Equine Internal Medicine and Dentistry Service

Photo: Equine Medicine and Dentistry Service

Select image to enlarge

Welcome to the Equine Internal Medicine and Dentistry Service at the UC Davis VMTH. Every day, the board-certified experts at the Large Animal Clinic see dozens of horses. Our team approach to patient care focuses on the goal of providing the highest standard of compassionate veterinary care to ill or injured horses. Veterinary professionals at the VMTH are dedicated to providing a broad range of advanced treatments to horse owners, while simultaneously training future veterinary practitioners and specialists.

As an educational institution, the VMTH can offer an abundance of attentive and personalized care to each animal. Our world-renowned specialists have access to and are developers of cutting-edge equipment, technology and veterinary procedures.

Internal Medicine

Equine internal medicine is a distinct branch of specialty veterinary care providing knowledge and expertise in a variety of fields. Although most large-animal veterinarians practice some internal medicine each day, specialists at the VMTH have gained valuable experience in diagnosing and treating unusual and complex cases. Our clinicians are supported by state-of-the-art laboratories, diagnostic imaging resources and therapeutic modalities. Faculty and residents are all actively involved in clinical research, which allows us to expand our knowledge and improve the care and well-being of our equine patients.


One of the most important concepts horse owners can embrace is that prevention is the absolute key to good health. This is especially true with dental health. For centuries, people who owned horses knew the importance of caring for their animals’ teeth. Historically, the better the horse’s dentition, the more the horse was worth. Between then and now, veterinarians have paid much less attention to the dental health of horses and much of equine dentistry was left up to lay people who passed their knowledge on to each other in informal settings.

Today we know better. Modern equine dentistry requires a physical exam of the entire patient, sedation, and specialized instrumentation to perform the oral exam. Dentistry today has brought forth new ways to approach pathological conditions in the horse’s mouth. Once a horse has reached the age of 6 years, all of his permanent teeth are in position and use. If the horse has had periodic, comprehensive dental care up to this time and has no severe malocclusions or dental disease, he’s well poised for lifelong dental health. He should receive maintenance every 8-12 months thereafter. At UC Davis, we are training new veterinary graduates to perform modern equine dentistry.  With ongoing research and study of certain conditions, we will continue to refine treatments for our equine patients.

Equine Dentistry Impacts (PDF)