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Wolf Teeth
Equine Dental
Friday 4th of January 2013 09:25 AM

"Wolf Teeth" in horses are vestigial premolar teeth that appear in the gap, called "the bars," between the rear molars and the front incisors. They are usually shed before age 3, but if the horse is asked to accept a bit before they are gone, these non-functional teeth can interfere with the bit and cause pain. Behavioral reactions, such as head-shaking and unresponsiveness.

Blind wolf teeth are wolf teeth that are present but may not have erupted through the gum. They may remain completely underneath the gingiva.

 

There is a school of thought which says that all ridden horses should have their wolf teeth extracted because if they are removed then they cannot cause any problems and it is not a major surgical procedure. With the wolf teeth removed it is also easier to put in a proper bit seat. There is another school of thought which believes that wolf teeth should be assessed and removed when they are likely to be causing a problem. Very few vets or equine dental technicians subscribe to the belief that they are never a problem. Certainly it is useful to assess wolf teeth because some horse owners are reluctant to have them removed unless they are very likely to be causing problems.


 

Example of wolf tooth extractors. The cylinder like design is placed over the tooth to remove the tissue so that an elevator can be introduced.
 

 
 


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