A new raft of resources for both horse owners and veterinarians undertaking oral care on horses is being promoted by the British Equine Veterinary Association (BEVA).
BEVA says the emphasis of routine equine dentistry should be on the examination rather than the rasping procedure. Its dental resources include “how to perform a thorough oral examination” and a new digital dental chart.
Acknowledging that some horse owners chose to use an equine dental technician to provide routine dental care for their horse, BEVA encouraged its veterinary members to develop good working relationships with technicians, and provides guidance on working with EDTs.
The new online resource explains exactly what routine dentistry entails and who is qualified to do what in your horse’s mouth – there are strict regulations limiting what non-vets can do.
“The term ‘dentist’ should only be applied to the human field and there is no direct equine equivalent, though vets with diploma level qualifications are the nearest thing,” said Neil Townsend MSc BVSc Cert ES (Soft Tissue) DipECVS DipEVDC (Equine) MRCVS RCVS Specialist in Equine Surgery European Specialist in Equine Dentistry.
“Only veterinary surgeons can administer treatments such as antibiotics and anti-inflammatories and provide sedation, whether oral or intravenous.”
Its resources for veterinarians include webinars, courses and workshops, which are free to BEVA members.
“Whilst the science of equine dentistry is considerably deficient compared to the human dentistry, it is encouraging that this knowledge shortfall is being slowly remedied by the vast array of fundamental research recently published,” BEVA said.
The guide for horse owners, from MSD Animal Health, includes a guide to equine oral anatomy, advice on spotting dental problems, how an exam is performed and what it might show, and further resources.
» Horse owner’s guide: Caring for your horse’s teeth