Old horses tend to suffer from a variety of dental conditions, some of which can cause other health related problems including weight loss, signs of abdominal pain (colic), and large colon impactions.
Dental overgrowths that contact soft tissues can cause pain; lost and loose teeth reduce the grinding area available for proper processing of feed; periodontal pockets forming from gaps between teeth (diastema) can cause eating to be painful.
Geriatric dentistry involves preserving the teeth and their pain-free function for as long as possible. This is not simply a “float.” It involves periodic careful examination and treatment of problems.
Treatment of periodontal disease and diastema can greatly improve the quality of life for older horses. Vets often evaluate the general health of old horses (not just their mouth and teeth), to ensure that they can tolerate sedation and any dental procedures performed.
Other Diagnoses Considered
Prognosis & Relevant Factors
Prognosis depends on how much useable dental surface still exists and the severity of periodontal disease.
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