Merel (27) is a horse dentist and will look a gift horse in the mouth


By means of: Olaf Knook

Wed Apr 3, 11:54 am


WEST BRABANT/THOLEN – Merel Reijnders (27) is an equine and companion veterinarian. A special part of her work is treating horse teeth. “Well-maintained teeth are important for a horse’s health. You can extend the life expectancy of the horse with this.”

Merel Reijnders walks with her trolley through the farm garden of Jagersrust. Shetlander Fruts is waiting for her in a small stable in Moerstraten. After a short inspection, the 8-year-old pony receives dental treatment. “Fruts has an overgrown molar on both sides, so I am going to correct that,” says Merel.

Because she is a veterinarian, she has more powers than a dental professional. For example, she can sedate animals to carry out correct dental treatment. “A horse has a very powerful tongue. If I were to work with an electric file in a horse’s mouth without sedation, it would cause stress for the horse. In addition, I can work more accurately and safely when the horse is sedated.”

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Merel treats horse teeth – Veterinary Clinic Steenbergen

More and more awareness

Merel lives in Kruisland, but treats horses throughout West Brabant and Tholen. “In recent years, more and more attention has been paid to the importance of healthy horse teeth. In the past, little attention was paid to dental care in horses. This is because horses have increasingly been kept as a hobby in recent decades and can therefore reach older ages. This can be associated with dental problems, as a horse’s molars wear down throughout its life.”

She also helps donkeys and ponies, such as Fruts, who are checked annually. According to Merel, such a regular check can reveal future problems. “Fruts, for example, has two overgrown molars. I will correct this to prevent it from causing problems with chewing in the future. Dental problems can lead to pain, problems with driving, colic complaints and ultimately weight loss. Complaints that may occur when eating include the formation of lumps of feed because the horse is not chewing the feed properly.”

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Merel Reijnders with the 8-year-old Shetland Fruts – Olaf Knook

Horse lover

Merel enjoys working with horses. “A horse is much more than just an animal in the pasture. They are very sensitive animals that you can have a lot of fun with.” She enjoys being able to contribute to the welfare of horses in this region through her work. The treatment is over for Fruts. After sedation, the overgrown molars were corrected with an electric file. Fruts is put aside from the other ponies to relax. Next year Merel will return to Fruts for a new check-up.

The article is in Dutch


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