Donkey Teeth Care: Check Floating Teeth

This issue is probably the most neglected of the donkey care basics besides their hooves not being trimmed.

Some older miniature donkeys need their teeth floated every year. You may notice when they eat that there is some difficulty chewing food, with it seeming to take her forever to eat. Upon inspection of the mouth, you may realize they need their teeth floated and some rasping done to both sides.

If this is the case, you need to make an appointment with your farm Veterinarian for the floating of teeth and to give a dental exam to any other miniature donkeys you may have at the same time.

While giving a dental exam/s, it is a good opportunity to get the vet to also look for other problems such as sores, broken teeth, tumors, abscesses, as well as anomalies before starting any dental procedure.

The veterinarian should take into consideration many variables before starting any dental procedure regarding the temperament, health, and age of the miniature donkey.

If your donkey is older without much experience of such things, it might need a slight sedative to relax her due to not having had her mouth handled much, and is wary of a stranger and foreign objects roaming around in her mouth.

The sedative should just be enough to relax her, not put her to sleep. In this state, she is aware of what is going on and the veterinarian can converse good words and thoughts to her during the procedure so she is better next time. Lots of hugs from a willing assistant also help a lot while the vet works on perfecting your donkey’s bite.

Because Miniature Donkeys are so small, the proper dental equipment is necessary for the floating of their teeth.

The veterinarian should use small head and mouth gear as well as the correct size rasp. Miniature donkeys’ mouths are very small compared to a regular size horse or mule and using the incorrect equipment can cause difficulties not only for the veterinarian but also discomfort to the donkey.

Sometimes because the miniature donkey has been chewing unnaturally, it will create sore ligaments when the bite has been corrected therefore our veterinarian administers phenobutezol (bute) to help with any discomfort or pain the animal may be experiencing.

The age of a miniature donkey needing its teeth floated varies depending on the individual animal. Usually, a middle-aged miniature donkey can be a prime candidate for floating, but some miniature donkeys can only be 3 and already show signs of needing regular dental care due to sharp points and hooks.

Not all miniature donkeys that start out with regular dental care need to be sedated because just a few swipes with a rasp generally get the job done. A yearly dental check-up by your local veterinarian should be sufficient to discover any problems. Your veterinarian will make proper recommendations in regards to future regular exams and the floating of teeth according to your animal’s needs.

Not all veterinarians have floated teeth or have experience in floating miniature donkey teeth. Therefore, ask questions and find a qualified equine dentist. Patience, understanding, and gentle handling of our animals are very important.


Q: What is donkey dental care?

A: Donkey dental care refers to the regular maintenance and treatment that is necessary to keep a donkey’s teeth healthy. This can include procedures such as floating teeth, which is the process of filing down sharp points and uneven surfaces on the teeth.

Q: What are floating teeth?

A: Floating teeth is a dental procedure that involves filing down sharp points and uneven surfaces on a donkey’s teeth. This helps to prevent dental problems and promote proper chewing and digestion.

Q: Why is floating teeth important for donkeys?

A: Floating teeth is important for donkeys because their teeth continue to grow throughout their lives. If the teeth are not properly maintained, they can develop sharp points and uneven surfaces that can cause pain, difficulty eating, and other dental problems.

Q: How often should donkeys have their teeth floated?

A: Donkeys should have their teeth floated by a qualified veterinarian or equine dentist at least once a year. However, some donkeys may require more frequent floating depending on their individual needs and dental health.

Q: What are some signs that a donkey may need its teeth floated?

A: Signs that a donkey may need its teeth floated include difficulty chewing, weight loss, dropping food from the mouth, bad breath, and visible signs of dental abnormalities such as sharp points or uneven wear on the teeth.

Q: Can donkeys receive dental sedation during the floating teeth procedure?

A: Yes, donkeys can receive dental sedation to help keep them calm and relaxed during the floating teeth procedure. This can help ensure a safer and more comfortable experience for the donkey and the practitioner.

Q: Are there any risks or complications associated with floating donkey teeth?

A: While floating teeth is generally a safe procedure, there can be some risks and complications, especially if it is not performed by a qualified professional. These can include injury to the mouth or gums, infection, and anesthesia-related issues.

Q: How can I find images of donkey teeth for reference?

A: You can browse online stock photo websites that offer donkey teeth images. Search for terms like “donkey teeth stock photos” or “donkey dental care” to find a variety of royalty-free photos and illustrations showing donkey teeth and mouth.

Q: Are there any specific dental problems that are common in donkeys?

A: Yes, donkeys can experience dental problems such as overgrown teeth, sharp points, hooks, and dental malocclusions. Regular dental check-ups and floating teeth procedures can help identify and address these issues.

Q: What should I do if I suspect my donkey has dental problems?

A: If you suspect your donkey has dental problems, it is important to consult with a veterinarian or equine dentist who specializes in donkey dental care. They can perform a thorough examination, recommend a treatment plan, and address any dental issues that may be present.


In conclusion, donkey teeth care is an often neglected aspect of their overall well-being. Just like their hooves, their teeth require regular maintenance to ensure proper chewing and digestion. Floating teeth, which involves filing down sharp points and uneven surfaces, is an essential procedure that should be performed by a qualified veterinarian or equine dentist. It is recommended that donkeys have their teeth floated at least once a year, although some may require more frequent care based on their individual needs.

When it comes to the floating teeth procedure, it is important to prioritize the comfort and safety of the donkey. Sedation can be used to help keep them calm and relaxed during the procedure, ensuring a positive experience for both the donkey and the practitioner. Using the correct dental equipment, specifically designed for miniature donkeys, is crucial to avoid any discomfort or difficulties.

Regular dental check-ups by a veterinary professional are essential to identify any dental problems and address them promptly. Signs such as difficulty chewing, weight loss, bad breath, and visible dental abnormalities should not be overlooked. These check-ups also provide an opportunity to detect other oral issues like sores, broken teeth, tumors, and abscesses.

Donkey dental care should be approached with patience, understanding, and gentle handling. Building a trusting relationship with your donkey, offering reassurance and hugs during procedures, can make a significant difference in their overall comfort and cooperation. By taking the time to ensure their dental health, you are contributing to their overall happiness and well-being.

In the end, donkeys deserve to have their teeth cared for just as much as any other animal. So, let’s ensure their dental needs are met, allowing them to bray, smile, and even perhaps give us a laugh with their adorable and endearing personalities. Remember, a healthy and well-maintained set of teeth contributes to their overall quality of life, enabling them to enjoy their favorite treats and meals without discomfort. So, let’s prioritize donkey teeth care and give our beloved donkeys the dental attention they deserve.

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