Equine Dental Exams: Now Is the Time

Annual dental care can help position horses for year-round success
By Jeff Hall, DVM, senior equine technical services veterinarian, Zoetis

Equine dentistry has been transformed in the last decade to a practice that helps keep horses at a healthy weight and performing at their best. It is important to remind your horse owners their horse requires an annual dental examination, at a minimum. Annual vaccination appointments provide a great opportunity for follow-up dental wellness care.

This has become especially important as horses are living longer. Horse’s teeth continually erupt, and this, combined with the rotational grinding of the teeth, can cause sharp enamel points, hooks, wave mouth and other dental issues that can cause difficulty eating, bit discomfort and reduced suppleness in the jaw, poll and topline.

To provide the highest standard of care, a dental exam is best accomplished with use of a full mouth speculum, which allows for a more complete visualization and palpation of most aspects of the teeth. The practice of checking only the lateral aspect of the first cheek tooth to determine the need for floating is often incomplete, as it leaves many teeth unexamined.

To complete a full mouth speculum dental exam, horses need to be sedated for their safety and yours. Sedation also ensures compassionate care of the horse and precise control of the procedure being performed. When considering equine sedation, a consistent, adequate and reliable sedative is preferred. Additionally, a sedative that also offers pain relief is advantageous to ensure a more comfortable patient.

DORMOSEDAN® Sterile Solution (detomidine hydrochloride) meets equine sedation and analgesic needs — as well as veterinarian safety — in just one dose. With more than 30 years of supporting safety data, DORMOSEDAN provides the veterinarian with confident, reliable sedation.1

Veterinarians should have confidence DORMOSEDAN is safe for their equine patients. An alpha 2 adrenoceptor agonist, DORMOSEDAN has a high affinity for alpha 2 receptors in the horse’s body to provide a consistent level of sedation. Once alpha 2 receptors are occupied, the sedation and analgesia effects are prolonged, but not deepened. This self-limiting safety mechanism with DORMOSEDAN helps alleviate worry of adverse physiologic effects, such as a decreased cardiovascular or respiratory rate.

With just one dose of DORMOSEDAN, veterinarians can better complete the dental procedure, reducing the additional costs and time of re-sedation. Compared with combining multiple types of different sedatives, using DORMOSEDAN alone eliminates concern of product-to-product cross-reactivity. Veterinarians do not have to track dosing for multiple products. The need for special handling of a scheduled or controlled drug is also eliminated.

For best results, it is important to accurately dose the horse per his weight. Using the appropriate label dose helps ensure adequate sedation and analgesia. To help improve the accuracy of weight measurement, Zoetis developed the free app: Horse Weight Calculator. Simply enter a horse’s body measurements for an accurate weight — wherever you are.

To learn more about DORMOSEDAN, talk to your Zoetis representative or visit DORMOSEDAN.com.

Do not use DORMOSEDAN Sterile Solution in horses with pre-existing atrioventricular (AV) or sinoatrial (SA) block, with severe coronary insufficiency, cerebrovascular disease, respiratory disease, or chronic renal failure. Do not use in anesthetized or sedated horses, or in conditions of shock, severe debilitation or stress due to extreme heat, cold, fatigue or high altitude. Do not use in horses intended for human consumption. Handle dosing syringes with caution to avoid direct exposure to skin, eyes or mouth. See full Prescribing Information.

About Zoetis
Zoetis (zō-EH-tis) is the leading animal health company, dedicated to supporting its customers and their businesses. Building on more than 60 years of experience in animal health, Zoetis discovers, develops, manufactures and markets veterinary vaccines and medicines, complemented by diagnostic products and genetic tests and supported by a range of services. Zoetis serves veterinarians, livestock producers and people who raise and care for farm and companion animals with sales of its products in more than 100 countries. In 2015, the company generated annual revenue of $4.8 billion with approximately 9,000 employees. For more information, visit www.zoetisUS.com.

For more information, contact:
Jaci Boggs, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM

Kassi Hoxmeier
Bader Rutter  

1 Freedom of Information Summary. NADA 140-862.



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