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Why do horses need their teeth “floated”?

As herbivores, horses use their teeth for grinding plant material. This would quickly wear the teeth down, were it not for the fact that their teeth grow continuously. If the teeth are not perfectly aligned as they grow, they will begin to form sharp edges (points) or grow in abnormal patterns. As this progresses, the points rub against the tongue and cheeks causing pain and the distortion of the chewing surface creates problems with the grinding action of the teeth. These problems can lead to weight loss, poor nutrition and pain.

“Floating” involves reshaping the teeth and correcting any alignment problems. Your veterinarian can also help make carrying a bit in the mouth more comfortable as well. Veterinarians understand the anatomy of the mouth and are trained to do more than simply flatten the teeth with a file. By using sedation and the proper equipment, we can keep your horses mouth working properly, saving feed costs and improving performance.¬†Blue Ridge Veterinary Services has both hand and power float equipment available. Call us for more information on this service.

Blue Ridge Veterinary Services can also provide dental care for Llamas and Alpacas.


We have a veterinarian on call for emergencies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call the clinic and if your call is not answered directly you will receive a message instructing you how to reach the on-call doctor.

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