Dentistry is important – it can mean the difference between an animal eating or not eating.
Large animals come with a completely different set of teeth issues because they, in fact, have very different teeth than cats and dogs! Cats and dogs have brachydont teeth, which stop growing once full eruption is complete. Conversely, all equine teeth and some ruminant teeth are hypsodont, which continue to grow for most of the adult lives of the animals. This means that if there is uneven wearing of the teeth during chewing, points can develop, becoming painful and making it difficult to eat!
This is why it is important to pay attention to the eating habits of your large animals. If an animal is off feed, one of the potential diagnoses is poor dentition. It is also important, especially in horses, to have regular dental exams. Horses will often require floating (where the veterinarian will rasp the teeth) once a year (or more, depending on the horse) in order to eliminate any sharp points and keep their teeth uniform. Here at Tsolum, we use a power float to achieve this.