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A Horse of a Different Color

Just like horses, Zebras require maintenance on their teeth to ensure the teeth line up properly and the animal can eat without any discomfort. If sores or ulcers develop from sharp points on the teeth the horse, or zebra, can stop eating or not be able to digest enough food to maintain a good weight. Often owners notice weight loss, and no matter how much they feed the animal it will not gain weight. This is often a result of one of two things: a heavy parasite infestation and/or improper teeth alignment. (To learn more about parasites check out the “Got Worms?” article written by Tia Tuttle RVT on our website.)

A horse’s permanent tooth is about four inches long from root to crown. The teeth do not lie flat on each other. The upper teeth hang over on the cheek side of the lower teeth. As your horse chews the sides wear unevenly causing sharp points and hooks. These can cause discomfort and sores in the horse’s mouth. It is recommended to float a horse’s teeth once a year to smooth down all sharp points and hooks.

Dr. Stone uses a power float and mild sedation to make the process quick and easy for the patient. With horses the teeth are floated while standing. With the zebra being a wild animal and easily frightened we laid her down to make the procedure less stressful for her, we also laid a towel over her eyes to make the environment dark and help her relax. We used a mouth speculum to hold her mouth open, smoothed down all points and hooks, and easily took the speculum off. She woke up shortly after the procedure without any complications.

Article written by Tia Tuttle RVT

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  • Penny King, Oblong IL

    I can’t say enough about Dr. Stone & his staff. They go above & beyond & take the extra mile to take care of your horses needs. They really care about what your horse really needs.

    They have been up all night with emergency colic surgery with a positive outcome. They saved a foal that was born three weeks early. I can’t even begin to tell everything we have been thru together. But I can tell you one thing, they don’t come any better than Dr. Stone & his staff. They are like family to our horses & us.”