Horse teeth

related topics
{specie, animal, plant}
{@card@, make, design}
{car, race, vehicle}
{disease, patient, cell}
{day, year, event}
{island, water, area}
{system, computer, user}
{math, energy, light}
{church, century, christian}

Horses' teeth are often used to estimate the animal's age, hence the sayings "long in the tooth", "straight from the horse's mouth" and "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth".

Contents

Types of teeth

At five years of age a horse has between 36 and 44 teeth. All horses have

Additionally, a horse may have:

  • Between 4 and 5 canine teeth (tushes, tusks) between the molars and incisors. Generally all male horses have four canines. However, few female horses (less than 28%) have canines, and those that do usually have only one or two, which many times are only partially erupted.[2]
  • Between zero to four wolf teeth, which are vestigial premolars and not canines as the name may suggest. About 13-32% of all horses also are born with wolf teeth, with most of those having only one or two. They are equally common in male and female horses and much more likely to be on the upper jaw. If present these can cause problems in the bitting of the horse as they can interfere with the horse's bit contact, and may also make it difficult to rasp the second premolar. Therefore, wolf teeth are commonly removed.[1]

Tooth growth

A horse's incisors, premolars, and molars, once fully developed, continue to erupt as the grinding surface is worn down through chewing. A young adult horse will have teeth which are 4.5-5 inches long, but the majority of the crown remaining below the gumline in the dental socket. The rest of the tooth will slowly emerge from the jaw, erupting about 1/8" each year, as the horse ages. When the animal reaches old age, the crowns of the teeth are very short and the teeth are often lost altogether. Very old horses, if lacking molars, may need to have their fodder ground up and soaked in water to create a soft mush for them to eat in order to obtain adequate nutrition. Commercially prepared hay pellets and Hay cubes can be moistened for this purpose. Beet pulp may also be a suitable feed.

Full article ▸

related documents
Seashell
Ostrich
Squid
Felidae
Dingo
Odd-toed ungulate
Sea urchin
Chordate
Ermine
Amphibian
Albertosaurus
Alternation of generations
Antelope
Tuber
Bear
Opossum
Penguin
Primate
Columbidae
Apatosaurus
Domestic water buffalo
Procellariiformes
Cetacea
Ammonite
Inflorescence
Gorilla
Dog breed
Indri
Reproduction
Triceratops