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Pregnant- Should I float her teeth or wait?

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  • Pregnant- Should I float her teeth or wait?

    So I’m back with another pregnant mare question compliments of my soft hearted rescue.
    I’ve noticed over the last couple of weeks that the mare (who is 17) takes quite a long time to eat so I keep the other two mare separate from her so she isn’t rushed but she is also dropping more and more of her feed on the ground (which the dogs and turkeys are more than happy to gobble up).
    She’s getting 2.5lbs of Nutrena Mare/Foal morning and evening, plus unlimited Bermuda hay. She’s a bit skinnier now than she was a few weeks ago but I’m not sure if shes actually dropping weight because of her teeth/dropping feed or if I need to step up the amount of feed. (she is due at the end of Jan)
    I called the vet who said he prefers to wait until they foal out since he has to sedate but to call him if she isn’t maintaining her body weight.

    So….do I up the feed/add veggie oil daily or bite the bullet and float her teeth? What are the risks/benefits? Any tricks to getting her nice and fat again?

    Oh---And she HATES to take cookies/or have her mouth messed with in any way. Giving her the worming medicine today was a REAL treat, I had to chase her around the pasture but ironically once I got it up to her mouth she took it without any fuss.
    Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey

  • #2
    What did the vet say re: risk/reward?
    DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


    • Original Poster

      He said he'd rather wait to do it if we she didn't lose too much weight. He doesn't like sedating them when they pregnant unless he needs to, but her food dropping seems to be getting worse.
      Maybe I can suppliment her with fatty things? Would wetting her food help?
      Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey


      • #4
        I'd float, particularly with an underweight horse. Good dentition is essential when a horse is "eating for two." Properly done sedation is not a risk to a foal. But an underweight mare who's not producing sufficient milk IS a threat to a foal.

        The idea that you wait until they foal to increase nutrician is flawed, as the demands of lactation are large and if you start behind you'll just get further behind. And, of course, a significant amount of foal developement occurs during the final weeks of gestation, putting further stress on an underweight mare.

        On a strict risk/benefit analysis the choice, for me, would be to keep the mare up by doing the teeth work.

        Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


        • Original Poster

          I'm freakishly logical and what you said makes perfect sense. I'll make the appt! Thanks for the feedback!
          Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey


          • #6
            My Dentist/Vet does not like to do them the first 90 days, or the last couple of months. In between is usually fine. I hate to think of one with mouth ulcers not being floated. That has to hurt every time they chew.


            • #7
              Have a really GOOD dentist come out and hand float without sedation.

              They do exist :-)

              My prego mare would LEAN into the strokes of the float and seemed to enjoy it.
              "The mighty oak is a nut who stood its ground"

              "...you'll never win Olympic gold by shaking a carrot stick at a warmblood..." see u at x


              • #8
                My equine dentist floats my pregnant mare when she is after 5 months gestation. Also with the least amount of sedation as possible. Otherwise she is on regular dental work.


                • #9
                  I am one that fought tooth and nail power floats, as I had a wonderful dentist that used hand floats, and rarely needed to sedate anything.

                  That said, pregnant mares I would always choose to sedate.

                  The biggest danger to a pregnancy is the straining that can go on when hand floating, especially the last part of the pregnancy. Rompun is really not an issue, and a sedated mare is not one straining.


                  • Original Poster

                    is the straining that can go on when hand floating, especially the last part of the pregnancy
                    Sorry...apparently my mind has checked out for the night, "straining"?
                    Oh, and in Oklahoma it's illegal to float without sedation. And I believe recently they passed the law that you actually have to be a licenced vet to do it. Luckily I love my vet and he loves me. All of those "after hour" and "farm calls" I've had in the past has assured a place for us in his heart/wallet. We even get a nice card and candle in the mail every christmas. :-)
                    Have you ever seen the door mat that says "my vet drives a porche, see horse for details"....that's us, except it's a new jeep for the back roads out here.
                    Proudly owned by 7 horses, 6 dogs, 3 cats and 1 Turkey