I visited with Steve Akeley the other day. He’s is a talented horseman as well as one of Maine’s most popular equine dentists.
Steve floated my horses’ teeth for years. Always thorough. Always professional. Always willing to take the extra time horses often need during procedures. He travels with a cute, lively Jack Russell terrier riding shotgun. They make quite a pair as Steve has a lumberjack build with a full beard to match.
He shared that he was headed to Texas for some continuing education at the Texas Institute of Equine Dentistry, run by Randy Riedinger.
Riedinger is arguably the most accomplished equine dentists in the country. He perfected a method of molar extraction and developed the Riedinger Procedure, an internationally accepted method for correcting parrot mouth in young horses.
In Maine and elsewhere, there are two options for giving your horse proper equine care: a vet or an equine dentist.
- Vets will argue that anyone providing equine medical care should be one of them. They say equine dentists don’t know enough veterinary medicine to do the job.
- Equine dentists argue that when it comes to teeth, vets train less, practice less, and are generally less qualified to do the job.
Martin Black wrote about his preference for equine dentists here.
In the last several years, state governments and veterinarian associations have tried to strip equine dentists of their right to practice and force horse owners to hire only vets. Thankfully, they’ve had minimal success. Read more about it here.
A few years ago in Texas, the court ruled that the Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners broke the law when they tried to restrict equine dentistry.
As with anything, it pays to do your homework, get recommendations, and check references. Consider this post a Thumbs Up for Mr. Akeley.