WHAT ARE WOLF TEETH?
Wolf teeth are small peg- like teeth that sit just in front of the first cheek teeth of horses. They have no function and if present are normally found in the maxilla (upper jaw), although mandibular (lower jaw)wolf teeth are found very occasionally.
Wolf teeth should be removed under sedation and ideally local anaesthetic. It is essential that the whole tooth including the root is removed and that minimal gum trauma caused. Use of a headstand and adequate light are essential to ensure safe and complete removal of the tooth.
WOLF TEETH REMOVAL
Wolf teeth can be removed using a variety of instruments. These are used to cut the ligament that attaches the tooth to the underlying tissue. Once loose the tooth can be grasped with forceps and extracted.
Some wolf teeth may be displaced and may sit below the gum line, often lying at an angle. These wolf teeth are called ‘blind’ wolf teeth. These are identified by careful examination on the area of the gum in front of the cheek teeth. Removal of the ‘blind’ teeth requires an incision of the gum prior to extraction.
After removal, horses should be given tetanus antitoxin (if not vaccinated) and a period of time off work without a bit being placed in the mouth. This will vary depending on the size of wolf tooth removed but may be as long as ten days.