The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) is reminding people to make a sure they follow through on annual dental check-ups - for their horses.
August is AVA Pet Dental Health Month and this year there is a special focus on equine dentistry. The Australian Veterinary Dental Society (AVDS), a special interest group of the Australian Veterinary Association, is targeting owners about the need to look after their horse's oral health.
"At a minimum, horses should receive a dental check-up every year as an essential part of their regular annual physical examination," Dr Tony Caiafa, President of the Australian Veterinary Dental Society said.
"Routine dental check-ups will identify problems early and decrease the chance of bad teeth and gums leading to other serious health complications for the horse.
"Horses that experience problems with their teeth can suffer weight loss. The inability for them to chew feed into small particles can lead to colic, and bacteria associated with gum disease can migrate to other areas of their body and cause illnesses.
"These conditions have been linked to spontaneous abortion, low birth weights and heart disease.
"Horses with problems may show obvious signs, such as pain when eating, spitting food out or becoming irritable," Dr Caiafa said.
"However some may show no noticeable signs at all, but left undiagnosed and untreated, a dental problem can develop into a much bigger health problem.
"This is why a proper assessment from a veterinarian isn't just important, it's crucial, for maintaining the overall heath of your horse," Dr Caiafa said.
AVA Pet Dental Health Month is a nationwide effort to promote the importance of dental care as an essential part of good health for pets.