When most horse owners hear about wolf teeth, they quickly learn about the problems associated with them. Trainers, dentists, and veterinarians will be the first to describe how bothersome these teeth can be for your horse’s comfort. Most people will not even start a horse with a bit until the wolf teeth have been removed. Let’s take a deeper look into your horse’s mouth!
The wolf teeth are known as vestigial teeth because they are no longer necessary. Your horse may have anywhere between zero and four of them. Mares, geldings, and stallions can have them, but mares seem to be slightly more likely.
Their placement is the reason they cause so much trouble. Wolf teeth are located in the bars of the horses’ mouth. That’s between the incisors and grinders. They can sometimes be harder to see especially if your horse isn’t a fan of probing hands in his mouth. Since they are sharp, anytime the cheeks are pressed against them can cause discomfort.
It is far easier to have the teeth removed when the horse is younger and they have not fused to the bone of the jaw. This can be done as young as 6 to 12 months old. Their extraction is normally a simple procedure and your horse will be sedated. A root elevator may be used to loosen the tooth, followed by forceps to wiggle it out of the socket. No aftercare is usually needed and your horse will heal within about a week.
Once the wolf teeth are removed your horse is likely to be much more comfortable when you begin his training. Responsible horse owners must take the time to schedule regular dental examinations.