Week 8 Action Points: Dental Care & Parasite Control


Learn to preform FECs or have the vet do an FEC on every horse at spring annuals.  This will help determine their egg load, and which category they fall into; a-low shedder, b-medium shedder, c-heavy shedder, with these findings begin working with a vet to develop an appropriate deworming schedule for all horse on the property.


By determining each individual horse’s FEC I can begin a treatment plan, I can also house equivalent shedders together to prevent the possibility of a low shedder being infested by a heavy shedder.  Once a heavy shedder leaves that category they can move into a paddock that has equivalent shedders with them.


When keeping same shedders together I can better control parasitic outbreaks on my farm as a horse without worms is less likely to contract them if they are not subjected to them.  Parasitic infections are also a biohazard issue and should be treated as such. For example, buckets, stalls, feed bins, door handles, gates etc. would all have to be sterilized before allowing a non-shedder to enter to prevent an infestation.  Workers would also have to start working with low shedding horses and work their ways to heavy shedders.  They would clean wheel barrows, shovels, rakes, harrows, boots and clothes before going back to working with non infected horses.

Upon arrival of a new horse to the property I would make an FEC mandatory so that I could catagorize the horse as such.  And they would be immediately put in quarantine to be monitored for the passage of worms.  The horse would then be dewormed according to what they were passing with a dewormer recommended by mine/the owner’s vet team.

Prime Facts talks worming and the best dewormers for the egg loads that are present in the horse.

Roundworm Infestation


Have the vet preform an oral exam on each horse during annuals, identifying problem areas.  Utilize these findings to develop a treatment plan and discuss with the vet if veterinary dental care will suffice or if an equine dentist would be of best assistance given the circumstances.


Horse’s use their teeth everyday and when an oral issue arises it needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, although not classified as an emergency.  When we catch oral problems in the beginning we can better prevent oral issues such as hooks, waves, step mouth, tartar build up, food impaction, address retained baby teeth in the adult horse and cheek ulcers from sharp teeth continually rubbing on the cheek.  Oral issues in horses can lead to a variety of issues that I will address in additional information.


We have all heard of the saying “no hoof, no horse”, well why isn’t the saying “bad mouth, no horse” a thing as well?  Horses use their teeth on a daily basis for chewing and grinding up forage, this is the immediate base for nutrition, if a horse cannot chew their food properly they may begin dropping it.  Dropping food then limits their forage intake of approximately 2% of their body weight because they are less likely to pick up what they have just dropped out of their mouths.  With this being said malnutrition may usually accompany with oral health issues. Much like everything else we have learned in this course, prevention is key.  It is easier to address and issue before it becomes a problem.

Common symptoms of horses with dental issues are

Behavioral changes

Blood in mouth

Discharge from nasal passages

Dull coat

Excessive drooling

Food dropping from mouth

Foul odor from mouth or nose

Head tilting

Head tossing

Poor condition

Reluctance to accept bit

Swelling of face

Tongue dangling

Poorly chewed food

Undigested food in manure

Weight loss

Any combination of the above symptoms should warrant a visit from your vet or equine dentist.

Read more at: https://wagwalking.com/horse/condition/dental-problems-due-to-wear#

Keep in mind that horses experience mouth pain can become downright dangerous, and threatening.  Meaning it will not be safe for anyone to deal with these horses.

Texas Equine Dentistry gives us examples of common dental issues that arise in our domesticated equine friends.

Healthy Molars


Unhealthy Molars


“Dental Problems Due to Wear In Horses.” Wags Walking, wagwalking.com/horse/condition/dental-problems-due-to-wear#.

“Eew What’s That in My Horse’s Poo?!” Westgate Labs, www.westgatelabs.co.uk/info-zone/parasites-affecting-horses/eew-what-s-that-in-my-horse-s-poo/.

“Equine Denstistry.” Frame, Swift and Partners | Vet | Penrith, www.frameswiftandpartners.co.uk/equine_dentistry.htm.

“Equine Dentist.” Winding Road Horse Training, windingroadhorsetraining.com/training/prerequisites/equine-dentist/.

Robinson, Sarah. “Worm Control in Horses.” Inudstry, PrimeFacts, Feb. 2010, www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/333374/Worm-control-in-horses.pdf.

Warren, David. “Common Equine Dental Problems.” Texas Equine Dental Centre, www.texasequinedentist.com/equine-dental-care/common-equine-dental-problems.html.

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