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Wolf Teeth Extraction - Advice Wanted

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  • Wolf Teeth Extraction - Advice Wanted

    My six year old Arabian gelding is having his wolf teeth extracted on Tuesday. No other medical issues. He did have a strangles nasal booster on Thursday, so why we are waiting to remove the teeth. Was having issues with bit so requested dental exam too, which seems the wolf teeth are coming in longer. I know generally around this age they are extracted from what I have read/understand. Thinking it was causing pain, so of course no bit till these teeth are removed. He has only been back under saddle four times since purchase, thinking it was maybe bit issues I tried different options as previous history from vet said teeth check out good, but decided to have him examined again during booster visit. I've only had my horse for close to three weeks now. So trying to cover all bases with anything health. UTD on everything, sound, and healthy etc. Little bit of a chunk, so doing ground exercise till extraction and working on improving muscle etc over time. Also, no infection in those teeth etc.

    I was just curious in anyone else's experience with their horse having them removed. This will be my first experience with a tooth extraction on a horse. What should I expect? The vet is a Virginia Tech vet and high skilled. He seems to think it'll be an easy uncomplicated removal, of course that's if everything goes well. I know there's always a chance with anything medical. I'd just love any advice on expectations, recovery, or any advice on things that helped you when your horse had their teeth extracted. Already in love with this boy so want to go in as knowledgeable as possible for him. Of course will pop the vet full of more questions Tuesday lol.

    Thanks and I appreciate the feedback!

  • #2
    Usually a non-event .... light sedation ..quick...
    * few days without bit .....

    Jingles & AO ~

    Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


    • #3
      You and your horse will be very happy when the wolf teeth are removed. It makes a huge difference to comfort with the bit. Wolf teeth are usually removed EARLY, before breaking starts. This avoids so many problems, to get them gone before you even start with a horse. Often, they are removed when a colt is gelded. Recovery is usually easy, a few days, but it does depend on how easily they come out, how much digging is necessary. Being older, it may be a bit more of an issue than taking them out when younger. But it will be OK!


      • Original Poster

        Thanks! He wasn't gelded till he was at least 3 years old and I guess the wolf teeth were not removed then either. I know they're like wisdom teeth and can cause lots of issues. Looking forward to them being removed for him. Want to get him as comfortable as possible.Thanks for the advice and look forward to more!


        • #5
          My pony had one removed just the other month. We had planned on having her teeth floated in general because she needed them done and the vet just removed the tooth. It was really nothing. There was some blood, after all a tooth was pulled. My vet suggested a no grain diet for a week because she didn't want anything to fill the hole and get compacted in there. In general pony wanted very fine hay afterwards but I think that's mainly because there was such a change with the float in general. She's 10 and a rescue and had very bad teeth. Besides from eating slowly for a few days she didn't have a single issue. We didn't plan on having to pull the wolf tooth that day, at her age most people expect it to have been done and the pony flat out refused to let us look at her teeth ahead of time, and just did it on the spot.


          • #6
            My 2 1/2 yr old had her wolf teeth extracted in April. Was eating fine that evening and back in light ground driving within a couple days.


            • #7
              Wolf teeth are kind of like the opposite of wisdom teeth They're usually very shallow rooted and pop right out. Totally NBD. They cause issues because the location is prime to get whacked by the bit, not because the tooth itself.

              Canines are like wisdom teeth--massive hunks that are deeply rooted. But they rarely cause any problems and nearly never removed. Are you getting the two confused?


              • #8
                I've seen them extracted without even using sedation, although I'd definitely prefer to have it done with sedation.

                It's usually just a matter of making a tiny incision in the gum and popping the tooth out.

                I've never treated a horse any different after removing wolf teeth.

                Tooth extractions in horses are usually not a big deal, and even less of a big deal with the wolf teeth. I've had so many teeth of all types extracted from horses over the years and all of them have been done on the farm. Is there something particularly complicated about your horse's situation?
                Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO


                • Original Poster

                  Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                  Wolf teeth are kind of like the opposite of wisdom teeth They're usually very shallow rooted and pop right out. Totally NBD. They cause issues because the location is prime to get whacked by the bit, not because the tooth itself.

                  Canines are like wisdom teeth--massive hunks that are deeply rooted. But they rarely cause any problems and nearly never removed. Are you getting the two confused?
                  I didn't mean in root size etc. My trainer just referred to them as being like wisdom teeth as in being painful sometimes and can cause issues. Which of course is from the bit hitting as it sits there where those teeth are located. It isn't the canine teeth, definitely the wolf. I know the difference lol. I get what you're saying though as far as roots size etc. Was more an analogy of them being a pain if not taken care of (because of the bit).


                  Glad to know it's usually a simple procedure. Thank you all for the the feedback. Greatly appreciated!


                  • #10
                    More like....I don't know, pimples? Slightly annoying right of passage.

                    I had a mare come off the track who had knocked out her OWN wolf tooth. Wasn't broken or anything, but was barely hanging on with a piece of gum tissue. Not sure why it had never been taken care of--wolf teeth are really low hanging fruit for trackers looking to improve racing performance--but that's often how easy they are. Small amount of pressure and POOF gone.


                    • #11
                      I have seen wolf teeth removal being much easier done very young, over waiting until horse is old enough for training. Small, young horse means small wolf teeth in most cases, often not even as big as a buckle tongue end. Waiting means teeth grow bigger along with horse, can be more work to remove, leave bigger holes, longer healing time. A horse dentist brought his tooth collection, with one board of nothing but wolf teeth. Teeth were labeled by breed, age and gender of horse when removed. Sizes went from very tiny to HUGE, both in tooth diameter and length. One was as big around as a thumb and as long! There were many long ones, hard to figure how they even fit in the jaw. All the biggest ones were from older horses, even aged horses who never got tooth care until there was a problem.

                      My Grampa was attentive to proper tooth care, so he had teeth checked and wolf teeth removed. He said he had bought a young, untrained horse and when it was bridled it went crazy stupid. Turned out there was a big, loose wolf tooth that got driven into his gum when the bit rested on it. Horse was in severe pain when bridled. Grampa got the tooth removed and horse turned into a real nice animal. He said he had checked front teeth for age and wear, never looked at where the molars started before purchase. He insisted we get our young horses wolf teeth removed as yearlings or new purchases for safety, never have to worry wolf teeth would cause problems later. Mares needed checking too, colts were not the only ones with wolf teeth.

                      We still do that, wolf teeth out as yearlings at their first tooth check. Horse has had another excuse removed before it could cause a problem or training issue.


                      • #12
                        The first time the vet tried to pull the wolf teeth on my gelding he was just under four and just starting under saddle. It was a no go. It might has well have been super glued into place. He was sedated from a floating. Rather than do anything heroic we let it go. With some experimentation on bit placement and mouthpiece type he was progressing reasonably well. Two years later he was again being floated and she noted a tiny bit of movement so she tried again. This time she got more and had to finish. It almost immediately popped out and we saw why it was so fixed: it was about 1 1/4" long! She did the other side and is was a nub, less than a third that size. Work in the bit got a lot easier after that!

                        I guess the gelding's sire and dam never read the book on wolf teeth size!!!


                        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo


                        • #13
                          I am curious if any of the posters here have a dentist that uses local anesthesia when doing an extraction? The reason why I use the equine dentist I have for my horse is because she does this for all extractions, including wolf teeth. As others have said, wolf teeth can vary in size and I watched my vet dig giant ones (out of a mare, for those who think only males have them) and it was a bit of a battle. The mare was sedated AND had local anesthetic, so it was fine. I think it's disgusting when people go digging around in their mouths without it. Just because they are sedated to the point they aren't jerking away doesn't mean they aren't FEELING what you are doing. And horses are pretty stoic. Doesn't mean we shouldn't try to make medical procedures comfortable for them just because they stand there and take it.

                          I watched a different vet pull wolf teeth with no anesthetic and winced. The horse's owner commented that it was fine, he wasn't feeling anything, right? Should have seen her face when I informed her sedation was NOT pain relief. . . oops. My dentist is a vet who specializes in equine dentistry so she has the access to all of these medications. . . she is very well respected in my area so I can't understand why more dentistry specialists don't do this. . .

                          Anyway the takeaway from this is I think you can ask for a local anesthetic for your horse for the procedure. I would, but I may be alone on this. Carry on . . .


                          • #14
                            I told my daughter I was going to have dangly earrings made for her from her horse's wolf teeth!


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by RemiPony View Post

                              I was just curious in anyone else's experience with their horse having them removed. This will be my first experience with a tooth extraction on a horse. What should I expect?
                              Should be very simply, quick, and straightforward with only light sedation. Not a big deal.

                              But your horse will appreciate having them gone when he carries a bit!

                              It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.


                              • Original Poster

                                He gets them out today. I appreciate all the feedback! Definitely has helped ease my nerves. Thank you all!


                                • Original Poster

                                  Everything went great. Had no issues getting them out and so far, no complications. Thanks again all!


                                  • #18
                                    Just out of interest did anyone ever have a vet recommend rinsing a horses with salt water after wolf teeth removal?

                                    Wondering if it's just me who has never come across it?
                                    "He's not even a good pathological liar." Mara

                                    "You're just a very desperate troll, and not even a good one. You're like middle-school troll at best. Like a goblin, not even a troll." et_fig


                                    • Original Poster

                                      The vet rinsed his mouth after the procedure, but I was never told to do so on my own afterwards. They said to let him go on about things as he normally would (minus any bit type riding). They only recommended to wet grain or hay, but he is currently on pasture grazing with spring/summer.


                                      • #20
                                        Ive had a lot of horses done over the years and TBH I have never noticed a single change in any of them. Those with contact issues before still had them after, they didnt seem related.