Signs a Horse’s Teeth Need To Be Floated

Just as is the case for humans, it’s remarkably important that a horse has very healthy dental hygiene. One aspect of proper dental hygiene is that a horse’s teeth need to be in optimal shape. However, sometimes it can be the case that the teeth of your horse need to be floated by the vet due to normal wear and tear. If you don’t know when this needs to be done exactly, keep an eye out for the following signs.

Changing Eating Habits

First and foremost, when a horse’s teeth need to be floated, you’ll find that their eating habits will gradually change.

For example, it could be that your horse is going through a loss of appetite. That is, when your horse’s teeth need to be floated, your horse will definitely show less enthusiasm when it comes to eating. Even more so, your horse will probably be a little afraid to eat because of the discomfort caused by their sharp teeth.

Furthermore, the particular way that your horse chews will be different as well. For instance, it will be difficult for the horse at hand to chew efficiently and smoothly. Consequently, your hose will regularly drop hay or grain out of their mouth when they’re chewing because chewing just won’t work that well. Often, your horse will also try to chew their food on one side of their mouth as much as possible to help relieve some of the pain. Because of this action, your horse can additionally develop puffy cheeks, so that’s something to keep in mind, for sure.

Finally, you’ll probably notice little balls of hay lying around in your horse’s stables as well. This is a clear sign that something is wrong with the teeth of your horse in general and that your horse’s teeth need to be floated specifically.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that this first sign is extremely pertinent. If you don’t keep a close eye on your horse’s eating habits, it’s possible that your horse loses a significant amount of weight as a result in the meantime. When this is the case, your horse won’t be getting the required energy to get through the day, which definitely is a problem.

Behavioral Changes

More generally, you’ll also just notice that your horse won’t be their normal self and won’t be as happy and carefree as would otherwise be the case. When a horse’s teeth are too sharp and cause pain, the horse at hand will express that discomfort very clearly. For example, they will jerk their head around while you’re riding them. Also, the horse will constantly shake their head out of sheer frustration.

Besides that, your horse will show more resistance because they won’t be feeling up to the mark. Your horse can show this by acting difficult when you’re trying to put a saddle on their back for example.

Bad-Smelling Breath

Moreover, when your horse’s teeth need to be floated, you’ll also find that your horse will have a really bad-smelling breath. That is to say, sharp teeth really have a detrimental effect on the digestive system of your horse and this can cause remaining food scraps to fester in the mouth of your horse. In turn, this can cause your horse to develop very bad breath.

Saliva changes

Lastly, you can also observe the saliva of your horse if you suspect that their teeth need to be floated. A horse with dental problems often produces a lot more saliva as some sort of automatic body reaction to the pain they experience. This also has to do with the fact that swallowing can be really painful when a horse’s teeth are in a bad shape, which of course also leads to excess saliva in that horse’s mouth.

Because of the sharp teeth, it can also sometimes be that traces of blood can be found in your horse’s saliva. Namely, these teeth can seriously damage the mucous membrane in the back of your horse’s mouth, which explained the traces of blood.


All in all, you really need to pay close attention to the teeth of your horse and make sure that you get them floated every once in a while when it’s necessary. Otherwise, your horse can be in a lot of pain, and there possible can be other negative health consequences such as losing unintended weight involved as well, because of the unsatisfactory functioning of the digestive system. That’s precisely why it’s so crucial to keep the above-mentioned signs in the back of your head, so you’ll be significantly better prepared!