Catching dental problems early can help keep your horse healthy. Horses over 5 years old should receive annual checkups; younger horses should be examined twice a year.
- Dropping food while eating, difficulty chewing or excessive salivation.
- Loss of body condition.
- Large or undigested feed particles (long stems or whole grain) in manure.
- Head tilting or tossing, bit chewing, tongue lolling, fighting the bit or resisting bridling.
- Poor performance, such as lugging on the bridle, failure to turn or stop, even bucking.
- Foul odor from mouth or nostrils, or traces of blood from the mouth.
- Nasal discharge or swelling of the face, jaw or mouth tissues.
Source: “Learn to Recognize Your Horse’s Dental Problems,” American Association of Equine Practitioners