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A horse who Grinds his teeth

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  • A horse who Grinds his teeth

    What experiences do you have with a horse who grinds their teeth?

    The minute my guy is on the cross ties, whether it be just for a grooming or tacking up.

    I know some people say its a pain related behaviour, but he's done it for years some times it just stops for a few months and then starts again.

    Now he is boarded out and should be home after this weekend, and I do find him not as happy at this place as he is when he is at home. At home he is out from 630am until the sun goes down, at this boarding barn he is in his stall more than he is out.

    Saddles have been fitted and are not an issue, they are done a few times a year. He is a 10 year old TB on adequan for his older age and stifles (weak stifles).

    What is your intake on this? Think he is just sour and ready to come home? This is not exactly new behaviour as well, as he has been doing this on and off since I have owned him (7 years) I fine it happens when he starts coming back into consistent work or when he is down right pissy, And lately he is very pissy. My intake on this is unhappy with his living situation... what do you think?

  • #2
    If this was my horse, I'd have scoped or treated for ulcers a long time back - if horse is in a new board situation & clearly unhappy, I'd scope/treat for ulcers ... studies indicate that TB's have a high incidence of ulcers (perhaps other breeds do as well, but TB's have been the most studied in the papers I'm referencing).

    If a horse grinds teeth in every situation, I'd consider it a habit, if horse grinds teeth consistently in a particular situation, I consider it a reflection of discomfort for that situation or anticipation of what coms next (horses know very well that cross ties lead to saddle lead to ride etc IF that is what is generally done).
    My experience is the teeth grinding is always a sign of stress/tension, so I'd look very hard before assuming it to be benign.

    You don't mention how much vetting you've done to explore the habit, or how frequently horse has teeth checked (I'd be looking several times a year with a cribber or teeth grinder).

    A horse that has arthritis (even on Adequan) I'd not want to keep in a stall, optimum would be field turn out, even if there isn't much to graze on, horses will still move a lot just "looking"; if this situation is not available, then insist on a stall with attached paddock plus turnout.

    Comment


    • #3
      I find that horses who grind their teeth do so when a new subject is introduced or something they find difficult. Not so much pain as a grumble. As the work continues and they understand what is wanted, or their body becomes accustomed to the new arrangement of aids,the grinding goes away.

      Does he grind on a loose rein out hacking?
      Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

      Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
        I find that horses who grind their teeth do so when a new subject is introduced or something they find difficult. Not so much pain as a grumble. As the work continues and they understand what is wanted, or their body becomes accustomed to the new arrangement of aids,the grinding goes away.
        This. My guy grinds his teeth during really intense flatwork when I really make him work. He is 100 percent sound and capable of doing his job—he is just a lazy bum who would rather plod around the ring.

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          yes left out the vetting and all of that stuff. Yes TB's are known for ulcers, he is on Omeprazole daily for that reason. He has not been scoped as its never really raised a concern until lately. He normally grinds when the work become strenuous but lately it just seems a bit more than normal.

          When he is on a loose rein or just doing light work there is no concern and no grinding. Only when he becomes slightly tired or I am asking something more difficult and he finds it hard to understand or just hard to do. As he does it more throughout a work schedule he lessens the griding.

          I personalyl feel him being unhappy at said boarding barn is a big impact on him, but I was curious to know if anyone thought anyhting else.

          His teeth were done just in the fall, and yes they will need to be done soon again, he has a parrot mouth so we need to stay on top of his teeth for that reason.

          The Ridge, sounds like my Halo lol, would prefer to be a lazy bum and do nothing with his life, but when you ask to work harder its a bit of a bugger for him lol.

          On the plus side he will be home after this weekend and I do feel it will make a huge difference as he will be outside for over 12 hours and inside less and he loves that.

          Comment


          • #6
            This makes it sound like tension/stress - sometimes there is a fairly easy fix, other times not so much ... working with a good trainer to sort out the rider aspect can help, also various bits etc (especially with a parrot mouth - don't know if you're lucky enough to have anyone actually trained in bit fitting?)

            Does he have regular bodywork? this can also make a big difference (though you might have to try out a few to find the right person)

            Comment


            • #7
              I would say ulcers for sure. I would also make sure the horse has had a good chiro go over from head to tail.

              Comment


              • #8
                It will be interesting for you to note if the grinding decreases (especially on the cross ties) once he's turned out more after this week. Let us know what you find.

                Chiro has helped some horses I've seen before (especially the tense ones who just seem so tight all over their bodies). Routine helps, too.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Ours does it when he is feeling stressed. Tummy trouble, new exercise, new place, change of routine, when the planets align in a pattern known only to him. . .
                  www.amiddle-agedmadwomantakesthereins.blogspot.com

                  www.pegasusridge.com

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    Its not a guarantee about ulcers no, but he does have a sensitive stomach.

                    He gets massages often enough and he has daily stretches he is to have done to help him out, but I think I need to get back on that wagon again as I haven't done it lately. shame on me.

                    He has had Chiro work in the past, but its definitely been awhile. Obviously he sounds like he gets enough work done, I had a VERY ill-fittig saddle on him which caused a lot of issues, and I really think he relates tacking up to that, and has not yet come over that fear. My newest saddle (fitted in the fall) is less than a year old but is not ridden in as much as my dressage saddlle, which was just fitted a few months ago (due for a re-fit)

                    No I do not have anyone who has great experience with bit fitting a parrot mouth horse, in all honesty I never even put two and two together about that. Shame on me again. Its not a big parrot mouth but yes it could make a difference for sure. Any ideas?

                    We have our first show outing this weekend (Canada) and after this weekend I plan to have the massage therapist come up after to let all the muscles have some love.

                    I was hoping it was not related to any pain, but he is a sensitive red head and it does slightly raise a concern. I do know he has a back history with me, due to that horrible saddle (still mad about that) so I wonder if he just tweaked himself out in the field and is just a bit stiff and sore... although other than grinding teeth he shows no signs of pain. Flexion tests have been done (last week) as I have been concerned, therefore this post. He works great and is saucy as always.

                    Could a horse just be truly grumpy and hate life at the moment? I KNOW he is happier at home, he's been at this barn for 3 1/2 months as I do not have an indoor arena. Maybe he is just tired of the arena walls and is ready to come home?

                    I guess after typing all of this out I have taken all the precautions I can and it may be time to have the vet out.

                    Its nice to hear that others experience the same thing if their horse is stressed or the routine has changed. Gives me hope!
                    Last edited by LadyB; Apr. 17, 2013, 12:57 PM. Reason: Can't spell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      What are you giving him for ulcers? Are you addressing hind gut ulcers also?

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Right now he receives 10CC's a day of Omeprazole.
                        Can you please explain the difference in Ulcers? I was not aware of hind gut ulcers too!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Since you mentioned weak stifles, I'll just note that my mare with mild stifle issues clearly does better on turnout with a hill or even small slope. As in, clear improvement from same amount of turnout on flat land, to turnout on a slight hill. The turnout itself helps, too, so if your horse is spending more time in a stall and less outside, his stifles could be feeling the change and therefore making his work harder.

                          Having raised the ulcer and stifle issues, though, I think sometimes the teeth grinding does show up when they're in new/more/harder work, and then goes away as they get stronger and more flexible.
                          Custom and semi-custom washable wool felt saddle pads!
                          http://www.etsy.com/shop/PellMellFeltPads

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by LadyB View Post
                            Right now he receives 10CC's a day of Omeprazole.
                            Can you please explain the difference in Ulcers? I was not aware of hind gut ulcers too!
                            So it's not gastrogard or ulcergard? Your giving a liquid?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by horsecatcher View Post
                              So it's not gastrogard or ulcergard? Your giving a liquid?
                              I have the same question. Can you clarify? Do you know omeprozole is not absorbed in the stomach (must pass through), but is destroyed by stomachs acid. It must be protected with a enteric coating or antacid.

                              On a side note, some horses don't respond as well to omeprozole as they do ranitidine. I speculate those horse may for some reason have a problem getting g the drug out Of their stomach before it is destroyed. But there are probably several reasons. Have you tried ranitidine? 3.6 grams is an average dose 2-3 times per day. You can get it in 150mg tablet from Walmart or Costco. It's costs about a $1.50 a dose (24 tabs/dose).

                              I have one that grinds when his tummy hurts. Give him a double dose of neighlox and he immediately stops. He must always get neighlox (or pro cmc, double dose smart gut, ect), plus requires ranitidine for any travel or changes. Interestingly, he is a very mellow guy; we think he internalizes his stress

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I believe that horses that grind teeth have pain issues. That has been my experience. Chronic, unabsolved pain that just can't be addressed. Stress is a part of that pain, a symptom of it, and the grinding is a symptom of that.
                                Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by flyracing View Post
                                  I have the same question. Can you clarify? Do you know omeprozole is not absorbed in the stomach (must pass through), but is destroyed by stomachs acid. It must be protected with a enteric coating or antacid.

                                  On a side note, some horses don't respond as well to omeprozole as they do ranitidine. I speculate those horse may for some reason have a problem getting g the drug out Of their stomach before it is destroyed. But there are probably several reasons. Have you tried ranitidine? 3.6 grams is an average dose 2-3 times per day. You can get it in 150mg tablet from Walmart or Costco. It's costs about a $1.50 a dose (24 tabs/dose).

                                  I have one that grinds when his tummy hurts. Give him a double dose of neighlox and he immediately stops. He must always get neighlox (or pro cmc, double dose smart gut, ect), plus requires ranitidine for any travel or changes. Interestingly, he is a very mellow guy; we think he internalizes his stress
                                  Do you crush up the tablets to add to feed, or syringe them down in a liquid? Can you just drop tablets in feed for your horse? Will he eat them plain like that?
                                  Proud & Permanent Student Of The Long Road
                                  Read me: EN (http://eventingnation.com/author/annemarch/) and HJU (http://horsejunkiesunited.com/author/holly-covey/)

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by retreadeventer View Post
                                    Do you crush up the tablets to add to feed, or syringe them down in a liquid? Can you just drop tablets in feed for your horse? Will he eat them plain like that?
                                    I've been fortunate that all of mine have always eaten the pills with their feed. No crushing needed (they taste bad crushed). I usually feed them with ricebran, because my sensitive stomach horses usually don't get any real grain.

                                    Wedgewood also compounds a powder version that is $1.68 a dose. I've done that before and it's easy because you just give a heaping scoop (scoop is 3 grams). A script from your vet is required.

                                    Many vets also carry or offer a 300 mg pill version. I've never used it since with my vet that is more expensive, but I know it works out well for many people.

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Omeprazole is a Creamy Liquid that is syringed into their mouth. Isn't gastroguard like a paste?

                                      I've never heard of this ranitidine, I will need to definitely look into this.

                                      Last night he was grinding less and didn't at all during our ride, so I assume he is finally getting stronger as I did not change any of my routine. (He just had a week of down time which made me concerned about it being just too strenuous for him)

                                      I truly can't wait to bring him home and see the overall difference in his behavior and over all personality. He seems quite crusty lately, and I can tell he hates being in his stall.

                                      I wonder if it will be a quick difference?

                                      He is turned out on a slight slight hill at home, at this farm it is all flat so hills are not an option.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by LadyB View Post
                                        Omeprazole is a Creamy Liquid that is syringed into their mouth. Isn't gastroguard like a paste?

                                        I've never heard of this ranitidine, I will need to definitely look into this.

                                        Last night he was grinding less and didn't at all during our ride, so I assume he is finally getting stronger as I did not change any of my routine. (He just had a week of down time which made me concerned about it being just too strenuous for him)

                                        I truly can't wait to bring him home and see the overall difference in his behavior and over all personality. He seems quite crusty lately, and I can tell he hates being in his stall.

                                        I wonder if it will be a quick difference?

                                        He is turned out on a slight slight hill at home, at this farm it is all flat so hills are not an option.
                                        Unfortunately, your most likely just wasting your money on omeprazole. As Flyracing said, it has to get through the stomach to the small intestine. What you are giving it most likely doing nothing. Your vet wasn't aware of this?

                                        If you aren't going to use Gastrogard or Ulcergard you need to at least use the Blue Pop rocks. I would also trial treat with two months of Succeed to see what that does in case your horse has hind gut ulcers.

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