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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    160

    Default Horse that eats grain oddly...help?

    Back in August, I had the vet come out to check my mare's teeth because she was dropping grain. Classic sign of needing her teeth floated. After the vet worked on her the next day she was not dropping nearly as much grain, but she still drops some grain. (She is a cribber). I noticed recently when she is eating her grain she stretches her neck out and turns her head, kind of on its side when she is chewing. If I didn't know she JUST had her teeth floated I would have the vet out to do them. I have had this same vet for 15 years and she always does a wonderful job and never misses a beat. What am I missing here. I have never seen a horse act like their mouth still hurts after dental work. I've checked out her mouth from what I can see everything looks ok. She has been great under saddle and no issues with the bit. Before I pay my vet to come out again, does anyone have any suggestions on what could be the issue here?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 2, 2003
    Location
    Woodland, Ca
    Posts
    6,178

    Default

    How hard did the vet crank on the speculum and did he pull on her tongue?



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    160

    Default

    I did not notice anything out of the ordinarly when she cranked the speculum. She only moved her tounge out of her way. Never pulled on it.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
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    4,843

    Default

    Sounds like maybe she is near choking when she does this...

    try soaking her grain before feeding and see if it makes a difference. And honestly, if you're feeding pellets, I'd soak regardless to decrease the risk of choke in general.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    160

    Default

    I just switched from Purina Strategy to Triple Crown Growth formula. I wanted to venture away from pellets and get her ready for breeding in the spring. I can try to soak her grain tonight and see what happens.

    -I did switch grains slowly. Took me over a month to convert to TC.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2010
    Posts
    1,486

    Default

    Dropping grain is not always a sign of teeth needing to be floated. More times then not there are other reasons for it. Have you had a vet chiropractor work on the horse? Certainly things like TMJ, or poll fixations can cause those types of behaviors. How old is the horse?



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    160

    Default

    The chiropractor has not been out recently. She's only 6.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2010
    Location
    Earlysville, Virginia
    Posts
    3,242

    Default

    My horse does this anytime he eats treats, but not grain. My guy stretches his head out sideways, opens his mouth and moves his tounge around. Vet saw him do it and said it wasn't choke and he didn't seem uncomfortable. It really looks like he's using his tongue to get the last little bits off his teeth. Sounds weird but he's been doing it for the 1.5 years I've had him with no problems. (teeth are done regularly and done well).
    Charlie Brown (1994 bay TB X gelding)
    White Star (2004 grey TB gelding)

    Mystical Moment, 1977-2010.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    160

    Default

    I hope that's true.
    What worries me is that some nights she will do this between every bite.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2010
    Posts
    2,204

    Default

    If this is a new development I would look into it more for sure. First step for me would probably be to have the vet out to watch her eat and check her teeth again. Next would be a qualified chriopractor.



  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snydere02 View Post
    when she is eating her grain she stretches her neck out and turns her head, kind of on its side when she is chewing.
    Does she drop her right cheek when she turns her head? Odds are she does, most horses sharpen faster on the right due to the way they rotate their mandible. Which ever side she lowers is likely the side where the offending area of sharpness is. TMJ or poll issues are less likely...get another opinion.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2001
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    16,183

    Default

    I'd have someone else--preferably a vet that specializes in dentistry--out to look at her teeth again. That head tilt is classic when they've got a bad ulcer in the cheek from sharp teeth, IME.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul. 3, 2012
    Location
    Twin Cities
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    2,015

    Default

    Could even be something like salivary gland issue. Good luck



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 12, 2009
    Posts
    467

    Default

    Saturday morning when I went out to feed I found my three year old gelding with a banged up/swollen knee. Not sure if he'd gotten himself cast or what the deal was, but then that evening and the next morning he was doing the exact same head tilt while eating his grain (Triple Crown Complete). He didn't do it with his hay so much, although that he occasionally spit out a mouthful or two, which I originally attributed to the gram of bute paste I'd rudely shoved in his mouth. I started thinking that maybe he'd banged his head and busted a tooth or something and was all set to call the vet out on Monday but by Sunday evening he was back to normal. I have a regular vet visit scheduled in another week or two but now I'm wondering if he just had a cap or something bothering him and it just happened to coincide with his knee injury. It was definitely disturbing to watch though!
    It's not about the color of the ribbon but the quality of the ride. Having said that, I'd like the blue one please!



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul. 6, 2012
    Location
    Ohio
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    160

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Toothgrinder View Post
    Does she drop her right cheek when she turns her head? Odds are she does, most horses sharpen faster on the right due to the way they rotate their mandible. Which ever side she lowers is likely the side where the offending area of sharpness is. TMJ or poll issues are less likely...get another opinion.
    Whould she already be getting sharp after 3 months? I usually plan for dentistry once a year...not every 3 months.



  16. #16
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    Jul. 6, 2012
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    Ohio
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Simkie View Post
    I'd have someone else--preferably a vet that specializes in dentistry--out to look at her teeth again. That head tilt is classic when they've got a bad ulcer in the cheek from sharp teeth, IME.
    I've been considering ulcers with her. She has been showing signs of them. Recently moved to my home, trailering is a large stress for her, senstive belly on saturday, she has been losing weight, she has switched from being stalled 16 hours a day to 24/7 turnout about 2 months ago. She doesn't show any mood changes, always a very sweet mare. I might go ahead and pick up some ulcer guard this weekend.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2009
    Location
    Ohio
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    169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snydere02 View Post
    I've been considering ulcers with her. She has been showing signs of them. Recently moved to my home, trailering is a large stress for her, senstive belly on saturday, she has been losing weight, she has switched from being stalled 16 hours a day to 24/7 turnout about 2 months ago. She doesn't show any mood changes, always a very sweet mare. I might go ahead and pick up some ulcer guard this weekend.
    I think that Simkie was referring to an oral ulcer, from a sharp point rubbing on the inside of her cheek, not stomach/hind-gut ulcers



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2009
    Location
    Ohio
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    169

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snydere02 View Post
    I've been considering ulcers with her. She has been showing signs of them. Recently moved to my home, trailering is a large stress for her, senstive belly on saturday, she has been losing weight, she has switched from being stalled 16 hours a day to 24/7 turnout about 2 months ago. She doesn't show any mood changes, always a very sweet mare. I might go ahead and pick up some ulcer guard this weekend.
    I think that Simkie was referring to an oral ulcer, from a sharp point rubbing on the inside of her cheek, not stomach/hind-gut ulcers



  19. #19

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snydere02 View Post
    Whould she already be getting sharp after 3 months? I usually plan for dentistry once a year...not every 3 months.
    Not usually but teeth can chip or fracture anytime or she may be extra sensitive or your floater's skills might not be all that you believe!?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct. 9, 2012
    Location
    Washington State
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    506

    Default

    Our pony chews in a similar manner to your mare but she doesn't stretch her neck all the way out. She stretches about half way and tilts her head one way and then the other. She has an excess of tissue in her mouth (per every vet that has done work in her mouth) and I think she stretches and tilts to make chewing more comfortable.



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