Between the age of 2 1/2 and 4 1/2 years of age, the horse will shed 24 baby teeth and erupt up to 44 permanent teeth. Usually the baby teeth will fall out on their own, but sometimes they don’t. So when one day in late October Enzo stopped polishing off his feed, we went looking for the reason why, and quickly found a retained incisor.
Kenny, our wonderful dentist, is always encouraging more frequent visits for the youngsters, and this is only part of the reason why. As he explained, two to 3 1/2 years of age is a busy time for horse’s teeth. During this time, they will lose two sets of incisors and two sets of premolars, all to be replaced by permanent teeth. Plus they will have already erupted a second set of permanent molars, and the third set might be getting ready to erupt by 3 1/2. That’s a lot going on in a short timespan! Beyond that, if pairs of fall out at different times, the corresponding permanent teeth will erupt at different times, which leads to uneven wear from day 1, so Kenny’s recommendation is for young horses to always be seen at a minimum of every six months.
It had only been four months since Enzo was last seen, but a lot sure had changed in that time frame! Kenny got him all fixed up, and helped a few (seven!) baby teeth on their way out. He should be good until spring!