easy keeper’, one of those horses or ponies that seem to gain weight on the smell of a tuft of grass? Does your horse or pony suffer from repeated bouts of laminitis even though you try hard to prevent them? Your horse or pony could be suffering from one of two Equine Metabolic Diseases: Equine Metabolic Syndrome (EMS) or Equine Cushing’s Disease (PPID). Equine Dental Vet Dr Kath Mitchell explains...

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Skin Deep

By Dr Chris Heislers BVSc (Hons)

Skin diseases of horses in southern Australia. As with all species, skin disease in horses is common. Whereas sometimes symptomatic treatment of the clinical signs results in a successful outcome, many cases are more complex and so good treatment outcomes rely on an accurate diagnosis and a multifactorial treatment and or management approach. In this article Dental Vet Dr Chris Heislers outlines the most common skin diseases affecting horses in Southern Australia.

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Hormone Associated Laminitis

By Dr Luke Wells-Smith BVSc

As discussed by Dr Mitchell, the two hormonal conditions that have been found to be associated with laminitis are Cushing’s and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. In this article, veterinary podiatrist Dr Luke Wells-Smith explains how they relate to laminitis specifically, and the therapeutic farriery that in addition to  medical treatment, is used to manage horses suffering from this debilitating condition.

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Joint Disease

By Dr Marta Wereszcka BVMS, DACVS,

The most common cause of lameness by far is 'joint disease', a very broad term that encompasses a range of conditions — all of which involve a joint or multiple joints. This report explains what joint disease is, summarises the different types of joint disease as well as the most current and innovative therapies available today.

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Dental Problems of the Young Horse

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc MACVSc Eq Dent

Advances in dental veterinary practice mean that congenital dental abnormalities such as malocclusion (parrot and sow mouth), cleft palate and wry nose, which severely affect a horse’s ability to graze efficiently, can now be corrected. The key lies in identifying these issues early enough in the foal's development.

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By Dr Rachel O'Higgins, BVMS, MRCVS

Common stereotypies in the horse include wind-sucking, crib-biting, weaving, box-walking, pawing, head-nodding and tongue rolling. These behaviours often cause confusion, concern and annoyance to horse owners, but do they affect horse health, and once acquired, should horses be prevented from doing them?

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Periodontal Disease - An Overview

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, MICEVO

The majority of horses examined will have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is defined as disease of the support structures of the tooth (i.e. the periodontium – the bone of the socket, the periodontal ligament running form tooth to bone, the cementum of the “root” and the gum or gingiva) and can be subdivided into two distinct forms – gingivitis and periodontitis.
Gingivitis is a reversible inflammation of the marginal gingiva associated with the presence of bacterial plaque and food particles. If the gingival sulcus (the small gap between the tooth and the gum) is thoroughly cleaned, the gingivitis will resolve. Gingivitis is a precursor to periodontitis. (Figure 1.)

Periodontitis is a more severe inflammation of the supporting structures and usually involves bone loss. It is usually irreversible but potentially controllable. The periodontitis associated with eruption of the teeth will often resolve once the initial eruption is completed.

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Dental Care for Older Horses

By Dr Shannon Lee BVSc, MANZCVSc, MICEVO

It has often been remarked "no feet no horse" and it is equally true to say "No teeth no horse". As horses are now living longer and as we have more and more "Geriatric" horses it is important to understand the dental needs of older horses. Horses have a different type of tooth to humans, one that is designed to wear down over time, so the teeth of horses have a lifespan and as horses reach their twenties and thirties their teeth will begin to wear down. The surface that is then available for the horse to pick up food , chew and grind is often very poor, so one of the most important aspects of geriatric dental care is to ensure your horse has a good grinding surface going into old age, in other words don't wait until you have an old skinny horses to think about looking after...

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