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mouth sores?

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  • mouth sores?

    This has become a problem with my horse over the last two years. She develops these sores/ cracks in the corners of her mouth. Things I have tried:

    1) different metal/ plastic bits. I thought it might be a metal allergy as when I switched to a happy mouth bit earlier this year the sores went away, but alas they have returned even with the plastic bit.

    2) different width bits. wider ones to thinner ones. I haven't tried a bradoon width though.

    3) changes in the where the bit hangs. I have changed it from the traditional "two wrinkle" height to lower where there are no wrinkles.

    4) regular caveson, flash and dropped noseband. I thought maybe the flash or drop might "stabilize" the bit in her mouth.

    5) applying Kanker sore medications, liquid band aid, bit butter, natural lanolin. none seem to prevent the sores.

    My mare can sometimes lean on the bit, but not horribly and certainly no more than other horses. I have very quiet hands, do not "saw" the bit, etc. She is in training so is ridden by both myself and trainer during the week. My trainer is also a very experienced and "gentle" rider. No other horses in the barn have these sores.

    I have tried everything I can think of and have now hit a brick wall. Anyone have any other ideas? Successes? I just feel horrible every time I tack her up when she gets these sores and just know they are uncomfortable for her.
    Read about my time at the Hannoveraner Verband Breeders Courses:

  • #2
    My trainer and I both use straight vaseline. Might be worth a shot.

    Good cowgirls keep their calves together!


    • #3
      Preparation H is another thing to try. Might also try a Micklem with the clips, and see if that helps. Sure, you can't show in the clips, but it might take the pressure off and let the mouth really heal.



      • #4
        Ditto the vaseline. Also thoroughly clean the lips and mouth corners after riding - sometimes as the lip foam gets dry, makes it similar to chapped lips or the skin peels if not cleaned after working.


        • #5
          Bag Balm worked well for one of my horses with this problem


          • #6
            Okay this might sound weird but a few years ago a friend of mine had this problem with her horse, and her vet suggested a vitamin (B I think) deficiency - according to her, they put him on a supplement and the sores disappeared. ?!

            With other horses, I have seen Bag Balm really help.


            • #7
              In humans there is a condition called angular cheilitis that causes this type of symptom. It is an imbalance of natural flora, essentially it's overgrowth of yeast. There is some data to suggest that it also occurs in horses. It seems to be associated with grazing on certain hard grasses that have "sharp" edges.

              I'd try putting the horse on a probiotic. And maybe put a little lotrimin at the corners of the mouth (outside) or yogurt.

              ***** But I'd check with your vet first about the lotrimin.
              See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


              • #8
                A full cheek snaffle with keepers worked for a horse that I used to know.
                "In order to really enjoy a dog, one doesn’t merely train him to be semi-human. The point of it is to open oneself to the possibility of becoming part dog."
                -Edward Hoagland


                • #9
                  One of our equine dentists' would recommend glycerin. I would put it on the outside corners of the bit. You could always try that...I found it helped with some of our guys.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by lotsospots View Post
                    Okay this might sound weird but a few years ago a friend of mine had this problem with her horse, and her vet suggested a vitamin (B I think) deficiency - according to her, they put him on a supplement and the sores disappeared. ?!

                    With other horses, I have seen Bag Balm really help.

                    I think lotsospots may be on to something. A topnotch pro used to ride at my barn and had exactly the same problem with her mare that you are describing. She used all the same solutions as you to no benefit. I am convinced this is not a bit or rider issue, so don’t beat yourself up. I would definitely explore the possibility of a vitamin deficiency. NHWR’s post is also interesting and may apply to your horse. The horse I knew had the problem yearround, so we couldn’t blame the problem on grass as she got only hay in the winter.


                    • #11
                      suzy. Just wanted to say that if the problem is yeast related, it may start from the type of grass consumed. But once it has started, it will continue until an effective treatment is found,even if the horse stops eating the grass. It is an opportunistic infection. The irritation caused by the grass provides the opportunity for it to begin.
                      See those flying monkeys? They work for me.


                      • #12
                        Thanks, nhwr. I hope I never have a horse with this problem, but this is good to know just in case.