Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Small Mystery is Solved

Last summer I went out to check on Girlie and Draol one afternoon.  Girlie had a large swollen lump on the side of her face.  I couldn't tell if it was a bug bite, or if she'd gotten stung by a bee, or what had caused it.  A tumor???? She didn't seem to care if I touched the spot.

The lump was still there the next day, but on the third day it was gone.  Whew, I breathed a sigh of relief and life went on. 

A while later it was back.  I was getting curious now, what was causing my mare to act like a chipmunk?
She didn't appear to be having any trouble eating or drinking and didn't even seem to notice the lump.

I wish I had a picture of the thing to show you.  Perhaps next time I'll snap one.

Some time soon after, I caught her and tried to look up in her mouth.  Well, she isn't really to into this sort of activity so finally I just grabbed her tongue and stuck my finger up in there. 

Yuck.  A plug of chewed up hay/grass/grain came out with a little scraping.

OK now we're getting some where, she's decided she needs a cud!  

My horse dentist was scheduled to be in the area soon so I decided to wait and let him take a look at it.  As luck would have it, the day he was here I was in the midst of one of my beloved 65 hour work weeks last fall and couldn't get home to haul her down for a dental.

Fast forward to her dental appointment today- the lumps are, of course plug or quids of hay.  She has started spitting them out around the area where I feed.  But now I know they are being caused because she is missing a tooth.  Actually she is missing two and soon to be three.  The missing tooth that has been causing the quidding is the second tooth from the back on the upper left side of her jaw.

I had no idea that when horses age the roots of their teeth get shorter and shorter until they can just fall out.  I knew older horses sometimes have troubles chewing their hay and such but never really followed the thought through on what causes it.

The dentist suggested giving her hay that is fine, not course stemmed, and also a senior feed.  Her teeth are actually in pretty good shape, other than the few missing ones.

Sorry, no pictures of the dental proceedings, I seem to get really caught up in stuff and just forget to take them!

1 comment:

AareneX said...

Whew, another mystery solved WITHOUT thousands of dollars in diagnosis...and the pix of the babies are plenty cute!