What Are Wolf Teeth?
In horses, wolf teeth are small, vestigial premolars ("vestigial" means something that has lost most or all of its original function through evolution). Although wolf teeth are not present in all horses they are not uncommon.
If a horse has wolf teeth they will be located in front of the other cheek teeth (premolars and molars) on one or both sides of the jaw. They are usually only on the upper jaw but are sometimes found on the lower jaw.
Below: A horse skull. There are no wolf teeth present on this skull; however, the blue arrow is pointing to the approximate location where a wolf tooth would commonly be found.
Removing Wolf Teeth
In riding or driving horses wolf teeth can be a serious nuisance as they often come into contact with the bit, causing the horse discomfort or pain. For this reason, most horsemen have them removed. Since they are typically small with poorly developed roots they are usually quickly and easily extracted.
Since wolf teeth have poorly developed roots they occasionally fall out on their own, usually during or after a horse is three years old. However, there is no guarantee they will fall out and in the meantime a horse carrying a bit can experience moderate to serious discomfort because of them. For that reason, many horsemen choose to have them removed.
Below: Two sets of wolf teeth extracted from different horses. A quarter appears in the top of the photo for size reference. Underneath the quarter, on the left, are a pair of wolf teeth extracted from a yearling. On the right are a pair of wolf teeth extracted from a two-year old.
Unerupted (Blind) Wolf Teeth
Wolf teeth cannot always be seen. They can remain below the surface of the gum where they are called "unerupted" or "blind" wolf teeth. While the unerupted teeth themselves cannot be seen there are often little bumps visible on the gum where they they lie beneath the surface. Unerupted wolf teeth often cause a horse a great deal of soreness in the mouth so they should be removed the same as wolf teeth that are visible.
Since the bumps in the gum are small and can be difficult to see, some people like to run their fingers across the gums and feel for them. However, this can be dangerous. The bumps are often painful and a horse may react suddenly and violently if they are touched.
Wolf Teeth Size
Unlike the rest of a horse's teeth, wolf teeth do not continue to grow and/or erupt through the gum throughout the life of the horse. Wolf teeth are small, and while they will grow in size somewhat during a horse's early years, they will remain undersized compared to the other teeth.
- Attach A Leather Rope Strap
- Bridle A Horse
- Buy Cowboy Stuff On eBay
- Care For A Silk Wild Rag
- Care For Your Felt Cowboy Hat
- Care For Your Saddle Pad Or Blanket
- Close A Gate With A Chain Latch
- Estimate Cattle Age By Their Teeth
- Estimate A Horse's Weight
- Estimate Western Cinch Size
- Fishtail Braid Your Horse's Tail
- Flatten Cow Horn
- Hydro Dip A Cow Skull
- Make A Collapsible Wood Saddle Rack
- Make A Flag Boot Out Of A Horn
- Make Homemade Hoof Conditioner
- Make Homemade Horse Fly Spray
- Measure A Horse's Girth
- Measure A Horse's Height
- Measure A Western Saddle Seat
- Put A Horn Knot On Your Rope
- Put A Speed Burner On A Honda
- Recognize Common Horse Colors
- Recognize Common Horse Face Markings
- Saddle A Horse
- Stop A Saddle From Squeaking
- Take Horse Pictures
- Tell A Boy Cow From A Girl Cow
- Tie A Honda
- Tie A Horse
- Tie A Quick Release Knot
- Tie A Stopper Knot
Tie a stopper knot for the end of a rope,
or a metal, rawhide, or plastic honda
- Tie A Stopper Knot For A Honda
Tie a stopper knot for a tied honda
- Tie A Wild Rag Knot
- Trim A Bridle Path
- Turn Blevins Buckles Over
- Turn Western Stirrups
- Understand Leather / Hide Thickness
- Weigh A Horse and Optimize Rider Weight
- Whiten Bone
- Wrap A Saddle Horn With Rubber
What Is / Are...
- What Are 5 Reasons Horse Trailer Lighting Matters?
- What Are Chestnuts and Ergots?
- What Are Cowboy Chinks?
- What Are Horns?
- What Are Horse Blood Marks?
- What Are Horse Vaccines and How Do They Work?
- What Are Horse Whiskers?
- What Are Leads?
- What Are The Parts Of A Western Saddle?
- What Are Saddle Rigging Positions?
- What Are Some Interesting Horse Facts?
- What Are Some Interesting Charts and Graphs With Horse Information?
- What Are Some Options For Temporary Horse Fencing?
- What Are Slobber Straps?
- What Are Synthetic Saddles Made Of?
- What Are Wolf Teeth?
- What Is The Angle System For Branding?
- What Is A Bosal?
- What Is A Bull Riding Vest Made Of?
- What Is A Domain Name?
Why would I need one for my farm or ranch even if I don't have or want a website?
- What Is A Fifth Wheel Trailer Hitch?
- What Is Flag and National Anthem Etiquette At A Rodeo?
- What Is Floating A Horse's Teeth?
- What Is Freeze Branding?
- What Is Freeze Branding......What Do Horse Freeze Brands Look Like?
- What Is A Galvayne's Groove?
- What Is A Gooseneck Trailer Hitch?
- What Is A Headstall?
- What Is A Pony Express Mochila?
- What Is Hermann Oak Leather?
- What Is Larvicidal De-Worming?
- What Is The Mark Out Rule?
- What Is A Nord Fork?
- What Is The Rodeo Return Gate?
- What Is Rotational Grazing?
- Horse Tips
Short tips to help horse owners and anyone who lives or loves a Western lifestyle do something faster, easier, or better.
Link To This Page
If you found this page useful or interesting and would like to link to it from your own website or blog, you can use the small code snippet below to make a link. Thanks!
Use ctrl+C in Windows or command+C on a Mac to copy the link.
Below: Like and share this page on Facebook!