Is sedation necessary and what are the risks?

A thorough oral examination and/or dental treatment are very unnatural procedures for the horse, which is by nature an escape artist. In the vast majority of animal species (such as cats and dogs), general anesthesia is required for these procedures. Fortunately, in horses, light sedation is almost always sufficient. The intravenously administered medication makes your horse less anxious and tense and allows us to treat your horse safely and accurately. Sedation is almost always essential, both from an animal welfare, ergonomic and safety point of view. 

Sedation can only be administered by a licensed veterinarian. Wouter Demey is a qualified equine veterinarian and will treat your horse with expertise. This minimizes the risks associated with any medication administration and surgery.

A horse in the wild doesn't go to the dentist, does it?

That's right! However, think about this:

- Wild horse populations are subject to natural selection, the average life expectancy is well under 20 years. No "truly wild" horse is ever ridden.

- True wild horses would have disappeared without human intervention. Even Przewalski's horse only survives in the reserves we have created.

- Most of our horses are far away from the "natural horse". They are bred to meet our expectations, such as miniature horses of 65 cm or horses of more than 170cm.

- Wild horses have a different diet and are never stabled.

- The ridden horse is subject to the influences of the rider and his/her equipment (saddle, bridle, spurs, ...) Unfortunately, almost every day we diagnose pressure lesions in the horse's mouth. With proper instructions and adequate equipment, these situations can be avoided.

- The horse's teeth - like the teeth of all mammals - are living tissue and have blood flow and innervation. Horses can experience pain in the mouth and teeth. In addition to disorders specific to horses, many disorders that we know of in humans also occur in our horses.

If I have a toothache, I don't go to the family doctor, right?

That's right! But don't forget: 

In the horse world, the name "equine dentist" is quickly given. However, most "horse dentists" are neither doctors (veterinarians) nor dentists. 

Animal dentistry is veterinary medicine (where do you take your dog when he has dental problems? Yes, to your veterinarian). All veterinary procedures such as injections, pulling teeth (even wolf teeth), etc. are forbidden to non-veterinarians. 

It is true that equine dentistry has evolved rapidly. It has become a branch of equine medicine that needs to be studied in more depth after veterinary studies. 

Can all treatments be done at home?


Standard dental checkups, bit problems, routine dental treatments, etc. can be performed on-site. 

 For this purpose, Equide Veterinary Practice is equipped with a mobile setting. 

For more specialized procedures, it is much better to come to the practice.  Here, everything is available and the work can be done in a qualitative and efficient way. In the end, it is to everyone's advantage. 

Why is a dental check-up not free?

As with any medical treatment, a diagnosis is first necessary. The examination of your horse is at least as important as the treatment itself. In order to properly assess your horse's teeth, your horse must be calm (sedated), its mouth must be rinsed and its head must be placed on a stand. Only then can an examination with light and mirror/probes take place. 

The material, sedation, time and knowledge used to evaluate your horse's teeth are charged. In exchange, you will receive an honest opinion on the condition of your horse's teeth and no unnecessary treatment will be performed!

What are the advantages of coming to the practice rather than having someone come to me?

There are several advantages to coming to Equide, here are a few: 

  • appointments on time and generally much faster than in the field, there is a waiting room as well as a waiting box for your horse. 
  • no travel costs which are often high for one or more horses 
  • the ideal setting to care for your horse in peace (unique in the Benelux). 
  • all state-of-the-art equipment is available and can be used if desired. On the road, the possibilities are more limited. 
  • digital dental chart with, if necessary, all images directly available 
  • more time, space and possibilities for a good explanation and complete information 
  • ...

Have you also studied in the USA?

No, Equide Veterinary Practice considers evidence-based veterinary medicine to be of paramount importance. To this end, many courses are taken around the world with an emphasis on scientifically based diagnosis and treatment. While it is always nice to mention that you "studied in America", this is no guarantee. Currently, the highest level of equine dentistry is found in Scandinavia, the UK and Germany.

What is NCED (Nordic College of Equine Dentistry)?

NCED is an association of veterinarians specialized in equine dentistry. They all have a strong focus on equine welfare and evidence-based medicine. NCED was founded by 6 veterinarians (including Wouter Demey) and is chaired by Dr. Torbjörn Lundström. The purpose of this association is to promote research and education in qualitative equine dentistry. In addition, the NCED is the ideal network to facilitate intercollegiate consultation.

To learn more about the events organized by the NCED (for veterinarians), please visit the "Events" section or for more general information: www.nced.se


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