Dental disease a common issue for horses in the UK

The survey found that 54 per cent of horses with dental problems were treated by a veterinary surgeon.

 

The importance of raising awareness of equine dental disease has been flagged up in the latest National Equine Health Survey (NEHS).

The NEHS annual snapshot, conducted by the Blue Cross in conjunction with the BEVA, quizzed 5,235 people and returned records for 15,433 horses. Dental disease emerged as a significant problem for horses in the UK, with 841 suffering from trouble with their teeth.

The issue was the sixth most frequently recorded individual disease syndrome in the survey. A total of 54 per cent of horses with dental problems were treated by a veterinary surgeon and 46 per cent received attention from an equine dental technician.

The survey also shows that just over 90 per cent of horses received regular dental checks, with around two-thirds receiving annual checks and one third receiving checks every six months. Commenting on the findings, equine vet Dr Wendy Talbot from Zoetis UK said:

“It is tricky to know if a horse has dental problems because you can’t see inside the mouth and often there won’t be any obvious symptoms. This is why regular check-ups are so important. It’s reassuring to see that a high percentage of horses are receiving regular dental checks.”

The top five disease syndromes recorded by the NEHS 2017 were skin diseases, lameness, metabolic diseases, eye problems and gastrointestinal problems.

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