Skip to comments.Horse owners annoyed about new teeth floating law
Posted on 04/07/2009 10:51:18 PM PDT by Chet 99
Comanche County_Horses need "teeth floating" every six months to a year since their teeth grow continually. They need their teeth filed - or floated - so their ever-growing teeth won't cause them discomfort or pain. Until last year, almost anyone could do it, but a law passed in November of 2008 made the practice a felony for anyone who is not a licensed veterinarian. A lot of horse owners are unhappy about the relatively new law, and one person already has been arrested. Horse owners rallied at the Oklahoma capitol to protest the law.
Jane Ann Whisenhunt says the law is inconvenient. Since horse teeth constantly are growing, floating must be done regularly. Sometimes the horse must be sedated - that's where horse owners say the problem lies. Whisenhunt cares for more than 50 horses on her ranch in eastern Comanche County. It's a lot of work feeding, grooming, and floating horses teeth. "I miss not being able to have Chris down here, my dentist down here, who comes in here does all of my horses and walks out," she said. "Now I am going to have to haul them to the vet's."
Hauling the horses to the vet is a hassle, but must be done if the horse is to be kept healthy. "[If their teeth aren't floated] they are not being able to chew their food and utilize their food," said Whisenhunt.
The State Board of Veterinarian Examiners says sedation of the animals is the main concern, and the reason for the law. It says that those who are not licensed vets should not possess the drugs need to sedate the horse. "I can see both sides - I really can," said Whisenhunt. "The safety of the horses is the most important thing." However, she says a lot of vets don't like to float horses teeth. "They will tell you flat out they don't like to float teeth," she said. "It's hard on them - stressful. Most dentists I know would prefer the equine dentist to do it."
For now, vets must do it. "Some horses may have to wait a little longer just because financially I can't," Whisenhunt said. Some owner say not every vet will float horses teeth, and it's hard to find ones that do. The Board of Veterinarian Examiners says there are about 250 licensed vets in the state who will perform the procedure, but in Comanche County there only are three vets who will perform the service. One vet in the area says he favors the law, and that it was passed strictly for the safety of the horses.
...so what happened in thousands of years prior to us floating their teeth?
I think in that case, it was tough cookies for the horse. It lived with the pain.
Much like humans prior to aspirin, chiropractors, massage therapists, or what have you.
A FELONY for floating teeth without a DVM behind your name?
Golly, then what do you get for trimming the hooves? A death sentence?
Horses evolved to eat grasses that have high amounts of silica, so eating natural foods wore the teeth down. Now, with lush pasture and soft forage, they need a little extra help.
We have never floated the teeth of our horses, they chew on stuff, and our horses have always lived long, healthy lives. They have lots of grazing area with grass, brush and weeds and we supplement with a little grain and hay.
Just guessing here, but horses thousands of years ago didn't eat much hay. They grazed prairies, and got lots of dirt and grit with their food, which would have kept their teeth ground down.
This must be a companion thread to the thread yesterday about the problems developing because ignorant liberals have outlawed horse slaughter which produces meat for human consumption. Instead of policing the slaughterhouse and ensuring that the slaughter is done humanely they have so fouled up the marketplace that the poor beasts are suffering terribly. Liberals have driven the price of feed through the roof because of the subsidies of biofuels and so the market is flooded with horses that people cannot afford to feed. Nor can they sell them. Many cannot afford to have a veterinarian euthanize them and dispose of the carcass. So the liberals have squeezed this traditional American relationship between man and horse from both sides and caused untold agony to the poor creatures. Many horses are trucked in indescribable conditions without water to Mexico for a thousand miles to slaughter.
There is no reason to require teeth be floated by a veterinarian. The procedure is too simple. This will only add more expense to the maintenance of pleasure horses and force more horses onto the trucks toward Mexico.
wait until we need a license to post opinions online
Everything is so regulated here in Germany, I tell my neighbors that one must get a license to commit suicide here.
Which tells you that it takes more than just “good intentions” to make good policy.
Bullsqueeze! This law was passed (probably at the urging of the Vets lobby) to provide vets with more work.
They were eating land forage and ingesting enough sand/grit to keep them worn down. They had shorter lifespans to, and bad teeth probably figured in that...
People with too much time on their hands must stop thinking up of ways to make people's lives more difficult.
Hence the old expression “don’t look a gift horse in the mouth”
Yeah, right. It was safety, not money.
People don't 'need' horses.
So they put a reg. on it...just like $100 LTC's...pay for your right.
I owned horses. The farrier floated. The horses seemed bored....and just wanted to get back to eating.
I've never seen a horse in pain' from a float. I, on the other hand, would flinch ...just watching it. YEEEESH!
I would hate to foot that bill. It sounds like the lawmakers have strong ties to the (veternarian) commuinty. Some lobbyist out there must have earned a big bonus over this one.
Do county or state laws apply to indian reservations? Perhaps they just need to take their horses to the reservation for service.
This law is about controlling the drugs, which are being abused by the recreational drug users.
This is so stupid. The mind boggles at all the animal owner’s rights being taken away. Luckily, here in Texas, the vets don’t take these stupid laws so seriously. If I want my horse dentist floating my horses teeth then I’ll go to the vet, get the sedation meds and sedate the dang horses myself. My vet has no problem giving me anything I want since I’m a good customer and a long-time horse owner. Probably the only thing he wouldn’t give me is the rabies vaccine and I don’t blame him for that. I don’t think I’ve ever had a horse vet refuse me anything I’ve asked.
Keep that in mind whenever you hear the "oh so reasonable" assertion that "felons shouldn't be allowed to own guns".
I've also heard that in some locations registering to vote with a political party who's goals you do not agree with (basically, to screw up their Primary) is a felony.
You can tell a horse's age within a year or so by looking in his mouth, at least until he turns 30 and Galvayne's Groove disappears completely from the tooth. Then he's just "aged".
There's some breed variation and individual variation as well, but it's a pretty good rule of thumb.
my thoughts exactly....the loons are really reaching....
making crazy laws one at a time to further criminilze americans. with enough dumbass laws on the books they will eventually have everyone in there system............
Great answer. Just as I suspected. That weed horsetail has lots of silica
Luckily, here in Texas, the vets dont take these stupid laws so seriously.
My vet has no problem giving me anything I want since Im a good customer and a long-time horse owner?”
Not nice to your vet to say something like this in an open forum.
You think anybody here knows me or my vet?
Floating doesn’t need to be done every 6 months. My two Arab mares have gone about 18 months, and one is just starting to need it. The vet said she could probably go 6-12 months more before it would be worth bringing her in - she won’t be sedated without a fight.
A lot depends on their feed. In southern Arizona, it would take a LOT of land to feed one horse. Hay doesn’t wear their teeth down as quick, I think.
That said, I’ve known people who did their own work, and most say that if you want it done right...skip the vet. There are horse dentists that do nothing but, and are very good. Our vet will do it, but he doesn’t like it and would be happy if we hired someone else for the job.
Actually, I support this. No one but a vet should administer the sedative, which is usually IV, and usually in fairly heavy doses, to enable the horse to tolerate the power tools most are using now in their mouth.
If they can do it without sedatives, then more power to them. Most though, can’t do as thorough a job.
As for how horses survived without this in the wild... well, in the wild, success is surviving long enough to breed. In domestication, we are keeping horses, and expecting them to be fit and healthy long into their 20s.
Mine is 28, and is still my riding horse.
Also not to be ignored, is that there is some amount amount of ‘survival of the fittest’ at work in the wild, and not so much in domestication. The uneven wear that is the problem is a problem because of imperfect bites. Those horses with really bad bites would die in the wild, in domestication, they can be easily floated, and bred.
“Equine dentistry” is a completely unregulated field. There is no accreditation or licensing of equine dentists. They are not in any way equivalent to human dentists. They are more like farriers. It’s a trade, and the amount of training really varies. Some went to good schools, some went to weekend crash courses, some may have just apprenticed awhile and hung out a shingle and called themselves a ‘dentist’. They’re not. They’re not doctors.
Ping to my above... Rose... I forgot to ping ya back. Thanks for the ping!
What ever happened to the doggie ping list? I was MIA for a while.
I gave it away, I haven’t been here as much myself. It’s been passed to USMCWife6869 now.
Chet, in the thousands of years prior to floating their teeth the average horse in the wild lived about 8 years, because of their teeth getting sharp bures they couldn’t process their feed as well, lost weight until they were too weak and would get eaten by a Mountain Lion.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.