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Equine Health Resource

Wolf Teeth Causing Resistance to Bit

Wolf teeth are non-functional (vestigial) remnants of the first premolar teeth that occur in a high percentage of young horses. They are located just in front of the row of cheek teeth. They usually develop by 9-18 months of age, are small (about the size of a pea or smaller) and pointed.

Most wolf teeth are upper teeth, as lower wolf teeth are rare. A high percentage of females than males have wolf teeth.

In some cases, wolf teeth can create pain or irritation when mouth tissues are pinched between them and a bit. Due to this, they are often removed.

In our vet practice, we remove wolf teeth in male horses during routine castrations.

QUESTIONS TO ASK MY VET

  • Are these wolf teeth really the cause of my horse's misbehavior or poor performance under saddle?
  • PREVENTION

    If there is doubt about whether or not wolf teeth are to blame for a behavior, they are typically removed.

    Many breeders and trainers have their horse's wolf teeth removed at castration or between 1-2 years of age.

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    Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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