Here is our article in the Central Western Daily. Photograph by Phil Blatch.
WHAT do the terms mucous membrane, wolf teeth, slant mouth or diphysodonts have in common?
They’re straight from the horse’s mouth – literally.
Weird horse mouth terminology and bad horse jokes aside, Orange veterinary clinic Central West Equine volunteered its services to help manage the ever-growing denticulation of the horses at Riding for the Disabled (RDA) on Tuesday morning.
Central West Equine practice manager Rachel Ratini said, as members of the Equine Dentals Vets, the Cadia Road-based clinic takes part in the annual initiative called Presents4Ponies, a program designed to allow the equine veterinary industry to give back to various charities.
And with mouths as long as 30 centimetres and the chances of ulceration, wave mouth and gingivitis quite prevalent and uncomfortable, suddenly the reason behind the long face is pretty obvious.
“The RDA is something that does a wonderful job in the community but never really gets a lot of support and struggles to get volunteers,” Ms Ratini said.
“So for us to be able to volunteer and help give a horse some relief then that’s the least we can do.”
Horse teeth never stop growing and cleaning such teeth can be quite challenging.
On hand for the check, veterinarian Dr David Searle checked for food impaction and cracked teeth.
“Obviously horses can’t speak,” Ms Ratini said.
“So they can’t tell us when they’ve got a tooth ache or there’s food stuck between their teeth, so regular checks are petty important.
“For the RDA to be able to help provide relief for others, it’s important the horses don’t have any sharp points and any food stuck in-between their teeth.”