Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Teeth are Discolored, Stained or Caked in Material

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Yellow - Contact Your Vet at Your Convenience for an Appointment

  • If you think your horses may be in need of routine dental care.
  • To discuss your equine's general health and management.

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • To discuss your equine's general health and management.

The majority of a horse’s teeth (the grinding cheek teeth) are not easily visible. What are easily visible are the front nipping teeth (the incisors) and the canine teeth (mostly only found in male horses) behind them.

The canine teeth often become caked in yellow tartar. In most cases, taken alone without any other signs of injury or illness, this is not harmful. Your vet will often choose to remove tartar when they perform routine dental care.

Horses grazing on pastures with certain soil types may develop mineral staining of the incisor teeth, which can appear as a dark brown or almost black color. In most cases this is not harmful.

There is however, an abnormal condition known as Equine Odontoclastic Tooth Resorption & Hypercementosis (EOTRH), which causes change in color and appearance of the enamel of the front teeth. Your vet can differentiate normal findings from this condition.

WHAT TO DO

If you have questions about the appearance of your horse’s teeth, take a photo and send it to your vet for further discussion.

WHAT YOUR VET DOES

Your vet performs an oral and dental exam to determine the nature of the problem and whether any treatment is needed.

Helpful Terms & Topics in HSVGWritten, Reviewed or Shared by Experts in Equine Health

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP

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