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September 06, 2017
Has your horse ever licked you? Be honest.
Do you know where that tongue has been? Which begs a third question: When was the last time you examined your horse's tongue?
Never, you say? Well, if your horse hasn't had any obvious mouth issues over time, you can relax and enjoy his amorous overtures. But now's probably a good time to consider setting up a routine for regular mouth checks between dental exams.
Just as in humans, tongue issues can signal other problems in a horse's body. Knowing something about your horse’s tongue structure and disorders to look for can help head off or identify more serious problems.
The Horse's Tongue Structure
Take note! Here are some horse tongue anatomy facts:
But where are the horse tongue function facts? Glad you asked!
The horse tongue is:
Your horse can easily injure his tongue, due to environment, exercise and even curiosity. Here are some common causes:
Luckily, in many cases there are symptoms that signal a problem with your horse’s tongue. These include:
Those symptoms could be indicative of one or more of the following:
To be safe, check your horse’s mouth/tongue after any uncommon incident or activity, and consult your vet promptly about any changes you notice.
If you rarely or never check your horse’s mouth, you’ll be less likely to discover tongue or other problems before they become painful for both you (in the wallet) and your horse.
Here are some tips to follow when conducting a thorough mouth checkup:
What you need:
What to do:
What to look for:
Establish a normal routine to check the tongue and mouth so you can more quickly and economically address abnormal conditions or potential problems, and avoid undue discomfort for your horse.
Then you two can relax and get back to nuzzling.
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